His name was once given to a prominent London fortification, Baynard’s Castle, and now lives on in a City of London ward – Castle Baynard. But who was Ralph Baynard?
A Norman nobleman, Baynard was among those who accompanied William the Conqueror when he invaded England in 1066.
He was rewarded with a barony centred on Little Dunmow in Essex; the parish church was founded by his wife, Lady Juga, in 1104, and their son Geoffrey founded an Augustinian priory dedicated to St Mary there in 1106.
Ralph Baynard was also granted permission to build Baynard’s Castle in the City of London – it sat where the Fleet River entered the Thames. He is said to have died in the reign of William Rufus, aka William II, who ruled from 1087 to 1100.
Baynard’s Castle in London was eventually razed by King John in 1213.
Baynard’s name, meanwhile, may also live on in the district of Bayswater.