The rise and fall of Bedford Castle discovered in weekend guided walk

b10-1259  Castle Mound, Bedford. JE   wk38 ENGPNL00120130508093928
b10-1259 Castle Mound, Bedford. JE wk38 ENGPNL00120130508093928

The story of Bedford Castle and how it came under siege in the 13th century can be discovered in the latest guided walk.

The Rise And Fall Of Bedford Castle is the title of the walk, led by the Bedford Association of Tour Guides, and is particularly relevant in this 800th year of the sealing of Magna Carta by King John.

There was almost certainly some sort of castle structure on the current site, now known as Castle Mound, as early as Saxon times, and the building then became part of the story of the feud between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda in the 12th Century. However, it was as part of the conflict between King John and his rebel barons that the castle really came to prominence.

Falkes de Breaute, who was a great supporter of King John, had seized Bedford Castle from its rightful owners with the support of the King. Falkes went on to lead the Royalist army, then headed by the King of France, against the barons. In the Battle of Lincoln Fair in May 1217, Falkes was taken prisoner but was rescued. However the new young King, Henry III, now realised where Falkes’ loyalties really lay and when complaints were lodged with the King about the

behaviour of de Breaute in Bedford, the scene was set for further conflict culminating in the siege of 1224.

The walk on Sunday, August 9, leaves the Old Town Hall in St Paul’s Square, at 11am.

Booking is essential at the Travel and Tourist Information Centre on 01234 718112.