SU 461-691 Berkshire England
Donnington Castle is a small, late 14th century stone fortified courtyard house, founded by Richard Abberbury the elder. Semi-rectangular in plan and flanked by four small round angle towers and two square interval towers, its east gate was protected by a portcullis but the D-shaped west end lacked protection. Built in two stages, in 1386 King Richard II granted Sir Richard a licence to build a castle in his own soil, at Donyngton. Added to the east gate, is a large three storey rectangular gatehouse, flanked by two, four storey drum towers and a barbican with a drawbridge that crossed the ditch to the fore. During the Civil War, King Charles I entrusted the castle to Colonel John Boys and he encased the house with extensive earthworks, flanked by huge star-shaped projections. In 1644 the besieging Parliamentarians began a half-hearted bombardment, which was vigorously defended until the war drew to a close and they were pulled back to Oxford. Crowning the steep-sided spur, the gatehouse with some repairs in brick, remains almost complete and the Civil War earthworks remain for the most part as scarps. Sadly because most of the buildings around the cobbled central courtyard were probably timber-framed, only the lower courses of the external walls remain. 4 miles south-west in Hamstead Park are 3 earthwork castles.
Donnington Castle is located in the village centre, off Castle Lane. A mile north of Newbury, on the B4494.
The site is owned by English Heritage and is freely accessible in daylight hours.
There is a car park.