A settlement has existed on the site since the Bronze Age over 4000 years ago. Beeston Castle lies at the heart of Cheshire. Started in 1226 by Ranulf de Blundeville it was later used by King Henry III during his conquest of Wales in the 13th Century and later again in the Civil War. It was a Royalist stronghold but after being defeated by the Parliamentarians its defences was demolished in 1646. Its design was unusual at the time and reflects a castle in Syria which Ranulf saw whilst on the crusades. Situated 500ft high on a cliff of red sandstone the views over the Cheshire Plain are spectacular.
It is said that King Richard II hid a vast fortune of gold coins and other precious objects at Beeston before he went on a trip to Ireland in 1399. On his return he was captured by the Duke of Lancaster, later Henry IV and never returned to claim his treasure.
Today visitors can explore the castle on their own, by using one of the guidebooks and will understand more about its history when they go to see the museum, the exhibitions and the books and other items in the shop.
Other sites of interest
Peckforton Castle: the castle sits on a hill adjacent to Beeston. Although built as a nineteenth century Victorian home, the castle is modelled on twelfth century castle designs. See website: www.peckfortoncastle.co.uk
The Pheasant Pub, Burwardsley: perched on a hill above the village, this pub offers spectacular views over Cheshire. Accommodation is also available. See website: www.thepheasantinn.co.uk
Candle Factory: particularly popular with children and families, this is located in the nearby village of Burwardsley.
Cheshire Farm Ice-Cream and Tea rooms, Tattenhall: a fully working dairy farm, with rare breeds and birds of prey, the site produces over 30 different flavours of ice cream and a farm shop with other local delicacies. See website: www.cheshirefarmicecream.co.uk