Tamworth Castle is a Norman motte and bailey castle set in the south-west corner of what was a Saxon burh; it’s located to dominate the approach over the two rivers which meet below the Castle.
Its sandstone walls and superb herringbone wall – all that survives of the “curtain wall” of the bailey are believed to date from the 1180s. They replaced a palisade and wooden tower, built on the present artificial mound shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Numerous additions and alterations have been made to the castle by succeeding generations of owners. Until in the late 1890s, Marquis Townshend decided to sell the Castle by auction. Tamworth Corporation purchased it to mark Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The purchase price of £3000 was later raised by public subscription and the Castle was formally opened and dedicated to the public two years later.
The principal part of the Natural History collection at Tamworth Castle was gifted to Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery in the late 1980s. The only items retained were a cased pike, a cased barn owl, a few antlers, heads of beasts, a mounted Sparrowhawk, a couple of small mammals, some mosses from Warwickshire and a small collection of gemstones.
Access is limited to those items on gallery display and those in the collection which are in store and could be used for research purposes.