Until earlier this month I could count on both hands the number of times I’ve visited Dudley castle. Prompted by an excellent display at Dudley Museum & Art Gallery my brother and myself decided to visit again. The castle dominates the surrounding countryside, but I’m sure most locals wouldn’t have a clue about its history. This is a pity because the site has witnessed an awful lot during the past one thousand years. I think it’s fair to say that Dudley zoo is better known nationally. The zoo has occupied most of the surrounding castle grounds since the 1930’s.
Interesting Dudley castle facts: Owned by John de Sutton VI; he was present at several battles during the Wars of the Roses. He managed to get injured and captured several times and eventually ended up on the losing side but must have been highly regarded. Well into his eighties Sutton went on the serve Henry VII as Sheriff of Sussex, despite the fact he’d fought against him at Bosworth. Visited by Queen Elizabeth I Probably the most famous owner was John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland. Manoeuvred Lady Jane Grey onto the throne and lost his head for his troubles. He commissioned the Sharrington range which still enhances the main bailey. Endured two sieges during the English Civil War and a prompted a nearby battle (Tipton Green). Visited by Queen Elizabeth II The town itself is a good example of medieval planned town. Most of the main streets in Dudley itself will give you a clear of the castle. Behind St. Thomas’s (known locally to everyone as Top Church) Abberley Hill can be seen. This is the traditional site of Henry IV’s camp during his standoff with Owen Glendower at nearby Woodbury Hill. The Malvern hills are (just visible) to the left on the far horizon.
Date of visit: 4th & 30th May 2009
View of keep from Sharrington range.
Date of visit: 30th May 2009