Tag Archives: Norman

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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