A wet morning but I decided to do a favourite section of the Sandstone Trail and have a walk near Tarporley and take in a visit to Beeston Castle.
|The Castle on the Rock|
The medieval ruins of Beeston Castle stand on a rocky summit 500ft above the Cheshire plain, offering stunning views from the Pennines in the east to the mountains of Wales in the west.
The fortification dates from 1225 when it was built by Ranulf, the sixth Earl of Chester, and contains one of the deepest castle wells in the country.
The castle was seized by King Henry III in 1237 and used by him and later his son, King Edward I, as a base for their campaigns against the Welsh.
The castle was finally destroyed at the end of the Civil War.
Beeston Castle has commanding views over the Cheshire Plains and was ideal for defending the English border against the Welsh - with points around the compass; To the north - the Shropshire Union Canal, to the north east - Jodrell Bank radio telescopes, to the east - the Pennine Hills, due south - Shropshire's Wrekin Hill and the privately owned Peckforton Castle, to the west - the Welsh Mountains and to the north west Chester and Liverpool.
During the English Civil War, Beeston Castle was an important stronghold, playing an major part in the fighting in Cheshire, being occupied by both warring sides (Parliamentarians - the Roundheads and Royalists - the Cavaliers) at different times between 1642 and 1646.
Today Beeston Castle has a modern - mock castle - gatehouse and the site is walled. The whole area is slowly becoming naturalised with birch, rowan, oak and bracken but English Heritage have plans to control the growth and return the land features to the 13th century landscape. Ravens and lately Peregrine Falcons nest on the near vertical rock crags.