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Wallingford Castle
Everyone wanted to live there

Wallingford Castle -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • Wallingford Castle was built in Norman times by a man named Robert Doyley. He was very mean to the locals. So the monks of Abingdon Abbey prayed for his downfall. He soon became ill and promised to mend his ways.

  • Later, Robert's son-in-law, Brian FitzCount, lived there. He was a friend of King Henry I's daughter, the Empress Matilda. The Castle was an important place during the Civil War between Matilda and her cousin, King Stephen. Both thought they should be ruling England. The castle was besieged 3 times.

  • Matilda once fled to Wallingford Castle from Oxford in the snow. It was night time and she was all dressed in white. People who saw her thought she was a ghost! Eventually her son, Henry II, signed a peace treaty at the Castle. This ended the war in 1153.

  • In Medieval times, King Henry III's brother, the Earl of Cornwall, lived there. The Earl was chosen to be the 'German Emperor' ruling in Germany and became very rich. He spent a fortune making Wallingford Castle the best. When he nearly drowned at sea though, he promised to spend money on the poor instead.

  • Later, the Castle was the favourite home of the most hated knight in England and then the most loved knight: Piers Gaveston and the Black Prince.

  • After King Henry V's death, his widowed Queen Katherine lived at Wallingford Castle and her son Henry VI grew up there. She married a poor squire, called Owen Tudor, in secret. A Queen was not allowed to remarry without permission. The couple had several children before anyone found out though! Owen was then thrown in prison. Their grandson was King Henry Tudor.

  • The castle had many famous Constables, like Thomas Chaucer and Francis Lovell.

  • The Castle was fortified for the King during the English Civil War. It was eventually captured by Parliament's soldiers. They pulled it down. Only a few ruined walls remain today.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved. This location is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.