There is one castle in England which has a very special place in my heart, that castle is Hedingham Castle, Castle Hedingham, Essex.
The reason why!
I held my civil partnership in the castles grand banquet hall on a cold 28th January 2006. It was 4 p.m and the sun was slowly disappearing in the distance. Our pathway to the keep was lit by burning torches and a live vocalist could be heard singing ‘Candle on the Water’ from deep within the keep itself. It was a surreal experience, the imposing stone keep towered high above us and our own small event was about to become a part of its 880 year history. We were the first Gay couple to hold a ceremony here, if walls could talk, if ghosts from ages past stood by watching, what would they have thought?!
When the civil partnership took place, I wasn’t aware that my own family history held such a strong connection to the castle.
My 8x great-grandfather John ‘of Sallary House’ BROWN (1690 – 1742) was born in Sibil Hedingham, Essex (an ancestor I know very little about), and more importantly my 17th great-grandfather John “12th Earl of Oxford” de VERE (1408 – 1462) was born in Hedingham Castle, and it was the main seat of their family and had been so since The manor of Hedingham was awarded to Aubrey de Vere I by William the Conqueror sometime before 1086.
John de Vere, 12th Earl of Oxford (23 April 1408 – 26 February 1462), was the son of Richard de Vere, 11th Earl of Oxford (1385?–15 February 1417), and his second wife, Alice Sergeaux (1386–1452). A Lancastrian loyalist during the latter part of his life, he was convicted of high treason and beheaded on Tower Hill on 26 February 1462.
Below is a selection of images I have pinned to Pinterest relating to Hedingham Castle