Donnington Castle, Donnington, Berkshire


Donnington Castle, Newbury
Publiser: Valentine

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Donnington Castle has been partially demolished and only the late fourteenth Gatehouse survives. The site is surrounded by substantial seventeenth century earthworks which are some of the best preserved examples of their kind in the UK.
Castles Forts Battles

The castle consisted originally of a curtain wall with four round corner towers, two square wall towers and a substantial gatehouse, constructed around a courtyard in the style typical of the fortified residences of the period. Accommodation was provided in the towers or in buildings within the courtyard, set against the castle walls. The courtyard buildings are likely to have been of timber construction and possibly included a hall, a kitchen and lodgings for guests.
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During the Civil War Charles I set up his headquarters in Oxford and in 1643 dispatched Sir John Boys, with 200 foot soldiers, 25 cavalry and sufficient cannon to resist a siege, to take possession of Donnington from the Parliamentarian John Packer. Having taken the castle, Boys built defences around the lower slopes of the hill in the shape of a star, the projections providing sites for gun emplacements that gave a good field of fire. Between 1644 and 1646 the castle was attacked many times, twice being relieved by the king in person. Only when the Royalist cause appeared hopeless did Boys surrender to the Parliamentarian troops, after first obtaining the king’s permission to do so. Parliament voted to demolish the badly damaged castle in 1646 and only the gatehouse was left standing

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