Wallingford, Fragments of Castle

Street MapListing InfoListing InfoListing Info

Historic building in Wallingford. Probably C13. Coursed squared limestone to south face; knapped flint with stone dressings to north face. Approx. 6m. long and 6m. high. Also fragment of wall, probably former tower. Probably C13 with alterations. Coursed squared limestone to west face; flint with tile bands to lower portion of east face; flint and stone mixture to upper portion of east face. Convex curve to west. Also a fragment traditionally thought to form part of St. Nicholas’s College, the King’s Chapel in the Castle.

History: Wallingford Castle was begun in 1067 by order of William the Conqueror; supervised by Robert D’Oyley. Motte and Bailey castle completed in 1071. Castle expanded in C13 under King John, and King Henry III, when it was held by Richard, Earl of Cornwall. In 1307 the castle and town were given by Edward II to Piers Gaveston, created Baron Wallingford. In 1335 Edward II gave the castle to his son Edward, the Black Prince, Duke of Cornwall, who spent large sums on repairs and improvements. Held during most of C15 by Chaucer and dela Pole families of Ewelme. By 1540’s the castle had fallen into disrepair and stone was being used for other buildings in the town. During the Civil War it was fortified as a Royalist stronghold. Charles I inspected the new works in 1643. Siege of Wallingford in 1646 when Colonel Blagge was besieged for 16 weeks by Cromwell’s troops. On 17th November 1652 Cromwell’s Council of State ordered its demolition. This fragment probably formed part of the Inner Bailey.

Wallingford Castle was a major medieval castle situated in Wallingford in the English county of Oxfordshire (historically in Berkshire until the 1974 reorganisation), adjacent to the River Thames. Established in the 11th century as a motte-and-bailey design within an Anglo-Saxon burgh, it grew to become what historian Nicholas Brooks has described as “one of the most powerful royal castles of the 12th and 13th centuries”. Held for the Empress Matilda during the civil war years of the Anarchy, it survived multiple sieges and was never taken. Over the next two centuries it became a luxurious castle, used by royalty and their immediate family. After being abandoned as a royal residence by Henry VIII, the castle fell into decline. Refortified during the English Civil War, it was eventually slighted, i.e. deliberately destroyed, after being captured by Parliamentary forces after a long siege. The site was subsequently left relatively undeveloped, and the limited remains of the castle walls and the considerable earthworks are now open to the public.

Wallingford, Fragment of Castle Tower Fragment

Wallingford, Fragment of Castle Tower Fragment

Reviews are closed.