Saturday 08 August 2020

Castle Place Farm

The present brick house, with some Georgian features, was built in the early 19th century and is the third on the site, the first being a cottage dating from 1580. Castle Place derives its name from a large circular depression, apparently natural, which surrounds the house and was known as Toppings Castle.

The farm was part of the Gatten Estate, owned by the Hulton-Harrops, until bought in 1917 by John Hobson, great grandfather of the present occupier Andrew Hobson.

There used to be a slaughterhouse or knackers yard nearby and large quantities of horseshoes have been ploughed up in the area including two rare circular ones. Remains of numerous old coal mine workings are visible across the farmland.

A strange feature of the site is a free standing, brick-built chimney; its purpose is unknown but there is evidence of a flue-like structure attached to it on some old maps. It has been suggested that there might have been some steam powered machinery at the farm at some time and that the chimney was for the smoke from the boiler. There are a number of farms with very similar chimneys in north Shropshire.