South Moreton 'siege work'

Has been described as a Questionable Siege Work

There are earthwork remains

NameSouth Moreton 'siege work'
Alternative Names
Historic CountryBerkshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishSouth Moreton

Further north from South Moreton's conquest castle, surrounding a manor house that may date back to C12, are the extensive remains of the moat of a Siege-Castle of King Stephen 's reign. In the 1150s, the King was busy trying to prevent his cousin, the Empress Matilda, from appropriating his throne. During a fierce Civil War, the Empress' main HQ was at Wallingford and Moreton Castle is thought to have been one of three built to keep her forces in check. (Nash -

The earthwork remains of a Medieval moat at SU 5624 8834 which forms an irregular asymmetrical enclosure 85 x 130m. The site is masked to the south-west by the incursion of the houses of South Moreton. Attached to the north-western and north-eastern corners of the moat are two short lengths of bank. No internal features were visible. (PastScape–ref. Small, 1992)

Gatehouse Comments

This rather ordinary, if irregular, moat may have been built as a moated manor house to replace the possibly unfinished South Moreton castle probably well after the Anarchy. It seems probably that the castle was used as the document siege work and there were never two 'castles' at South Moreton. See Wallingford Castle and Wallingford siege castles for further information and bibliographies.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU562883
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  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 11
  • Page, Wm and Ditchfield, P.H. (eds), 1923, VCH Berkshire Vol. 3 p. 498-504 (manorial history) online transcription


  • Spurrell, M., 1995, 'Containing Wallingford Castle, 1146-53' Oxoniensia Vol. 60 p. 257-70 online copy


  • Small, Fiona, 3-12-1992, Thames Valley NMP (RCHME)