A SERIES of new aerial photographs has revealed the full extent of Beeston Castle’s land restoration project, which show the site returned to its Victorian heyday!
Recent good weather gave English Heritage’s photographer the perfect window to fly over the castle so that the restoration team could get an overhead view of how works undertaken in recent years have restored the site from an overgrown ‘jungle’ to its Victorian glory days!
When Beeston Castle came into the care of the Ministry of Works in the 1950s, all the grazing animals were removed from the site, and as a result, bracken and small trees started to take hold in areas that used to be field and grassland, so that by 2007, the site was barely recognisable. The iron-age ditch was masked by a mass of brambles, and the original site of the Bunbury Fair within the walls of the outer bailey was hidden under many feet of scrub, which also destroyed many of the historic views of the castle.
A major landscape management project started in late 2007, removing much of the scrub and young saplings that had self-seeded around the south-facing main entrance to the site, and re-opening pathway around the perimeter of the site that had been lost as the woodland had become increasingly dense.
“It was a huge job, and at times, when areas of lush foliage had been torn out leaving bare soil, the site did look quite shocking, but these photographs demonstrate that the work was completely worthwhile,” said Mark Hodgson, the site’s manager.
“For anyone who has not been to Beeston Castle for a couple of years, it is literally like having a whole new place to visit.”
The aerial photographs will go on display at Beeston Castle later this month.