Castles and Corvedale

By Marina Oliver

Knowing something about the lives of people who came before can greatly enhance our appreciation of an area. Corvedale, the site of the Three Castles Walk, has produced many important people, soldiers, surgeons, politicians and preachers. There are also the unsung, un-named villagers who tilled the land and helped create one of Shropshire's loveliest valleys.

Broncroft Castle This book captures snapshots of their lives, from the prehistoric hunters, the Roman and Norman soldiers who passed through the valley, to the owners of big estates. The castles of Corfton, Corfham and Broncroft, remains of which can be seen by walkers, played a big part in the Dale's history, especially during the years when the Marcher Lords were fighting the Welsh Princes. Fair Rosamund Clifford's family once owned Corfham. Broncroft was the site of a Civil War Battle. Molly Morgan, the transported girl who became the Queen of Hunter Valley in Australia, lived at Corfton.

Corfham Castle Close to the route of the Walk lie other fascinating places. Holdgate entertained a king, and was once owned by the Templars. Heath is now deserted, but has left a rare example of a Norman chapel. The Clee Hills, with their prehistoric forts, have also been important mining areas for coal, limestone and iron. Bouldon slabs were famous.

Corfton Castle An Appendix lists the Kings of England, the more important Welsh Princes, and major events which affected the inhabitants of these Marcher lands.

'The Corvedale Three Castles Walk is a tremendous example of the way in which our heritage can be opened up to a wider audience. It is a credit to those who have worked together to make it happen and will enable both the local community and visitors to enjoy a magnificent piece of Shropshire's heritage.' Sir Laurie Magnus, Bt. Deputy Chairman National Trust. Onibury, March 2006.

'I congratulate the team who have created the Three Castles Walk and this accompanying book and am pleased to support any initiative to increase awareness of our heritage to a wider public. It is good for people to have the opportunity to enjoy exercise, the wonderful Shropshire countryside and learn more about the heritage of the area at the same time.' Sir Neil Cossons. Chairman, English Heritage. Rushbury, March 2006.