Victoriam image

Victorian (1837 – 1901)

The tenants of Tamworth Castle
From 1844 until her death in 1861 Miss Hester Wolfestan rented the castle. According to the 1851 census returns, Hester was 72, she was a spinster who lived at the Castle with her footman, cook and two housemaids.  

In 1867 Thomas Cooke - a wealthy textile manufacturer - took over the tenancy of the Castle. He owned a warehouse in Church Street and a factory on Lichfield Street, producing functional, practical garments for working class people.   His business provided jobs for 500 people in Tamworth.  

Thomas was a widower and lived at the castle with his grown up family. However in 1884 Thomas, aged 61, married for a second time to Frances Wann, 35 years.  

Thomas and Frances had one daughter named Aethelflaeda born 1884. The Cooke’s were obliged to leave the castle in 1897 when the Townshend family decided to sell the property. Thomas and his family moved to Leamington Spa in 1904.

Tamworth Castle was sold to Tamworth corporation – later Tamworth Borough Council - for the people of Tamworth. The Castle cost £3,000 and opened as a museum two years later in 1899.