Donnington Castle
Donnington Castle ( 51°25′11″N 1°20′17″W  /  51.41972°N 1.33806°W  / 51.41972; -1.33806 ) is a ruined medieval castle, situated in the small village of Donnington, just north of the town of Newbury in the English county of Berkshire.

Donnington Castle was built by its original owner, Richard Abberbury the Elder, under a licence granted by Richard II in 1386 AD. The surviving castle gatehouse dates from this time. The castle was subsequently bought by Thomas Chaucer, the son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer, as a residence for his daughter Alice, who later became Duchess of Suffolk. This family later fell out with the Tudor monarchs, and the castle became a Royal property. Both King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I visited Donnington Castle and the latter wanted to live there during her imprisonment by her sister, Queen Mary I, but this was not allowed. By the time the English Civil War broke out, the castle was owned by the Parliamentarian Packer family but after the First Battle of Newbury it was taken for the King and held by Sir John Boys. Despite being besieged for most of the war, the castle succeeded in guarding the major routeways from London to the West Country and Oxford to Southampton, and during the Second Battle of Newbury, the castle was able to hold off the Parliamentary attackers. Finally, after an eighteen month siege, the garrison surrendered and were allowed to rejoin Royalist forces in Wallingford. In 1646 Parliament voted to demolish the castle. All that remains of the castle today is the substantial four towered gatehouse, and the surrounding earthworks.

Building Activity

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