Hedingham Castle

Hedingham Castle - Medieval Castle - Medieval England - Aubrey de Vere Family - Middlesex - Essex - Medieval History - Middle Ages HistoryThe 110-foot tall keep of Hedingham Castle still towers above the landscape of modern day England. Surrounded by trees and an open green stretching away from the main entrance stairway, the Norman keep stands as the last remnant of a once magnificent medieval castle.

Home to the de Vere family for five centuries, Aubrey II first built the castle in 1140. Aubrey’s father, Aubrey de Vere, was one of William the Conqueror’s most loyal knights, and he fought with William at the Battle of Hastings. In return for his service, William granted Aubrey lands in several counties, including Middlesex. The de Veres were a rich and powerful family in medieval England, and Hedingham had the privilege of entertaining royal guests over the years such as King Henry VII, King Henry VIII, and Queen Elizabeth I.

Queen Matilda dubbed Aubrey III the 1st Earl of Oxford. The 2nd Earl, also Aubrey, fought with Richard the Lionheart, and Robert, the 3rd Earl, sided with the barons against King John, eventually forcing him to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

The de Veres fought at other important battles throughout history, including: the siege of Caerlaverock, the Battle of Crecy, the Battle of Poitiers, the Battle of Agincourt, and Bosworth.

The Archbishop of Canterbury served as the architect of Hedingham Castle, and to this day, a member of the de Vere family still owns it.

Sources (text):

“Explore the History: The de Vere Family.” Hedingham Castle. http://www.hedinghamcastle.co.uk/history.htm (accessed June 25, 2009).

“Castle Hedingham: Keep.” Ancient and Medieval History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE49&iPin=AMH278&SingleRecord=True (accessed June 25, 2009).

Source (image):

*image retrieved from http://www.castlexplorer.co.uk

3 thoughts on “Hedingham Castle

  • Glad to see that Hedingham Castle is still standing! It’s been over 20 years since I visited the castle – thank you for giving me a little reminder of its history. I would like to add your blog to my blogroll . . . I’m slowly (and I do mean slowly) putting together a resource site for Medieval history enthusiasts – hope to have things more complete within the next month. Also visit my blog at http://www.medieval-living.com/wordpress/index.php

    Thanks,
    Scott

  • Thanks for stopping by Scott. I’d be honored to have my site on your blogroll. I’ll do likewise, and add your site to my list. I will also subscribe to your blog, so I can keep apprised of your updates.

    Hedingham Castle looks a lot like the castle in one of the opening sequences of the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves movie with Kevin Costner. Do you know if that was the castle they used by chance?

  • Also, Scott, I went to your blog and was trying to add a comment to one of your posts, but kept receiving an error. Not sure if you’ve noticed that or not.

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