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History of Donnington Castle in Shaw-cum-Donnington in the Royal County of Berkshire
by David Nash Ford

D O N N I N G T O N
C A S T L E

Civil War Siege Castle

Richard Abberbury the Elder was granted a licence to crenellate his castle at Donnington by Richard II in 1386. The present gatehouse dates from this time. Abberbury had been one of the young King's guardians, when his father was still alive. The castle was later bought by Chaucer (the poet)'s son, Thomas. He was Constable of Wallingford Castle as well, but his main residence was at Ewelme (Oxon). Through him, the place became associated with the Dukes of Suffolk. Henry VII and Elizabeth I both visited in their time.

During the Civil War, the castle was quickly taken for the King and held by Sir John Boys. Its guns held off the parliamentary army during the Second Battle of Newbury. After this Royalist victory, it was placed under a rather half-hearted siege. The troops there eventually pulled back to Oxford. Donnington Village was almost totally destroyed.



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