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Historic Soulton 

Prehistory

Signs of settlement here go back to the Neolitich (about 5,500 years ago), with the example of worked flint pictured below being and found in 2017 being the first sign of human activity here.  Slightly later, in the Bronze Age, a barrow was built to the east, and localy, in Iron Age a significant settlement was extabilshed at at near by Burry Walls. 

Roman Times

The Romans build their road from Uriconium (Wroxeter today) to Mediolanum (Whitchurch today) over part of our farm, and a small town - Rutunio - developed somewhere very close indeed to the current hall, but its exact location has been lost. In the Dark Ages the manor found itself on the frontier between Powys and Mercia, and legend places King Arthur close by at Hawkstone.  Recent investigations by researchers at University of Cambridge Archaeology has granted us amazing insights into this early period of development here, see the startling LIDAR image beow (more detail on this can be found here.)

 

The Saxon and Norman Period 

The manor has been in continuous existence and occupation since before the Norman conquest. The first known owner being Britric the Saxon, brother of Edric, last Ealdorman of Mercia. The Anglo Saxon chroniclers were not fans... describing him as fleeting, ambitious and proud and he was -- with his brother -- slain by King Cnut in London on Christmas Day 1017.

The Anarchy and the Adulterine Castle 

After the Conquest of 1066, during the turbulent anarchy of king stephen and empress matilda in the 1130s, and fort was bult close by the manor to the north: the site of which is still visible to the north east of Soulton Hall -- its remains are strikingly visible to this day and the scale is expresed in the video below.  

At this time the manor of Soulton belonged to King's Chapel at Shrewsbury Castle, granted by the Earl of Shrewsbury.  The Castle Chapel transferred the manor to the Kynaston family sometime in the 11th century, and they in turn gave occupation to the de Soulton family. There was a dispute about this arrangement. which reached the kings courts at Westminster in the late 1200s. The lawyer for tht claimants, a man named Yvo, ended up with the manor, and became of the first MPs for the county.  The earliest surviving deed for the manner is dated 1399. Shortly after this a further deed survives, which addresses a boundary dispute, and rules (amusingly to modern ears) that: the boundary shall go from the bend in the river, to the pile of stones, to the damaged tree.  

It is thought that the remains of a deserted medieval village are located to the north of the hall along Soulton Road (the road may have moved south at some point after the 1100s).

By the thirteenth century Robert Corbett and his family were living at Soulton, which a fortified manor house on the site of the Norman castle, but sometime around 1420, the manor house on the moated site was burnt down. When the manor house was rebuilt it was moved to its current site, at first a classic three bay manor house was constructed.  Some medieval ridge and furrow survives where the 50 acre woodland now stands, with the mill race of that period also still obvious, underlining how dynamic the landscape has been here under human management thousand years and more.  Again, the LIDAR below shows this:

The Tudor Period 

The manor was purchases in 1556 by Sir Rowland Hill -- the first protestant Lord Mayor of London (1549). He remodelled the hall and extended it to the building that can be seen today.

In 1668, his descendant, Thomas Hill, High Sheriff of Shropshire and a friend of Samuel Pepys placed his marital coat of arms above the front door.Soulton Brook was used by the Duke of Bridgewater to trial the creation of canals in the 18th century. During this time the gardens were immense - today we have a Tudor walled garden which is by no means small, but in thse days the garden whould have stretched for hundreds of meters to the south and east and, if you refer to the LIDAR images above you can see features still discernible off to the south and east in what are now fields within the farm land.

1700s and later

Shropshire Accommodation History

In the centuries since the stewardship of this palce has continued peacefully with the devolpment of an early model farm in the 1700s and other quite improvement.  

The video below shows a remarkable collection of Victorian pictures of life here.

Further Reading

You can find furher resources in the article below which contains various sources etc: 

Soulton Hall - Wikipedia

Our farm

Surrounding the hall and cottages, is our much cherished farm.  
We practice conservation agriculture which emphasizes the health of the soil and shares the landscape with nature - there is a 50 acre oak bluebell wood here. 
The video below is shows the recent harvest from the air - our guests are most welcome to enjoy and explore this restful setting.  

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01939 232786
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Soulton Hall, Soulton, Nr. Wem, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 5RS