Moreton Corbet Castle

Scheduled Monument and Grade I Listed Building. Although a ruin it is a fine example of a post medieval and Elizabethan country house and remains part of the Corbet Estate and in the care of the secretary of state. The building was damaged during the civil war, although repaired after it went into disuse in the 18th century when the family moved to Acton Reynald Hall. It was then partially demolished and has remained in the state since.

With the permission of English Heritage, Shawbury Village Players has had the privilege of using the stunning ruin for the backdrop of many outdoor performances.

All photos of Moreton Corbet Castle taken by Ellesmere FNC on Flickr

The Present ruins of Moreton Corbet Castle consist of the remains of a Medieval Castle, belonging to the Toret family and the shell of the Elizabethan mansion, built by the Corbets. It is believed that the Saxon Toret Family owned the Castle from pre-Conquest days until c.1240. when it was passed to Richard Corbet of Wattlesborough, on his marriage to the Toret heiress.

During Elizabethan I’s reign, the Corbets carried out a lot of restoration work and new building to the castle. Of the original castle, only the two towers remained, one over the gateway on the North side and the other over the old storeroom on the West side of the iner bailey. It was Robert Corbet and his brother Richard who built the impressive Elizabethan mansion, in the 1570’s. It consisted of a spacious hall with lofty windows, a large parlous with a great room above, six other rooms and an underground storeroom and wine celar. A gallery ran across the whole length of the top of the house. The windows were glazed and the roof was of ‘blue tiles’ frm Cornwall. The gatehouse, still in evidence, on the North side in front of the doorway of the ancient castle suggests that the approach was originally from the direction by the Church.

In spite of a Puritan curse made to Vincent Corbet in the 1660’s that the house should ‘never be inhabited… from generation to generation’, but be full of ‘wild beasts and doleful creatures’, Corbet family inventories show that the Family did indeed live there, thought not for very long. This was because during the Civil War, the Parliamentarians seized the Castle from Vincent Corbet, a strong Royalist, in September 1645 and destroyed it. The Corbet Family moved their main seat to Acton Reynald and Moreton Corbet Castle fell into disuse.