Rowton Castle, Halfway House, Shrewsbury, SY5 9EP
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RT @GuidesForBrides: Behind Day 18 of our snowy Advent Calendar is the lovely @CarberryTower, @RowtonCastle & @KennawayHouse.



William Lyster

The Castle was rebuilt, whoever for in 1482, we find William Lyster installed as Lord of the Manor.  The Lysters owned Rowton for 400 years from 1482 until 1884 when on the death of Lady Charlotte Lyster it passed to her sister's son, who on being raised to the peerage took the title Lord Rowton.  When he died unmarried it passed to his nephew General Lowry Corry, who eventually sold it to Major A E Lees.

The Lysters of Rowton who were Merchant Drapers were descended from John Lyster of Derby.  Michael Lyster should be mentioned as he and Philip Sydney went as new boys to Shrewsbury School in 1564, but it is Thomas Lyster in 1624 that we come to, the first outstanding figure.  In that year Charles I came with his army to Shrewsbury and the loyal Thomas presented the King with a purse of 500 guineas, for which the King conferred on him the honour of a knighthood.  When the town fell in 1644 Sir Thomas was amongst those taken prisoner.  Rowton Castle was captured in the following year and one account states that "His Lady gallantly held out in the Castle for nearly a fortnight against all efforts of the Republican Officer, Colonel Mytton, nor did she surrender her post till she had obtained good terms from the commander".  Whether or not this account is a true one is debatable, there seems to be a lack of cotemporary documentary evidence and it is the general opinion that Rowton Castle played a very small part in the Civil War.  Sir Thomas's son and heir, Richard made a will in 1696 and died the same year.  In this appears the following paragraph upon which depends the writer's conjecture in "appoint my executor to expand one thousand pounds in building a house at Rowton upon the bank where the Old Castle stands, or near thereunto for the benefit and advantage of the person and persons upon whom the managing of Rowton is settled..."  It is most unfortunate that no view of the Civil War Castle exists and it is even more disappointing to know that a collection of ancient deeds which were passed into the hands of the son of the last owner when the castle was sold in 1922 were destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War.  Documentary evidence is lacking to show how Richard Lyster's instructions concerning the building of Rowton Castle were carried out, and if anyone reading this article should be able to offer and fragment evidence however small it will be most gratefully received by the writer.  On examining the castle it obviously stands on a bank, the walls and fireplace embrasures the central portion are extremely thick and the red brickwork and chimneys which show at the back are said to be Tudor.