eeston Castle's construction was started by Earl Ranulf, the sixth earl of Cheshire, in 1225 on the 500ft summit of the outcrop of rock after he returned from the Holy Land to find his lands being threatening by the Welsh. The location was originally the site of a settlement dating back to the Bronze Age. The design of the walls that Ranulf built being possibly based on the walls of Constantiople. Two sides of the castle's inner bailey on the summit of the hill are protected by sheer cliffs and the other two sides are protected by a deep ditch cut into the rock. The inner bailey is defended by a large gatehouse with two round towers and two more round towers in the inner walls. Every castle needs a well at its centre to supply fresh water and the well at Beeston is oen of the deepest examples in England.

The castle became the property of the Crown and improvements were made to its defences. In 1399 Richard II is supposed to have hidden treasure somewhere within Beeston Castle before being captured by the future Henry IV. Some treasure was discovered and handed over to Henry but some believe that there is more treasure to be found and the well is suspected to be the most likely location.

During the English Civil war the castle was commanded by a group of Parliamentarians who believed the castle could not be captured. But several skilled Royalist managed to scale the sheer cliffs on the northern side and took the castle by surprise. The Royalists held the castle until the end of the war at which point the Parliamentarians took control of it and ordered that it should be destroyed, and it has remained in a ruined state ever since.


Beeston Castle Key Facts
CountyCheshire (4 castles)
CategoriesStone / Cliff-top
RemainsNot complete but much survives
Access to siteOnly open at certain times
TimeRef Rating
TimeRef Comments
The view from the castle at the top of the hill is worth the climb. But take your time its a long way up.


YearMonthEvent
1225   Beeston Castle construction
 Returning from a spell crusading in the Holy Land, Ranulf, the fifth Earl of Cheshire started the construction of the castle at Beeston. 
1237   Beeston Castle claimed by Henry
 With the death of the last male heir of the Earldom of Cheshire, the earldom and castle at Beeston are claimed by Henry III. The castle was too important not to be in the hands of the crown. 
1264   Beeston Castle occupied
 During this year forces belonging to Simon de Montfort occupied and controlled the important Beeston Castle.[1] 
1399   Treasure found at Beeston Castle
 In this year Beeson Castle, which had belonged to Richard II, was handed over to Henry IV. In the castle a hoard of Richard's treasure was found. 
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1644   Beeston Castle under Royalist control
 A Royalist army controlled Beeston Castle during 1644 and held out against a siege by a Parliamentarian army.[1] 
1645 Nov  Beeston falls to the Parliamentarians
 The siege at Beeson Castle came to an end when the commander of the Royalists led his men out. The castle was deliberately damaged in 1644 so that it could not be used again.[1] 

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