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A history of Buckden Towers from 1086

1225-1514


Another Hugh (Hugh de Wells) built a new house at Buckden in around 1225. The previous structure had been of timber only. This new house was intended to be a more permanent building and its development was continued by Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln from 1235 to 1253, who was responsible for adding a Great Hall. He was another outstanding Churchman of the Middle Ages. Although loyal, he did not hesitate to oppose both the King, Henry III, and the Pope, Innocent IV, when his conscience dictated. He also tried, without success, to reconcile Henry and Simon de Montfort.

In 1291 a fire destroyed most of the buildings constructed by Hugh de Wells and Robert Grosseteste so that now only some stone foundations remain.

Construction of the Tower itself was completed by Bishop Rotherham in 1480 prior to his translation to the archbishopric of York. However, Bishop John Russell (1480 - 1494) was responsible for the majority of the extensive rebuilding on the site. The arms of Bishop Russell can be seen on the Inner Gatehouse (1480) and on the south gable front. They comprise azure or, between three roses argent. The new chapel was the work of Bishop William Smith (1495 - 1514) who was also one of the founders of Brasenose College



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