Location: Stafford ST16 1DJ
History: First built as a hugh timber fortrest in 1100 AD by Robert de Toeni, (later known as Robert of Stafford) under the orders of William the Conqueror in the Norman period, Stafford Castle has dominated the local skyline for over 900 years.
It saw action during the Civil War, when it withstood a siege by Parliamentary forces, but later fell when the attackers brought in heavy artillery. The castle was abandoned in the seventeenth century but later rebuilt as a Gothic style residence in 1813
The work was never finished although the structure was used as a residence until 1949 after which it was abandoned when it was deemed structural unsound. The remains of this structure, along with the earthworks of the earlier Norman castle, have been stabilised and are visible today.
Review: So despite living near this castle for years – well basically my whole life – I’ve never actually been inside the castle.
I walked around the castle a few times though, but unfortunately, it’s only open a couple days of the week.
Anyway, luckily me and Luke had a weekend together (kind of sucks when your boyfriend works different shifts and I just work 9-5 Monday to Friday, but we make it work).
So we had first planned to just chill this weekend, it was the first weekend we had together after the busy Christmas period (I think it was about mid January), but then we decided that we wanted to actually go out and do something.
We first thought about going back to Calke Abbey since we hadn’t been there since our first date, but it was closed.
We wanted to go out and do something, but most places were still closed since it was only the start of January.
Luckily, we realised that Stafford Castle was open and it made perfect sense to go there, since I had to go into Stafford to collect a balloon for my Grandma’s 85th birthday later that day!
So we went to Stafford castle, as we wanted to do something.
Now it’s free to get in, which is great, but there’s a massive hill up to the castle.
Now the photo doesn’t show how steep this hill is, but trust me it is.
But you don’t have to go up, instead you can go right at the bottom of the hill and walk around up the castle.
Now this is a really nice walk up the castle, and I strongly suggest you do it this way, so that you can read all the boards that are dotted around the area. This is the best way to learn as much as you can about the history of this place.
What I loved about this castle is, despite the fact that there is very little left of it. You can still get a good sense of what it would have been like back in its glory days.
The above picture should give you a slightly better idea of how much bigger the castle would have been.
But it’s not just the castle that would have been impressive, but the rest of the grounds of the castle as well.
Although there is not much to see, there was an exhibit that explored the castle’s history and I thought that that was pretty fascinating.
But what was good about this exhibit was that you could see what the castle looked like before it was built as an actual stone building.
Anyway, me and Luke were making our way round the grounds and there are plenty of signs to keep us entertained.
Since we went in January, it should have been no surprise by how wet and muddy the grounds were.
There was one bit where I’m sure we provided people with a lot of entertainment, as we struggled to cross over one particular muddy bit of ground. Well we found it pretty funny as we narrowly made it to the other side without falling over.
We walked all around the back of the castle first before we decided to go inside. And I would suggest you walk round the castle first, as this way you can read all the information that you need.
When we made our way into the castle, I was pleasantly surprised by what we found.
Now it’s not huge, but it was certainly more interesting then I thought it would be.
You enter in through one of the turrets, and are greeted by this simple room that has a fireplace in it. Not hugely exciting, but still a nice little room.
But then you walk in through the next door, and you enter into the main part.
Me and Luke didn’t really know what to expect when we walked into this bit. But I have to say it was a lot better than we thought it was going to be.
You can’t see in the photo, but there was a family who were exploring the castle at the same time, and they had a dog with them that was running up and down this room several hundred times.
I wish I had that much energy!
Not only that, but it was really cute to see them having a blast at this castle. I think they were playing hide and seek or tag or something.
I mean there weren’t many places they could hide, but at least they could run up and down this corridor!
I wasn’t expecting to see something like this. To be honest I just thought it would be a simple brick wall and nothing more, but it had a little bit more than I expected.
Also not that you can really see in this photo… but can anyone see me? I think I moved quick enough, but there’s a doorway just to the side that I was peeking through, just as Luke decided to take a photo. I think it’s fairly safe to say I moved quickly enough.
There are a few details on this castle which you might miss as well. So if you do plan on visiting Stafford Castle in the future when it’s all safe, then make sure you keep your eye out.
You don’t want to miss out on things like this!
It’s a shame that the castle keep was destroyed in the 20th century. I understand that it would have been too dangerous if it was left alone, but it would have a great thing to see.
I do have to say that my favourite thing about Stafford Castle is the view though.
You can see so much from the outside of the Castle and admittedly I think me and Luke went on a pretty nice day, it was still pretty great to be able to see so much!
I wish I made a note what town we were looking at though (as I don’t know – my geography is awful haha), as they have a thing like a trig point (not sure what you would call it), but it points in the direction of all the different places and it tells you how far they all are, so that was quite nice.
If anything, Stafford Castle is a nice little trip out if you are in the area. I don’t think it’s worth driving miles and miles for, but it was certainly an interesting and enjoyable experience.
I mean we certainly look like we enjoyed ourselves!
Even if you aren’t a huge fan of castles, you can just go and enjoy a nice wildlife walk around the castle AND as a little added bonus, they have a medieval garden that you can go and explore.
Just make sure you go at the right time of year, as me and Luke decided to have a little peek, but since it was early January there wasn’t really anything to look at.
For a free trip I can’t really complain and I can’t wait for the next time when we can go on an adventure like this one again!