A 1776 engraving of the House from "The Antiquities of England and Wales"
House & Family History: The core of Dudley Castle is Norman, having been built circa 1071. In 1530 the Castle was rebuilt as a Renaissance palace by John Dudley (later beheaded by Queen Mary for his involvement in the plot to put Lady Jane Grey on the throne). Dudley Castle was visited by Queen Elizabeth I; during the Civil War the Castle was a Royalist stronghold, but surrendered in 1646 following the defeat of Charles I at Naseby. The Castle was a seat of the earls of Dudley until 1750, when it was gutted by a huge fire that burned for three days. In 1937 the Dudley family founded the Dudley Zoo in the grounds, a purpose for which it still serves today.
House Listed: Grade I
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: John Dudley, 16th century. John Ward, 1st Viscount Dudley and Ward, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Charity / Nonprofit
Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction
Ownership Details: The Castle ruin is owned by the Dudley & West Midlands Zoological Society Ltd., a charity which operates a zoo in the grounds.