Wallingford siege castles

Has been described as a Possible Siege Work

There are uncertain remains

NameWallingford siege castles
Alternative Names
Historic CountryOxfordshire
Modern AuthorityOxfordshire
1974 AuthorityOxfordshire
Civil Parish

Several (Between 2 and 6) siege castles were built during the long siege of Wallingford castle (1139-1153).

His ita se mirabiliter, immo miserabiliter, habentibus, rex Walingefordiam obsedit et nichil profecit. Obsidionis vero diutinae labore pertaesus, turrim ligneam ante castellum fieri praecepit, quam militibus et armis fortiter munivit, et sic ad Malmesberiam expugnandam profectus est. (Gervase)

Gatehouse Comments

Identified ones are Crowmarsh Gifford, Brightwell, South Moreton and east end of Wallingford bridge. Others may have existed. Renn also identifies mound by St Peter's church, in the Antiquity article Renn lists a mound 270 yards from the castle and writes "Built by Henry of Anjou in 1152, relieving castle from Stephen's counter fort at Crowmarsh" A research project, lead by Professor Oliver Creighton, is examining, in detail, the sieges of the Anarchy and should through more light on the historical sources and surviving archaeological remains. The results of this project are due to be published in 2016. (See University of Exeter website)

- Philip Davis

Not scheduled

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSU609897
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

No photos available. If you can provide pictures please contact Castlefacts

Most of the sites or buildings recorded in this web site are NOT open to the public and permission to visit a site must always be sought from the landowner or tenant.

Calculate Print


  • < >Michael Fradley, Duncan Wright and Oliver Creighton, 2016, 'Corfe, 'Crowmarsh Recreation Ground, South Oxfordshire' in Duncan Wright and Oliver Creighton (eds), Castles, Siegeworks and Settlements Surveying the Archaeology of the Twelfth Century (Oxford: Archaeopress Publishing Ltd) p. 49-56 < >
  • Christie, Neil, Creighton, Oliver et al, 2013, Transforming Townscapes From burh to borough: the archaeology of Wallingford AD 800-1400 (London: Society for Medieval Archaeology Monograph 35) p. 202-7, 223, 233-6, 397, 398
  • Purton, P.F., 2009, A History of the Early Medieval Siege c. 450-1220 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 263-78
  • Bradbury, J., 1998, Stephen and Matilda: the Civil War of 1139-53 (Stroud: Sutton)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 566-7
  • Renn, D.F., 1973 (2 edn.), Norman Castles of Britain (London: John Baker) p. 338


  • Creighton, Oliver, 2014, 'Castle, Burh and Borough: Unravelling an Urban Landscape of Power at Wallingford, Oxfordshire' Château Gaillard Vol. 26 p. 113-124
  • Christie, N. et al, 2004, 'Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 34 p. 98, 101-3 online copy
  • Christie, N., O'Sullivan, D., Creighton, O. and Hamerow, H., 2003, 'Wallingford Burh to Borough Research Project: First Interim Report, 2002' South Midlands Archaeology: CBA Group 9 Newsletter Vol. 33 p. 107, 112 online copy
  • Speight, Sarah, 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stehani' _Château Gaillard_ l. 19 p. 269-274
  • Spurrell, M., 1995, 'Containing Wallingford Castle, 1146-53' Oxoniensia Vol. 60 p. 257-70 online copy
  • Slade, C.F., 1960, 'Wallingford Castle in the reign of Stephen' Berkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 58 p. 33-43 download copy
  • Renn, D.F., 1959, 'Mottes: a classification' Antiquity Vol. 33 p. 106-12 (listed as siegework)

Primary Sources

  • Sewell, R.C. (ed), 1846, Gesta Stephani, Regis Anglorum et Ducis Normannorum p. 58-60 online copy (The newer edition and translation by Potter, K.R. (ed), 1976 (2edn), Gesta Stephani (Oxford University Press) should be consulted for serious study. See also Speight, S., 2000, 'Castle Warfare in the Gesta Stephani' , Château Gaillard Vol. 19 [see online transcription > http://web.archive.org/web/20101229213751/http://www.deremilitari.org/resources/articles/speight.htm])
  • Stubbs, W. (ed), 1879, Historical works, the Chronicle of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, by Gervase, the Monk of Canterbury (Rolls series 73) Vol. 1 p. 111, 153 online copy
  • Weaver, J. R. H., ed., 1908, The Chronicle of John of Worcester, 1118-1140: being the continuation of the 'Chronicon ex chronicis' of Florence of Worcester (Oxford: Clarendon Press) p. 56 online copy
  • Potter, K.R. (ed), 1955, The Historia Novella of William of Malmesbury (Nelson's Medieval Texts) p. 42 (A revised edition by Edmund King (Oxford University Press, 1999) should also be consulted)
  • Greenway, D. (ed), 1996, Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum (Oxford University Press)
  • Howlett, R. (ed), 1886, Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II., and Richard I. (London: Rolls Series) Vol. 3 p. 57, 93, 433 online copy