Bedford Castle
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Archaeographer
N 52° 08.138 W 000° 27.857
30U E 673538 N 5779157
Quick Description: Motte and bailey castle built before AD 1130, dismantled following the great siege of AD 1224.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 2/1/2011 2:01:29 PM
Waymark Code: WMAN50
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member manchanegra
Views: 8

Long Description:
At its most extensive, the motte and baileys covered a total area of about 3 hectares. In 1215 the castle was held by baron William de Beauchamp when it was seized Falkes de Bréauté, a foreign mercenary in the service of King John. Falkes then embarked on a expensive programme of works to upgrade the defences - clearly fancying his chances as a man to be reckoned with. He also demonstrated contempt for the law which culminated in 1224 with the kidnap of a king's justice, Henry de Braybrook by Falkes's brother William. The new and youthful king, Henry III, demanded that William release the justice and relinquish Bedford Castle. When William refused the king gathered his forces and laid siege to the castle, eventually capturing it. Falkes was not present at the siege, but William and the other defenders were captured put to death. The king then ordered the site be returned to William de Beauchamp but not before the castle had been completely dismantled. William de Beauchamp was no longer permitted a licence to crenellate, so it is possible that his family abandoned the site, which was described as a 'void plot' in the 14th century. From that day on until recently all that remained to be seen of the great castle was the massive earth mound of the castle motte. In 2007 archaeologists uncovered some of the castle walls as part of a new development. These walls have been preserved in situ and can now be seen on the site. There is also a medieval lime kiln built into the basement of one of the new buildings and Bedford Museum, which is on part of the castle site, displays some of the finds from excavations.
Accessibility: Full access

Condition: Completely ruined

Admission Charge?: no

Website: [Web Link]

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Master Mariner visited Bedford Castle 1/23/2016 Master Mariner visited it