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History of Reading Castle in the Royal County of Berkshire
by David Nash Ford

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

Fortifications at the Abbey

At the time of the Civil War between Henry I's daughter, the Empress Matilda and her cousin, King Stephen, Reading Abbey was still being built. The latter apparently constructed a motte and bailey castle in its grounds, possibly to harass Wallingford, though this was a little distant. It was destroyed by the Empress' son (later Henry II) in 1153. The remains of the motte can still be seen in the Forbury Gardens (which take their name from the Castle: the Fore-Borough). Castle Hill and Street in Reading probably take their names from the ancient ruin of a Roman Villa in the area.



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