This was an important site in Saxon times, when Tamworth, Tamaweord as was,
was the principal centre of the Mercian Kings.
Robert le Dispenser, a Norman nobleman and Steward to William the Conqueror, is thought to have built a motte and bailey castle here c.1070. Having died without children, the property passed to the daughters of his brother Urse d’Abitot, Sheriff of Worcester.
In about 1100 the castle was inherited by Robert Marmion through marriage. It is thought the rebuilding of the castle in stone dates from this time including the octagonal shell keep and curtain stone wall, of which examples of its Norman ‘Herringbone’ styled sections have survived.
For the next two centuries it stayed within the Marmion family who made numerous changes. Then in 1291 it passed by marriage to Sir Alexander Freville and by 1423 it was in the hands of Thomas Ferrers of Groby.
During the Civil War, the castle was captured after a brief siege by Parliamentary troops but
it does not seem to have been slighted.
Although by 1751 the castle was in disrepair, Charlotte Compton, grandniece of the 1st Earl Ferrers, cared enough for the castle to have it repaired and after she married George Townshend of Rayham they
took up residence.
Over the following years the castle was let out to various tenants including Robert Peel and from 1869 to 1891 Thomas Cooke. On Cooke’s death the Marquess of Townshend sold the castle, by auction,
to the Tamworth Corporation.
Today it is the property of Tamworth Borough Council and is open to the public.
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