Beaudesert Castle

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Beaudesert Castle
Beaudesert Castle.jpg
Beaudesert Castle is located in Warwickshire
Beaudesert Castle
Location within Warwickshire
General information
Town or cityBeaudesert, Warwickshire
Coordinates52°17′34″N 1°46′16″W / 52.292733°N 1.771172°W / 52.292733; -1.771172Coordinates: 52°17′34″N 1°46′16″W / 52.292733°N 1.771172°W / 52.292733; -1.771172

Beaudesert Castle was on a high mound overlooking the village of Beaudesert to the east of Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire (grid reference SP15606613). It is a scheduled ancient monument.[1]

The remains found on the site show that it was originally an Iron Age fort[2] which gave the mount its ancient name, Donnilee.[3] The hilltop and the surrounding area was "sculpted" to form a motte and bailey fortification with its timber Hall following the Norman conquest.[4] It was followed by the construction of a stone castle. According to sources it was Thurston De Montfort who built the stone castle here in 1140 during the reign of Henry II,[5] and it remained the seat of De Montforts for more than a hundred years.[6] Peter de Montfort also resided at the castle. The Earl of Warwick took possession of the lands of De Montforts in approximately 1369, and subsequently the castle's importance declined. According to some accounts it was repaired in 1411 but later abandoned.[7] During the early years of the War of the Roses, between York and Lancaster, the castle, which was then unoccupied and had fallen into disuses, was dismantled, and its heavy timbers were, according to some sources, used for the construction of stately houses at Henley.[8][9] A single stone and earthworks remain today, along with evidence of two fishponds and some remains of the motte and bailey fortification.[10]

The site was investigated by the archaeologists of Time Team in series 9 (2002).[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Historic England. "Beaudesert Castle (331123)". Heritage Gateway. Retrieved 4 March 2008.
  2. ^ The Army Quarterly. W. Clowes & sons, Limited. 1954.
  3. ^ Association, British Archaeological (1873). Journal of the British Archaeological Association. British Archaeological Association.
  4. ^ Friar, Stephen (2003). The Sutton Companion to Castles. Sutton. ISBN 978-0-7509-2744-4.
  5. ^ Long, Peter (2004). The Hidden Places of England. Travel Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-904434-12-2.
  6. ^ Moule, Thomas (1837). The English Counties Delineated: Or, A Topographical Description of England. G. Virtue.
  7. ^ Historic England. "Beaudesert Castle: motte and bailey castle and two fishponds, Beaudesert (1012703)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
  8. ^ Smith (Topographer), William (1891). A New & Compendious History, of the County of Warwick: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time, Comprising Views, of the Principal Towns, Buildings, Modern Improvements, Seats of the Nobility & Gentry, Ecclesiastical Edifices &c &c. W. Emans.
  9. ^ Country Life. Country Life, Limited. 1923.
  10. ^ Courts, Robert (2002). "Beaudesert Castle - Warwickshire". Archived from the original on 1 November 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
  11. ^ Time Team; programme 11 of series 9