Tag Archives: Civil War

Visit to Wallingford Castle

Wallingford is not far from Marlow, out past Henley, through Bix and keep on going.  It’s a small town and the Castle we went to see is in the centre.  We were able to park next to the Castle Gardens and start to explore.
Thanks to David Nash Ford’s Royal Berkshire History for the following information: “it was originally built between 1067 and 1071 by Robert D’Oyley of Liseux.  In 1141 Matilda escaped from besieged Oxford Castle to Wallingford Castle.  The castle later expanded and gained high stone walls, also town walls on top of the Saxon banks.   In 1335 the castle was granted to the Black Prince.  During the Civil War the castle was fortified for the King and it was the third to last Royalist stronghold to fall after a siege of sixteen weeks.  In 1652 the Council of State ordered it to be demolished”.
Some of the walls of the motte and bailey castle still exist and after a steep climb up the steps we were able to get some idea of the layout, we then walked around the ditch to the northern side where there is a plan of the area.  We did not go in the field where the friendly bull was.
We then made our way to the museum which had a family day running outside, as part of the National Archaeology week.   We knew that 3 sites around the town which were being excavated by a team of archaeologists from the Universities of Leicester, Exeter and Oxford – collaborating on an AHRC-funded research project together with Wallingford Museum,  Northmoor Trust and The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society TWHAS – they say that Wallingford is one of the best preserved Anglo-Saxon burhs in England.  The project was to run  from 19 July to 9 August, but as only one of these trenches had just been started to take the topsoil off and there was nothing to see and as the museum proper did not open until 2 p.m. we had to find lunch in the local hostelry across the road, in Kinecroft.  This was a very pleasant lunch with all the trimmings in a cosy pub.
The museum was well laid out, we couldn’t resist, digging for finds in the sand pits and then identifying them.  The last part of the museum has a history via headphones.  This was very comprehensive, but I have to own up that after the good lunch my concentration did waver and I fast forwarded in some places.
After leaving the museum several sets of ROMADAM leaflets in exchange for Wallingford Museum leaflets, we decided to go home.

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Marlow people in the Civil War

On 25th October 2007, Julian Hunt gave us a talk about the people of Buckinghamshire who were involved in the period of the Civil War, 1642 – 1651. Julian is well qualified to present this subject having been directly involved in the formation of the magnificent ‘ Buckinghamshire in the Civil War’ exhibition which was in Aylesbury Museum from November 2004 to February 2005. This was a stunning collection of paintings, furniture, documents, artefacts and personal possessions relating to people from the area during this period of conflict. Even a shoe belonging to one of Charles I executioners was on display!

As it happens, quite a large number of important families from the area were significant in the period just before and during the war (John Hampden, the Verneys, Bulstrode Whitelock, the Digbys, Prince Rupert and others and not to mention Charles I and Oliver Cromwell). Also, Buckinghamshire formed an important boundary between the Royalist and Parliamentarian sides.

Julian’s talk centred around the portraits and he gave us a detailed account of each pictured person, their background and they and their families’ involvement in the war.

We are all familiar with the tale of Sir Miles Hobart’s accident on Holborn, and its memorial in All Saints – but was it an accident or possible sabotage? This is just one example of the intriguing details which Julian was able to tell us about. There were many superb pictures and one could almost feel the intense significance to each of the people of what was happening to them at that time.

It was an excellent presentation given to us by an expert in the subject. Thank you Julian, for talking to us.

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