Someries Castle

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Someries Castle
Near Hyde, Bedfordshire in England
Someries Castle.jpg
Someries Castle is located in Bedfordshire
Someries Castle
Someries Castle
Shown within Bedfordshire
Coordinates51°52′08″N 000°22′33″W / 51.86889°N 0.37583°W / 51.86889; -0.37583Coordinates: 51°52′08″N 000°22′33″W / 51.86889°N 0.37583°W / 51.86889; -0.37583
grid reference TL539387
TypeFortified manor house
Site information
Site history
Built1400 (1400)
In use1400–Present

Someries Castle (sometimes spelt Summeries castle)[1] is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, in the Parish of Hyde, near the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, England. It was built in the 15th century by Sir John Wenlock, whose ghost is reputed to haunt the castle.[2] Although always referred to as a castle it was actually a fortified manor house.

The name of "Someries Castle" was derived from William de Someries (or Somerys),[3] who had a residence on this site, but the title "castle" is contentious since it hardly describes the structure to which it is applied. The site was acquired by Wenlock in 1430 and building the mansion commenced. The house is regarded as one of the first brick buildings in England.[4] The house was never completed by Wenlock, and was partly demolished in the 18th century. The brickwork can still be seen in the remains of the gatehouse, incorporating the chapel and lodge, which still stands today.

Ruins of Someries Castle, Bedfordshire

The remains of the original manor house and/or the earlier Norman Castle are now visible only as earthworks that outline the plot where the house originally stood, although remains of the gatehouse to the actual manor house and the chapel that was connected to it, are still partially standing. Some bricks from the manor house were used to build the nearby farm houses in the 17th century.[5]

The castle closed to the public in February 2007 in order to make the structure safe and was surrounded by scaffolding, which damaged the original brickwork. It reopened in 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Someries Castle". Gatehouse. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  2. ^ Ash, Russell (1973). Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. Reader's Digest Association Limited. p. 278. ISBN 9780340165973.
  3. ^ Davis, Frederick (1874). Luton, Past and Present: Its History and Antiquities. p. 93. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  4. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (2002). Bedfordshire Huntingdon and Peterborough. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09581-3.
  5. ^ The author Joseph Conrad lived in the neighbouring farmhouse from 1907 to 1909 while writing the novel Under Western Eyes.

Further reading[edit]

  • T. P. Smith, "Someries Castle", Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, 3, 35–51, 1966.
  • T. P. Smith, "Someries Castle: some reconsiderations", Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, 5, 109–112, 1970.
  • T. P. Smith, "The early brickwork of Someries Castle, Bedfordshire and its place in the history of English brick building," Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 129, 42–58, 1976.

External links[edit]