Image: Exterior of Stokesay Castle in Shropshire

Learn about Stokesay Castle and make a model of the south tower

Find out about the wealthy wool merchant who built Stokesay Castle in Shropshire at the end of the 13th century, and discover what different parts of the castle were used for. Then download and print our special template to create your own version of Stokesay Castle’s impressive South Tower!

Image: View towards the South Tower of Stokesay Castle

Fortified Manor House

Other than the impressive South Tower, Stokesay Castle looks more like a large, fancy house than a castle. That's because it’s actually a fortified medieval manor house. It was constructed at the end of the 1200s by one of the richest men in England, a successful wool merchant called Laurence of Ludlow. At this time, producing wool was a good way to make lots of money. Laurence traded with merchants in England and in Europe, selling his wool to be made into clothing. The huge house was designed to show off Laurence’s wealth and taste, and included lots of grand rooms.

Many of the buildings at Stokesay Castle are still standing today, even though they were built in the 1280s and 1290s – meaning they are almost 750 years old! The only significant part that was added after Laurence died was the gatehouse, which was constructed in 1640–41.

Image: Illustration showing an aerial view of Stokesay Castle

The south tower at Stokesay Castle

The South Tower was designed to look like the towers of great medieval castles, but it wasn’t actually built for defence.  Instead, it was a luxurious living space. Although Stokesay Castle was secure against bands of thieves, its military appearance was mostly for show and it wouldn’t have been able to withstand a serious siege.

Other rooms include the kitchen, where large fireplaces were used to cook food such as pies and roasted pigs, and the Solar, which was drenched in sunlight and used by Laurence to meet important guests. The Great Hall was also important for social life at the castle - festivals such as Christmas and Easter were celebrated here with feasts accompanied by music.

Image: Illustrated knight and Stokesay Castle's South Tower

Make a model of Stokesay's south tower

Now you can make your own model of the South Tower at Stokesay Castle. Ask an adult to download the template and print it out for you, then follow the instructions below to finish the tower.

Once you’ve completed it, put your model on display to impress your friends – just as the tower would have impressed Laurence of Ludlow’s visitors!

Download the template

How to make your model

You will need:

  • Your exclusive templates
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick or double-sided sticky tape

  • Step 1

    Carefully cut out the north wall, east wall and west wall using scissors.

  • Step 2

    Glue the north wall, east wall and west wall together in the order shown in the picture, to create one long piece.

  • Step 3

    Score along the dotted lines and start folding your castle walls. Fold down the flaps at the top to create a ledge.

  • Step 4

    Bring the castle wall round and join together using the big tab to create a loop. Make sure the final tab is folded the right way round to create the heart shape of the South Tower.

  • Step 5

    Cut and fold two pitched roofs. If it’s easier, put glue only on the side tab. The other triangle tabs will act as a guide, keeping the shape of your roof.

  • Step 6

    Stick the two pitched roofs on to the white spaces on the roof.

  • Step 7

    Put glue along the long horizontal tabs at the top of your castle walls and drop the roof in. You may find it helps to get your hand in underneath the model, so you can press the roof on to your castle walls. You’ll notice by adding the roof it’s become much sturdier.

  • Step 8

    Fold the chimney together to form a rectangular shape, and fold the long white strip to create a ledge. This will enable the chimney to sit on top of the castle walls.

  • Step 9

    Put glue on the white parts of the chimney and stick on to the east side of the castle wall.

  • Step 10

    Fold the staircase together and concertina fold the top, as shown in the picture.

  • Step 11

    Put glue on the tabs and stick the staircase together. Glue the long tab last.

  • Step 12

    Put glue on the white parts of the staircase and slide on to the north-west corner of the castle. You’ve finished your very own model of Stokesay Castle’s South Tower!

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