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.History11th centuryAs an important regional town, overlooking a key crossing point on the River Thames, prosperous and with its own mint, the town of Wallingford had been defended by an Anglo-Saxon burgh, or town wall, prior to the Norman invasion of 1066. Wigod of Wallingford, who controlled the town, supported William the Conqueror's invasion and entertained the king when he arrived in Wallingford. Immediately after the end of the initial invasion, the king set about establishing control over the Thames Valley through constructing three key castles, the royal castles of Windsor and Wallingford, and the baronial castle, later transferred to royal hands, built at Oxford.Take a look at our Benson sightseeing planner to schedule your visit to Wallingford Castle and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Wallingford Castle Reviews
sheepibirdJune 15, 2017
We went here with friends and a picnic. All the children had a lovely time exploring and running around. The castle is just ruins and is tucked away. Free to enter and never seems to be too busy. Dogs... more »
John BJune 14, 2017
From J Boy of Derby A little bit of history here when Wallingford castle was so important in the land. Not much left only a few walls which for safety reasons are fenced off, but a great place to wand... more »
674JenMay 19, 2017
Pathways ramble over two sites, both easily accessed from Wallingford town, and free to enter: Wallingford Castle Gardens, best reached from Castle Street, not Castle Lane, and open only during daylig... more »
Town and country entwined, lovely green space!
Went for a walk with the wife ,lovely spot right by the river and a bit of history with it !
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Where to stay in Benson
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