Has been described as a Questionable Timber Castle (Other/Unknown), and also as a Questionable Fortified Manor House

There are no visible remains

Alternative NamesBensington
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil ParishBenson

According to Hearne the castle at Benson stood west of the church, where bones, spurs, bridles, swords etc had been found. Area now built over with modern housing and no remains visible. (Oxfordshire HER)

A considerable earthwork between the Church and the river is mentioned by several old writers. Hearne states that: "The Castle stood on the west side of the present Church, where a few years since a great quantity of Bones, some of which were Humane, and the rest the Bones of several kinds of Animals, besides strange old Spurs, Bridles, Swords, etc., was dug up. And 'tis on this side of the Town where there are still to be seen Tokens of the Ditch that surrounded it in old Time."... In Brewer's "Oxfordshire," 1813, we read: "To the west of the Church are a bank and trench, which seem to have been of a square form. Three sides of the embankment are now much defaced; but the part of the north retains considerable boldness." (Field)

Gatehouse Comments

The location by the church and on the Thames is certainly the location for a manor house. However the tenurial history argues against a manor house. This was a royal manor but not the location of a residential royal manor. It was, by repute, the location of a residence of King Offa. Was this the location of the manorial steward house and court with a later reputation as the site of a Saxon 'castle'? Such a house may well have been moated, although mainly to manage flooding rather than being defensive.

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU615915
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  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 79 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 388
  • Brewer, 1813, Oxfordshire



  • Field, J.E., 1896, 'Benson or Bensington' Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 2 p. 44-5 download copy