Hamstead Marshall Castle 1
SU 429-666 Berkshire England
Hamstead Marshall Castle 1 is a circular medieval unfinished earthwork motte, founded in the Anarchy, in the reign of King Stephen. For two months in 1153, King Stephen besieged Hamstead Marshall Castle 2 which was being held for the Empress Matilda, by John Marshal. It was probably during this period that the Royalist siege-castle, which stands on a ridge near the old manorial fishponds, was constructed. Only the north-west quadrant encased by a ditch appears to be finished and the mound declines in height southwards. There is no trace of the position of a bailey and on the south-east and east there is no mound as such, only the marking out bank for its base.
Hamstead Marshall Castle 1 is located in Hamstead Park, south of Marsh Benham, off Park Lane. 3 miles west of Newbury, on the A4.
The site is visible from a public footpath, which passes the castle from the church of St Mary, check website for details.
Car parking is by the side of the road.