Monument details

HER Number:1733/1/0
Type of record:Archaeology
Name:Beeston Castle


Beeston Castle has a long history as a defensive site. Its lofty position on a rock outcrop gives it a commanding view across Cheshire, Wales, Merseyside and the Pennines. Beeston was listed among the possessions of Robert Fitz Hugh, Baron of Malpas in the Domesday survey of 1086. The Castle was built by Ranulph de Blundeville, 6th Earl of Chester in around 1220. He was succeeded by his nephew, John le Scot, who died without a male heir in 1237. Henry III (1216 - 1272) annexed Cheshire and the Castle came into crown hands. It figured in the Barons' War of 1264 - 1265 when it was garrisoned by Simon de Montefort. In late thirteenth century and early fourteenth century Edward I (reign 1272 - 1307) carried out alterations, including raising the height of the inner bailey walls and crenelating them. After this there was no further development. By the sixteenth century the Castle was "shattered and ruinous". In the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), the Castle was sold to the Beestons and a will of 1627 - 1628 refers to "two poore kynsmen" living in Beeston Castle. Beeston also played an important role in the Civil War. In 1643, 200-300 Parliamentary troops occupied the Castle and their leader, William Brereton, filled the gaps with mud walls, The outer ward was probably the main living quarters of the garrison and the chief military stronghold. The upper ward was probably largely deserted but for sentries. The force was reduced and in December 1643 nine Royalists led by Captain Sandford forced the garrison to surrender. The Castle remained in Royalist hands for almost two years, but in November 1645 it fell to the Parliamentarians. Two months later warrants were issued for the "pullinge downe and utter defacings of Beeston Castle", to prevent its repeated use as a stronghold.


Monument Types

  • HILLFORT? (Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • CASTLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BATTLEFIELD (CIVIL WAR - 1642 AD to 1649 AD)
  • QUARRY (AD 18TH CENTURY to AD 19TH CENTURY - 1700 AD to 1899 AD)
Protected Status:Listed Building (I) 1130513: WALLS OF THE OUTER BAILEY AT BEESTON CASTLE; Listed Building (I) 1330329: WALLS, TOWERS AND GATEHOUSE OF THE INNER BAILEY AT BEESTON CASTLE; Listed Building (II) 1130512: THE LODGE AT BEESTON CASTLE; Conservation Area 117: Beeston; Scheduled Monument 1007900: Beeston Castle; Medieval Enclosure Castle And Site Of Late Prehistoric Hillfort

Related records

1733/1/1Related to: Beeston Castle - Inner Bailey (Monument)
1733/1/2Related to: Beeston Castle - Outer Bailey (Monument)

Cheshire East Council and Cheshire West & Chester Council - Working in Partnership
Heritage Lottery Fund