History Homework Help David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History for Kids

  RBH Home
  Maps & Travels
  Towns & Villages
  Castles & Houses
  Family History
  Odds & Ends
  For Kids
  Teacher's Page
  Mail David


Donnington Castle
From Private Home to Royal Sanctuary

Donnington Castle Gatehouse -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • Donnington Castle was built by Sir Richard Abberbury in 1386. It was just a manor before. He had to get special permission from King Richard II to 'crenellate' it.

  • This was easy because he had been friends with the King's father and was the King's guardian when he was a boy.

  • Sir Richard made lots of money in the French Wars and as an ambassador. With this money, he set up the Donnington Hospital just before he died.

  • Thomas Chaucer later owned the castle. He was son of the famous poet, Geoffrey. He sometimes stayed there, but mostly lived at Ewelme (in Oxfordshire), near Wallingford.

  • Thomas gave Donnington to his only daughter, Alice, as a wedding present when she married Sir John Philip in 1415. They didn't live there long as Sir John died in the French Wars in the same year.

  • In Tudor times, Queen Elizabeth I gave the castle to two people at once: Lady Hoby & the Earl of Nottingham. Lady Hoby took lots of armed men to Donnington and had a big fight with the Earl at the castle gates.

  • During the English Civil War, King Charles I's soldiers locked themselves up in the Castle. They were besieged by Parliament's soldiers after the 2nd Battle of Newbury.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.