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Wallingford Castle, Wallingford

Categories: Ruins, Castles, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 20+ reviews on the web
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.
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  • Perfect for a summer picnic - kids love the steep hilly sides to run down and it is an oasis of calm in the town. There are some benches on the lower and upper level but it is ok to sit on the grass a...  read more »
  • Took a day out to make the most of a good day weather wise. Short trip to Wallingford (about 40mins from home). Stayed in long stay car park - good value as free for 1st 2 hours. We paid £1.70 for a 3...  read more »
  • This ruined castle was the first to be built by The Conqueror and down the years it became one of the biggest in England. Now not much remains thanks to Cromwell but is certainly worth a visit. 
  • Went for a walk with the wife ,lovely spot right by the river and a bit of history with it !
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