The site of Stokesay Castle, a fortified manor house, surrounded by a moat and enclosing a courtyard. The standing remains almost entirely date to the 1280s and 1290s, and were built by Laurence of Ludlow, a wool merchant who became one of the richest men in England. Its military appearance was mainly for show as it could not have withstood a serious siege, although it did protect Laurence's wealth and display his status.
At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086 the land ('Stoches') was held by the Lacys, one of the great families of the Welsh marches. It was subsequently divided into North and South Stoke, the latter coming into the ownership of the Says, hence the later name Stokesay. It then passed to John de Verdon, a supporter of Henry III. Tree-ring dating of the Solar Block suggests it was built during this period in 1261-3, and the timber framed great hall was also probably built in circa 1260-80. After the barons' war Verdon went on crusade leaving Stokesay in the hands of a tenant who sold it to Laurence of Ludlow in 1281. Laurence's descendants remained in ownership of Stokesay for more than 200 years until it passed to the Vernon family. Henry Vernon made repairs in about 1577, but later fell into financial ruin and sold to Sir George Mainwaring in 1598. Dame Elizabeth Craven and her son William then bought it in 1620, along with several other properties in Shropshire, and it became a valuable estate. William made several alterations, and tree-ring dating of the gatehouse timbers confirmed construction in 1639-41. The castle surrendered to Parliamentary forces in 1645 without incident, although two years later the barns and stables were demolished. During the 18th century the buildings were allowed to decay until Frances Stackhouse Acton, a noted antiquarian and artist, co-ordinated a series of repairs, and in the 1870s the glovemaker John Derby Allcroft bought Stokesay and had it substantially restored. The castle passed into guardianship in 1986.