t is not known when Bedford Castle was built but it is thought construction took place somewhere at the end of the eleventh century or at the start of the twelfth. The castle was built within the town and overlooks the River Great Ouse. The first castle on the site would have been a wooden motte and bailey but this was replaced with stone at a later date. In 1224 a lengthy siege took place at the castle when Fulkes de Breaut, the owner at the time, rebelled again the King, Henry III. The castle was badly damaged at the end of the siege. Very little remains of the castle today apart from the base of the motte but the site can be visited.
Around this time Edward the Elder expelled the Danes from Bedford and fortified the several towns with ditches. Bedord, Colchester, Huntingdon and Wigmore are examples of the towns whose defences were improved after the Danes left. ¹
The garrison at Bedford Castle, belonging to the rebel Falkes de Breute, refused to surrender to the Crown. Falkes had been repeated summonsed to account for his refusal to comply with agreement and when he refused to appear before the King the castle was surrounded. The castle fell when the keep was undermined. The garrison, who had surrendered the castle, were all hung on the order of the Justiciar. Falkes was allowed to leave the country but he lost all his possessions in doing so. Bedford Castle was badly damaged as a result. ¹
3D Virtual Reconstructions
Transport yourself back up to a thousand years and explore historical buildings as they may have appeared in the past. Built using the popular game development tool Unity 3D, these reconstructions will run in the most of the popular web browsers on your desktop or laptop computer.
Uncover the lives of the hundreds of kings, queens, lords, ladies, barons, earls, archbishops and rebels who made the medieval people an exciting period of history to live through.
Selection of references used:
1. Paul de Rapin-Thoyras, The History of England, Volume 5
2. John Kinross, Discovering Castles in England and Wales