Walden Castle

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Walden Castle
Essex, England
Walden castle.jpg
The ruins of Walden castle
Walden Castle is located in Essex
Walden Castle
Walden Castle
Type Keep and bailey
Site information
Condition Ruined

Walden Castle was a medieval castle in Essex, England, built during the Anarchy of the 12th century.

History[edit]

Walden Castle was built in the town of Saffron Walden in Essex at the start of the civil war known as the Anarchy by Geoffrey de Mandeville, with much of the work occurring between 1141 and 1143.[1] This was one of several castles built by Geoffrey to reinforce his power across the region.[2] The castle stood on a natural high point within the town (grid reference TL539387) and featured a square Norman keep and a bailey wall, forming a substantial fortification.[2] Geoffrey was arrested under questionable circumstances by King Stephen in 1143, and ordered to hand over various castles, including Walden; Geoffrey initially agreed, but promptly reneged on this agreement once released, launching a military campaign against the king's strongholds in Cambridgeshire in an attempt to free up the route south to Walden.[3] Geoffrey died during a siege the following year, still not having reclaimed Walden.[4] Henry II ordered the castle, with the keep probably still unfinished, to be slighted in 1157.[1]

Today the town of Saffron Walden's streets are still shaped by the outline of the castle bailey.[2] Only the ruined core of the castle remain, with most of the stones stolen over the intervening centuries; the castle is a scheduled monument and a Grade I listed building.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pettifer, p.76; "Saffron Walden Castle", Gatehouse website, accessed 21 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Pettifer, p.76.
  3. ^ Bradbury, pp.143–5.
  4. ^ Bradbury, p.146.
  5. ^ "Saffron Walden Castle", Gatehouse website, accessed 21 April 2011.

Bibliography[edit]