Buckden Towers, lies in the village of the same name in the county of Cambridgeshire in England.
The first mention of the site was in 1086 as a manor belonging to the Bishop of Lincoln. A Hugh de Wells built a new house out of stone at Buckden, in around 1225, to replace the earlier one which had been made of timber. Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln from 1235 to 1253, was responsible for adding a Great Hall. In 1291 a fire destroyed most of the buildings constructed by Hugh de Wells and Robert Grosseteste.
Construction of the Tower itself was completed by Bishop Rotherham in 1480. However, Bishop John Russell was responsible for the majority of the extensive rebuilding on the site, between 1480 and 1494. At that time it would have been encircled by a moat. The site was then known as Buckden Palace and visited by King Richard III in 1483.
Between 1533 and 1534 Katherine of Aragon resided here, after the annulment of her marriage with King Henry VIII.
In 1595 Bishop Chaderton had decided that he could no longer afford to run the Palace and moved out. His successor, however, returned to Buckden despite it having started to fall into disrepair. In 1619 King James I visited Buckden.
During the episcopacy of John Williams (1625-1642) the cloisters were repaired and refurbished and the stables and barns in the outer courtyard were rebuilt. However, Williams lived lavishly and fell into disfavor with the King. In 1637 he was arrested and incarcerated in the Tower of London. A solicitor, Kilvert, was sent to administer the estate. During the 3 years of his administration Buckden Palace was despoiled; its interior was sold and the trees on the grounds were cut down.
During the Civil War in the 17th century, Buckden Palace was taken from the See of Lincoln and sold. In 1660 it was returned and Bishop Sanderson restored the dilapidated Palace.
In 1838, with the importance of the Palace diminished, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners decided that about half of the main buildings and part of the Gatehouse were to be demolished. The free coming materials and furnishings were to removed and sold. In 1870 the complex was sold by the Church to a James Marshall who made it habitable again. A Victorian house was built on the site during which the moat was completely filled in. During the 19th century the complex became known as Buckden Towers.
After 1919 the then owner rebuilt part of the Inner Gatehouse. After WW 2 the estate was again donated to the Church. In 1956 it was passed on to the Claretian Missionaries who embarked upon a restoration campaign.
At present Buckden Towers is still owned by the missionaries. The grounds can be visited freely. So this may be more a castellated mansion than a castle but I like its appearance a lot.