Broughton Castle

The History Of Broughton Castle

LocationBanbury, County of Oxfordshire, England (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned by21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele
Official WebsiteBroughton Castle
Rooms AvailableYes (Weddings, Filming, Events)

Broughton Castle is a gloriously fortified manor house near Banbury in North Oxfordshire. It is amidst the serene parkland of Broughton park, leaving the visitors in awe of its beauty.

History

Sir John de Broughton built the manor house in about 1300 in a sheltered site at the junction of three streams and encircled it with a sizeable moat. William Wykeham, Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England, purchased Broughton Castle in 1377. The castle passed to William’s great-nephew Sir Thomas Wykeham. Sir Thomas obtained a license in 1406 to crenellate and embattle the manor house. He added the battlemented wall to the gatehouse, providing the medieval house with a military appearance. These significant changes allowed the manor house to be called a castle.

The castle subsequently passed to Sir Thomas’s granddaughter, Margaret, who married Sir William Fiennes, later known as the 2nd Lord Saye & Sele, in 1448. The most important historical events at Broughton Castle occurred during the English Civil War. Owner at the time, William Fiennes, refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the King as he was a strong opponent of Charles I. Broughton Castle became a key meeting place for those who were against him. Fiennes raised a regiment against the Crown during the Civil War, and his four sons fought at the Battle of Edgehill. After the battle, Broughton Castle was captured and fell under siege. However, later in the conflict, William opposed the execution of Charles I and moved away from public office over the matter. As a result, a pardon was sanctioned for him by Charles II after the Restoration of Monarchy in 1660.

Broughton Castle fell into decay in the 19th century but was eventually rescued by Frederick Fiennes, 16th Lord Saye, and Sele. He brought in the prominent Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott to restore the castle.

Architecture

Broughton Castle, by Ann, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Broughton Castle is an amalgamation of beautiful parkland, striking buildings, and the three streams which allowed the construction of a large moat. The moat itself is six feet in depth and encircles an area of about 3 acres. The core of the house was built back in 1306 and the gatehouse in the early 15th century, but much of what can be seen today dates to the 1550s. The castle is magnificent, with the Great Hall having an impressive display of arms and armour from the English Civil War and the Fiennes family tree. The Oak Room is panelled with oak from floor to ceiling, while the Queen Anne room commemorates the visit of James I’s wife, Queen Anne of Denmark, in 1604.

The King’s Chamber was used by James I and Edward VII, while the oldest sections of the castle are the atmospheric dining room and passageways today. The passageways contain vaulted ceilings and a staircase that leads to the rare 14th-century chapel.

Broughton Castle events are the most sought after, especially to the visitors. The castle’s beauty has also attracted many couples to tie the knot at the castle and have the most special Broughton Castle Wedding.

Movie Features

Shakespeare In Love(1998)– Broughton Castle is featured in the History- Comedy Drama movie ‘Shakespeare In Love’ shows Shakespeare who is young, out of ideas, and short of cash. However, he meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Jane Eyre (2011)– The castle is also featured in the classic Romance Drama movie ‘Jane Eyre’ based on the book by Charlotte Bronte, about a mousy governess who softens the heart of her employer. However, she soon discovers that he’s hiding a terrible secret.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Broughton Castle?

Broughton Castle has been privately owned by the present 21st Lord and Lady Saye & Sele from the Fiennes family since 1447. 

Can you walk around Broughton Castle?

Yes, you can walk around Broughton Castle and explore the beautiful parkland. The visitors are welcome to visit without booking in advance and will be admitted inside the castle as soon as slots are available. 

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
Also, don’t forget to mention your name and social media profile link if you want the credits!

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