UK Travel Guide


Beeston Castle

Description: Standing majestically on sheer, rocky crags, Beeston has perhaps the most stunning views from any castle in England. Its history stretches back over 4,000 years, to when it was a Bronze Age hill fort. The huge castle was built from 1226 and soon became a royal stronghold, only falling centuries later during the English Civil War. The present castle was built after knights returning from the Holy Land in the thirteenth century, told of mighty fortresses, perched high on craggy cliffs - majestic and virtually impregnable. Inspired by what he had heard, Earl Ranulf of Chester set about building himself just such a castle, on a site that must rank as one of the most dramatic in all England. From the great crag of Beeston Castle, you can see from the Welsh mountains in the west to the Pennines in the East, and to the Wrekin in the south. On a clear day, you can see eight counties. It wasn't just the position of Beeston that was inspired by the great castles of the Holy Land. With snaking walls and rock- cut ditches, its construction is similar, too. After Ranulf's death the castle's fortune declined, although one fortune - Richard II's treasure - is said to be buried at the bottom of the well, over 100 metres below ground. The castle rose to prominence again briefly during the Civil War, when it was captured by the Royalists, then besieged by Cromwell's troops, who succeeded in starving their opponents.
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Notes: The castle is open to the public from 1 April to 30 September it is open daily from 10am to 6pm and 1 October- 31 March it is open daily from 10am to 4pm (6pm/dusk in October).