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Beaumys Castle
Kidnap at the Castle

Moated Beaumys Castle stands next to the A33, just within the bounds of the parish of Swallowfield. The original 13th century house was owned by Geoffrey Le Despencer, Lord of Martley in Worcestershire, and it was probably here that his son, Sir John - the founder of the parish church - died in 1274. The moat was dug for his nephew, Hugh Le Despencer, the favourite of Edward II. When disgraced by Queen Isabella in 1322, Hugh fled the court and Mortimer, her lover, raided many Despencer lands including Beaumys. It was later the home of the De La Beche Family. Sir Nicholas rose to the rank of Lord De la Beche and was made Constable of the Tower & Seneschal of Gascony. He oversaw the education of the Black Prince, but died childless in 1345. His widow, Margery, remarried twice in short succession and her husbands are believed to have died of the Black Death. It was while staying at Beaumys with Prince Lionel, and several other children of King Edward III, that this widowed lady was abducted by her lover. Sir John Dalton broke in with sixty-four Berkshire and Lincolnshire squires and made off with, the not so reluctant, Margery to Scotland.


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