Hotel built from ruins has lasted 300 years
Much has changed in the last three centuries, but one Shropshire hotel can claim to have passed the test of time as it prepares to mark 300 years since it opened for business.
It was in 1719 that the Castle Hotel was built at the top of the hill overlooking Bishop's Castle, and it has remained continually open ever since.
Current owners Henry and Rebecca Hunter are marking the occasion with a party this weekend, to celebrate its history and look to the future.
"It's one of those momentous numbers that we thought we would have to make a bit of an occasion of an celebrate in some way," said Henry.
"We have sent an open invitation out to everyone in town, who have all been very supportive.
"I suppose the truth of the matter is – it's a bit of cliché – that it feels like we are the custodians of the property at this particular time, given the long line of landlords who have had the hotel.
Built on the site of the original Bishop’s Castle, using stone from its ruins, the hotel was once owned by Clive of India.
Hailing from Oswestry, Henry and Rebecca had no idea of its rich history when they bought the hotel in 2010.
"It is something we have taken a very keen interest in since we bought the property," said Henry.
"We have guest books that go back 200 years with some quite famous historical people listed in them.
"We have actually commissioned a book on the history of the hotel to be produced this year.
"The weight of its history is certainly felt. We don't claim to be the oldest hotel in the country, but we are one of the oldest to be continually open. We have never closed or been a private house in all that time.
"Bishop's Castle has got a wonderful checkered history and the Castle Hotel has really been a part of that, and long may it continue."
Bishop's Castle Heritage Resource Society, which is compiling the book, will have a stall at this weekend's event outlining the building's 300-year history.
There will be a fire engine on site to explore as well as other stalls and games, and guests can also try a limited edition speciality real ale 'Clive of India Pale Ale', brewed by The Three Tuns for the event.
The celebration, which is fundraising for MIND and Bishop's Castle firefighters, will run from 3pm to 6pm on Sunday and will also include performances from musicians the Jonny Keeley Band and 2017 The Voice contestant Zoe Hedge.