Stafford Castle, Interior,

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Description:Oak panelling in the hall, with its frieze of 'hippocamps' or sea horses. The marble relief above, representing the life of Christ, came from the altar of Tixall Priory.

The castle to the south-west of the town was built in the fourteenth century by Ralph de Stafford, on the site of an earlier Norman wooden castle.

In December 1643, during the English Civil War (after the fall of the castle in July of that year) orders were issued by the Parliamentary Committee in Stafford that the castle should be demolished.

In the early years of the nineteenth century the Jerningham family sought to gain the Baronetcy of Stafford and began to rebuild the castle as a home, but did not progress beyond the front towers and the joining rooms at the front, and the rear towers as far as the first floor. This work progressed from 1810 until 1815 and after that no further work was done.

The construction work was poor and part of the north tower fell to the ground during the gales of March 1947, during which the whole structure was said to have vibrated. The army demolished the main part, including the two front towers, in the 1960s, leaving a filled-in shell.

Excavations in the castle began in 1979, when it was discovered that Stafford possessed one of the largest medieval castles in the country.

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Donor ref:SAMS Acc. No., P81.79.36, img: 1232 (7/1701)

Source: Staffordshire Arts & Museum Service

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