Keeping Matilda at Bay
At the end of Church Lane, next to the Church in South Moreton, stands a Norman conquest castle. It remains as an irregular circular mound with a trench nearly all the way round and the Mill Brook acting as a moat. It may have never been finished, but was presumably intended for either William Lovett or Humphrey Visdeloup who owned manors in the parish at Domesday (1086). A second castle stands to the north.
Further north from South Moreton's conquest castle, surrounding a manor house that may date back to the 12th century, are the extensive remains of the moat of a Siege-Castle of King Stephen's reign. In the 1150s, the King was busy trying to prevent his cousin, the Empress Matilda, from appropriating his throne. During a fierce Civil War, the Empress' main HQ was at Wallingford and Moreton Castle is thought to have been one of three built to keep her forces in check.
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