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Palace for a Princess
  • Hamstead Marshall House (demolished) -  Nash Ford PublishingHamstead Marshall is a small village to the west of Newbury.
  • There are the remains of three castle mottes there. Two were the original and replacement homes of the Marshal family who lived in Norman times. One was a siege castle built by King Stephen from which to attack them during his Civil War against the Empress Matilda.
  • The castle is sometimes called 'Newbury Castle'. After defeating John Marshal there, King Stephen took his son William as a hostage to make sure he behaved himself.
  • In Tudor times, Sir Thomas Parry was given the manor as a reward for loyal service to Queen Elizabeth I, when she was imprisoned by her sister, 'Bloody Mary'. He built a fine Tudor mansion there. A spooky old story suggests the unmarried Queen knew it rather well.
  • The house was probably ruined by Parliament's soldiers at the 1st Battle of Newbury during the English Civil War.
  • After the Earl of Craven bought the place, he decided to built a grand palace for Princess Elizabeth, the sister of King Charles I & Queen of Bohemia. He was madly in love with her. It was going to be like her old home, Heidelburg Castle in Germany.
  • Elizabeth died before the palace was even started, but the Earl still built it. His descendants lived there until it burnt down in 1718. They then built a new home at Benham Park.
  • One of the lodges was later made into a big house. Only the gate-posts of the original house survive.

 

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