|Location||Luton, Bedfordshire, England (Google Maps)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
Built in the 15th Century, Someries Castle resides in the beautiful county of Bedfordshire, England. The castle was built by Sir John Wenlock and was called a fortified manor house of Wenlock for a period of time. Presently, the castle provides a perfect picnic spot for families, and visitors have claimed that it is haunted, making the site all the more intriguing.
History of Someries Castle
Someries Castle adapts its name from William de Someries, whose manor resided on this site around the 13th Century. The place was bought by Sir John Wenlock in 1430, after which the manor was rebuilt according to his preferences and turned into a mansion. Sir John Wenlock was a speaker of the House of Commons and High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The mansion was one of the earliest residential houses using bricks in England.
After the death of Sir John Wenlock, the estate was passed on to Thomas Rotherham, Bishop of Lincoln and later Archbishop of York. King James I had also visited the castle in 1605 when the descendants of Thomas Rotherham occupied it. However, the castle fell into despair and got destroyed due to centuries of neglect.
The locals of Bedfordshire have often claimed that the castle is haunted by the ghost of Sir John Wenlock, which according to historians, could be due to the fact that he was not able to complete the construction of the castle during his time. Visitors have also heard strange noises from the chapel and the gatehouse alongside the castle. Still, thousands of visitors yearly visit Someries Castle to sate their curiosity about the castle.
Being listed amongst the ‘First Brick Buildings’ in the United Kingdom, Someries Castle was considered unique in its structure for its elaborate brickwork. In its prime, the castle had 25 rooms and 23 hearths. What remains today of the Norman castle are the gatehouse, chapel, and lodge. The gatehouse was built in a castle barbican gateway, with pillars flanking an entrance passage leading to the courtyard. The gatehouse and chapel stand roofless today. The rectangular chapel can be seen today from the northeast end of the gatehouse, measuring roughly 16m x 5m. The chapel has a large Perpendicular Gothic window which gives a brief insight into the construction style.
However, the beautiful garden area lying southwest of the castle is on private land today but can be seen from the fence circling the gatehouse and chapel.
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