Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
Palace for a Princess
- Hamstead 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
- One of the lodges was later made
into a big house. Only the gate-posts of the original house survive.