Faringdon Castle

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Faringdon Castle was a Norman castle standing just outside the market town of Faringdon in the English county of Berkshire (administratively now Oxfordshire), some 17 km to the north-east of Swindon (grid reference SU297957).

This castle was built, on a site now known as Folly Hill, by Robert, Earl of Gloucester in 1144 in support of Matilda in the Anarchy.[1] The Gesta Stephani, a contemporary chronicle, recorded the founding of the castle and the earl's activities, noting that it was "strongly fortified by a rampart and stockade, and putting in it a garrison that was the flower of his whole army he valorously restrained the wonted attacks from the king's soldiers, who had been coming out of Oxford and other castles round about to harass his own side".[2] A few weeks after Faringdon Castle was built it was besieged[3] by Stephen and after four days the castellan, Brian De Soulis, surrendered. The castle was destroyed within a year or two.[4]

In the 1930s a 104 ft brick tower known as Faringdon Folly was built on the site by Lord Berners.[1]

The story of the castle and of Brian de Soulis figures in the last of the Cadfael Chronicles by Ellis Peters, Brother Cadfael's Penance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ford, David Nash (2011), Faringdon Castle, David Nash Ford Publishing, retrieved 5 June 2011
  2. ^ Quoted in Liddiard 2005, p. 81
  3. ^ King 1983, p. 11
  4. ^ Fry 1980
  • Fry, Plantagenet Somerset (1980), The David & Charles Book of Castles, David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-7976-3
  • King, David James Cathcart (1983), Catellarium Anglicanum: An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume I: Anglesey–Montgomery, Kraus International Publications
  • Liddiard, Robert (2005), Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500, Macclesfield: Windgather Press Ltd, ISBN 0-9545575-2-2

Coordinates: 51°39′33″N 1°34′19″W / 51.65930°N 1.57204°W / 51.65930; -1.57204