Burwell Castle was built in 1143 by Stephen I of England on the site of a former Roman villa.
Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, attacked Burwell in 1144 when the castle was still unfinished, but during the operation he was hit by a crossbow bolt; he retired to nearby Mildenhall, where he died from the injury. After Geoffrey’s death the castle was never completed, although a stone gatehouse was completed on the site, suggesting a period of further occupation. The Abbot of Ramsey built a chapel on the site around 1246, and the site was finally abandoned in the 15th century.
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