Pictures of Beeston Castle
About Beeston Castle
Set on a lonely hillside along the run of the Peckforton Hills, lie the ruins of Beeston Castle. It was built in the 12th-century by Ranulph de Blundeville, the 6th Earl of Chester, and was one of the first castle's to be built based on fortifications in the Middle East where the earl had travelled during the Crusades.
Ranulph chose his site carefully, access was difficult but the view must have been as it still is, singularly spectacular. The castle was to be built without a keep, its defence depended upon the strength of its wall towers and powerful gate-house. Unfortunately, Ranulph did not live to see completion of his dream, and neither did his son, who outlived him by only five years.
At this time, with no male heirs, the line ran out and both the earldom of Chester and the castle went to the Crown. Edward III used it as a base from which to mass his army against the Welsh. It was never used as a Royal residence, and once the Welsh campaigns came to an end, there was little use for Beeston.
The castle spent years in decline before it was taken on by a local landowner at the end of the 16th-century. Sir Hugh Beeston of Beeston Hall acquired it from the Crown. He used it as accommodation for members of his family, and farmed the lands.
When the Civil War broke out the Crown hastily reclaimed Beeston, which met with mixed fortunes. It fell first to the Parliamentarians and then to the Royalists. Chester surrendered in 1646, when the jubilant Parliamentarians set about tearing Beestons powerful walls down.
Very little remains of this historic building, but what is there is evocative of days long since passed, it is well worth seeing - so is the view of Wales and the distant Pennines.
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