Castle At Risk

Dudley Castle, built in Sedgley Manor's Woodsetton village, is in need of some tender loving care.

In the Civil War it survived two sieges (1643 and 1646) suffering only minor damage. However, Oliver Cromwell wasn't finished with attacking its defences and, along with other fortifications in England Parliament instructed the castle was to be 'sleighted' beyond repair (1647).

Further damage was caused by a fire in 1750 started by accident or intention. This left the living quarters uninhabitable. After that the castle continued to crumble and became a much admired romantic ruin in Victorian times.

The ruins were given Grade I status in 1949 putting it on a par with the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and many other historic sites. In the 1980s archaeological digs and limited restoration projects helped to raise the castle's profile.

Some forty years later its condition was a cause for concern and in October 2020 the castle ruins were added to the 'at risk' register of Historic England. The owners, Dudley Council, hope this will help them to succeed in funding applications for sensitive restoration.

This is a composite picture from around 1920 showing the Keep across the Bailey as seen through the Triple Gateway. In reality such a view is possible, but through a much less imposing archway!

Castle composite view