Wallingford Castle, England

Wallingford Castle, England

This evening,I am focusing on Wallingford Castle which is located close to the River Thames and about 15 miles from Oxford.

As explained below, Wallingford Castle was, in its prime, a major fortification and power base during the medieval period but only earth bank foundations remain now as result of a decision by the Council of State in the 17th century to have the castle totally demolished owing to its role as a Royalist stronghold during England’s Civil War. A summary history chronology is provided below.

  • Built 1067-1071 by Robert D’Oyley of Liseux.
  • Under Brian FitzCount became a stronghold of support for the Empress Matilda during conflict between her and her cousin, Stephen for the English throne.
  • In 1141 Matilda escaped from nearby Oxford Castle and travelled to Wallingford for refuge and safety.
  • The castle was subject to three sieges in reaction to raids on King Stephen’s supporters the last of which occurred in 1152 and culminated in the Treat of Wallingford.
  • Expanded under Prince Richard, brother of Henry III.
  • Castle granted to Piers Gaveston (Lord Wallingford) by Edward II in 1307. Gaveston was executed in 1312 and castle handed to Queen Isabella who used it as her HQ.
  • In 1335 the castle was granted to the Black Prince who used it as principal residence when in the country.
  • After death of Henry V his widow, Katherine, retired to Wallingford and her son, Edward VI, was educated there.
  • During the English Civil War, Wallingford was a Royalist stronghold and held out for 16 weeks against a Parliamentary siege. Subsequently demolished

The site is now open parkland  where cattle graze and kites  (birds of prey) fly overhead.

Wallingford Castle, England

Wallingford Castle, England

Motte at Wallingford Castle, England

Motte at Wallingford Castle, England

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