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Reading Castle
Fortifications at the Abbey

At the time of the Civil War between Henry I's daughter, the Empress Matilda and her cousin, King Stephen, Reading Abbey was still being built. The latter apparently constructed a motte and bailey castle in its grounds, possibly to harass Wallingford, though this was a little distant. It was destroyed by the Empress' son (later Henry II) in 1153. but its exact site is unknown. The mound that can still be seen in the Forbury Gardens is not the old motte, part part of the Civil War defences of the town. Castle Hill and Street in Reading probably take their names from the ancient ruin of a Roman Villa in the area.


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