TL 053-497 Bedfordshire England
Bedford Castle is an 11th century earthwork motte and bailey fortress, possibly founded by Ralf de Tallebosc. In the early 12th century, Hugh or Paye de Beauchamp founded the stone castle, when cladding the motte and adding a shell keep. When being held by William de Breaute, it was captured by forces loyal to King Henry III after the great siege of 1224 and ordered to be dismantled. The truncated flat-topped motte is flanked by the base of a later square tower and the large oval ward, supports the possible layout of a circular shell keep. To the west, archaeological investigations have found a stone lining on the inner side of the motte ditch and uncovered the surviving lower walls of the two storey Great Hall and adjacent structures, in the inner bailey. A second mound to the north of the motte, which is now covered with buildings is the possible site of an outer bailey angle tower. In the 19th century, the northern part of the motte was used as an icehouse and the surrounding streets give the layout of the inner and outer baileys, with part of the inner bailey ditch beneath Castle Lane. 3 miles east is Risinghoe Castle and 14 miles south is Higham Gobion Castle.
Bedford Castle is located in the town centre, off The Embankment. 57 miles north of London, on the A1-M1-A421.
The site is owned by Bedfordshire County Council and is freely accessible in daylight hours.
There is a car park nearby.