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08-Mar-2018 19:27

Following its surrender, the king ordered the castle’s destruction.

Today only part of the motte can be seen, forming part of an archaeological park. Standing on a rocky crag high above the Cheshire Plain, Beeston Castle was built in the 1220s by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, on his return from the Crusades.

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Built by the ambitious Heydon family between 1460-1486 as a simple manor house, it was later fortified and enlarged as the family’s wealth grew. Once the Royal Seat of the Kings of Northumbria, the first written reference to the castle dates from AD 547, when it was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia.During the English Civil War the castle was subject to a prolonged siege between September 1645 and its surrender in March 1646.The surrender terms demanded that the castle be slighted (demolished).The castle remained in good repair until the 16th century, when it was considered to be of no further strategic importance.

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It was partly demolished in 1646, in accordance with Cromwell’s destruction order, to prevent its further use as a stronghold.

The castle has been the hereditary stately home of the Duke of Norfolk for over 400 years, and remains the principal seat of the Norfolk family.