Tong Castle was a very large mostly Gothic country house in Shropshire between Wolverhampton and Telford, set within a park landscaped by Capability Brown, on the site of a medieval castle of the same name.
The original castle was built in the 12th century. During the Civil War it was defended for the King by William Careless, and afterwards by George Mainwaring. The original structure was demolished in 1765 after the estate had been purchased by George Durant  who built the house illustrated.
The building has been described both as an "architectural mongrel" and more flatteringly as "the first real gothic building in Shropshire". While at first glance there appear some anomalies of design, such as the ogee domes which though Gothic in shape are more redolent of the English Renaissance style, the house was actually in the Strawberry Hill Gothic style popularized by Horace Walpole.
Walpole's Gothic house at Strawberry Hill was begun in 1749, expanded in 1760, and completed in 1776. Thus the comparatively early date of 1765 for Tong Castle to be erected in this fairly rare style would today have made Tong of the highest architectural grading class. The crenellated towers and pediments coupled with the paned, rather than traditional Gothic leaded, windows crowned by ogee curves are typical of this style, as too are the generous bay windows with circular windows and cruciform motifs in the upper levels. The later 19th-century Gothic tended to be more ecclesiastical and sombre in mood, with dark rooms lit by lancet windows while the earlier Gothic had larger windows and a "joie de vivre" of design not found in later versions of the style.
In 1756, Maria Fitzherbert (born Mary Ann Smythe) was born in Tong Castle. She eventually married George IV (when he was the Prince of Wales) after being twice widowed. She died in Brighton in 1837 without being formally recognised as George IVs wife due to her Catholic lineage and that official sanction to the marriage had not been given by George's father, King George III.
The house passed from the Durant family in 1854 to the Earl of Bradford. The Earl had no wish to live at Tong but expanded his estate in the area and let the house. In 1911 the house was damaged by fire and remained unrestored and increasingly structurally unstable until demolished in 1954 and the site is currently part of the route of the M54 motorway.
- Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings
- Greenslade, p. 115
- George Durant 1734-1780. He was the son of a country rector and an interesting character, who was shipped abroad following an affair with Lady Littelton, of Hagley Hall - while away from England in the West Indies he made his fortune in the slave trade - returning a wealthy man, he subsequently rebuilt Tong castle. Ref:BBC.CO.UK
- Auden, J E (2007). Frost, Joyce, ed. Notes on the history of Tong from the parish books. Bury St Edmonds: Arima. p. 124. ISBN 1-84549-010-X.
- Jefferey, chap 5
- Worsley, somewhere near the beginning!
- Greenslade, Michael, (2006) Catholic Staffordshire, Leominster. ISBN 0-85244-655-1
- BBC.CO.UK retrieved 23 March 2007
- Jeffery, Robert (2007). Discovering Tong, Its History, Myths and Curiosities. Privately Published. ISBN 978-0-9555089-0-5.
- Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings retrieved 23 March 2007
- Worsley, Giles (2002). England's lost Houses. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 1-85410-820-4.