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Newbury Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
castrum Neubiriae

In the civil parish of Newbury.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of West Berkshire.
1974 county of Berkshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU47296721
Latitude 51.40196° Longitude -1.32156°

Newbury Castle has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


The site of a castle built in 1152 which was a fragmentary ruin by 1626-7. It was completely demolished circa 1723 when the canal basin was constructed, which has now been filled in. (PastScape)

David Nash Ford- probably from Higgot, 1998, writes probable Hamstead. Higgot's hypothesis apparently built upon;
a) the total lack of any archaeological evidence for a castle on Newbury Wharf;
b) the only reference to the castle relates to a siege by King Stephen in 1152 - mentioned in a poem on the life of the William the Marshall (unpublished work by Pail Cannon in 1990 refuted all other sources cited by Walter Money);
c) William the Marshall owned Hampstead Marshall; d) the existence not only of castle remains at Hampstead Marshall but also siege works. ergo - if the Marshall was besieged in the Newbury area it is most likely to be in his own castle - which was almost certainly besieged in the period. (info from Phil Wood)

The evidence of siege works at Hampstead Marshall can be questioned but the tenurial history is highly suggestive that the 'Newbury' castle besieged in 1152 was Hampstead Marshall (actually Henry of Huntingdon states 'taken' so may well not have been besieged at all). However, this does not mean that there was not a medieval manorial centre of some sort at Newbury itself, presumably based on the Saxon thegnal burh from which the town must take its name, which may represent the 'castle' located by Money. What is clear is that the sources do NOT state the castle was built in 1152; wherever it was it existed before 1152.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:07

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