The trust was formed in an informal manner in 1995, more officially in 1997 becoming a company limited by guarantee and registered at Companies House in 2003.

In 2006, after years of effort, the Hopton Castle Preservation Trust secured £1million+ from Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources. This has allowed the castle and its surroundings to be purchased and repaired and from the end of September 2011, access to be provided for visitors.

Since then, Trustees have changed from time to time, but the Chairman and Secretary have remained the same. There is also a wider circle of Friends of Hopton Castle who express their commitment to the Trust's objectives in a number of ways, but chiefly through generous and persistent efforts at fund-raising. Our patrons - the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire (Mr Heber-Percy), our MP (Philip Dunne) and Lord (John Julius) Norwich - have all been willing to identify themselves with the project, for which we have been extremely grateful.

Hopton Castle,
as seen from the north-east.

Sustainable Development Fund

Through the Sustainable Development Fund, the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership has been able to help support the Trust with its restoration of Hopton Castle. The Castle sits within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The purpose of this national landscape designation is to conserve and enhance natural beauty. This includes cultural heritage and Hopton Castle is an important part of tthe character of the Shropshire Hills.

Even having won major grants - in many ways against the odds - the Trust requires maintenance funds of around £3000 Annually. The main village has fewer than 30 households - and we have had to seek help from wherever we can think of. Rescuing buildings can seem so much less important than saving lives or helping individuals, but we argue that we need to do both if our children are to enjoy and learn from all that has been available to us. As Colonel Sam More's diary of the Hopton Castle siege makes clear, there is a very human story about the effects of war to be told through the Castle's narrative and that is often what people magnanimously respond to.

The specialist expertise of Chairman Jeff George and trustee Peter Curnow has been complemented by in the last few years by a number of high quality professional analyses and assessments of the whole site which were paid for by the early fund-raising successes. Together with our hugely experienced Project Manager, Sula Rayska, we have assembled a formidable body of new knowledge of the site and those who have lived there through the ages. Still, much remains undiscovered.

Current Trustees: Jeff George (Chairman); Peter Marquis (Secretary); Peter Curnow (Vice-Chair); Ted Laidlar (Treasurer); Valerie George; Jenny Marquis; Barney Bell; Veronica Garman; Richard Jackson; Brian Kingshott; Wendy Shearman.

This page revised 18/07/2014
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