The conflict was a succession crisis precipitated by the accidental death by drowning of William Adelin, the only legitimate son of Henry I, in the sinking of the White Ship in 1120. [45] Ingoldsby improved the fortification of the castle rather than the surrounding town, and in 1649 demolished most of the medieval stonework, replacing it with more modern earth bulwarks and reinforcing the keep with earth works to form a probable gun-platform. Some of Oxford's great architectural monuments date from the 18th century. The prison also had a gallows to execute prisoners, such as Mary Blandy in 1752. Welcome to Civil War Oxford, a history of Oxford and Oxfordshire during the English Civil War! Richard Ingoldsby was ... Robert D'Oyly Stephen would have had difficulty in supplying his men through the winter period, and this decision shows the apparent strength of Oxford Castle at the time. King Stephen. Excavations at Oxford Castle: Oxford’s Western Quarter from the Mid-Saxon Period to the Late Eighteenth Century (Based on Daniel Poore’s Tom Hassall Lecture for 2008). The Siege of Oxford refers to the English Civil War military campaigns waged to besiege the Royalist controlled city of Oxford, involving three short engagements over twenty-five months, which ended with a Parliamentarian victory in June 1646. The town's west and south gates disappeared in the earlier 17th century. [33] The prison itself was extended in 1876, growing to occupy most of the remaining space. Built in 1071, Oxford Castle was an imposing fortification with one of the largest mottes in the country. According to the Abingdon Chronicle, Oxford Castle was built by the Norman baron Robert D'Oyly the elder from 1071–73. [58] The work was completed under Daniel Harris in 1805. At an early stage it acquired a dedication to Saint George. The prison closed in 1996 and was redeveloped as a hotel. Assizes were held there until 1577, when plague broke out in what became known as the "Black Assize": the Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, two knights, eighty gentlemen and the entire grand jury for the session all died, including Sir Robert D'Oyley, a relative of the founder of the castle. HISTORY OF ORFORD CASTLE Henry II came to the throne in 1154 after a protracted civil war – the anarchy – had been fought between his mother, Matilda, and her cousin, King Stephen. http://oxoniensia.org/volumes/1976/hassall.pdf, http://oxoniensia.org/volumes/1952-3/jope.pdf. [38] From the 1350s onwards the castle had little military use and was increasingly allowed to fall into disrepair. After the English Civil War in the late 1650s it was, like many of England’s urban castles, converted into a prison with a fearsome reputation for brutality; a reputation that endured until it ceased operation in 1996. The complex includes a hotel in the Malmaison chain, Malmaison Oxford, occupying a large part of the former prison blocks, with cells converted as guest rooms. Built by the Normans in the 11th century for William the Conqueror, Oxford Castle has been in almost continuous operation for 1,000 years. [12] There has been debate over the sequencing of the motte and the bailey: it has been suggested that the bailey may have built first (thus utilising the pre-existing St. George's Tower as the first keep) which would make the initial castle design a ringwork rather than a motte and bailey. More limited information was obtained for the castle in its later medieval form and for its brief refortification during the Parliamentary occupation of Oxford in the Civil War. By the mid-12th century Oxford Castle had been significantly extended in stone. From King Charles I to prisoners of war, military hospitals to royal lodgings, find out more about the lives and locations that shaped this city. The surviving rectangular St George's Tower is now believed to pre-date the remainder of the castle and be a watch tower associated with the original Saxon west gate of the city. Later, like Oxford Castle it was ‘reduced’. Robert D'Oyly (also spelt Robert D'Oyley de Liseaux, Robert Doyley, Robert de Oiley, Robert d'Oilly, Robert D'Oyley and Roberti De Oilgi) was a N... Henry de Oilly of Hook Norton Inside the walls the buildings included a chapel with a crypt attached to St. Georges Tower,[16] which may be on the site of a previous church. Due to the presence of Beaumont Palace to the north of Oxford, however, the castle never became a royal residence. Ingoldsby improved the fortification of the castle rather than the surrounding town, and in 1649 demolished most of the medieval stonework, replacing it with more modern earth bulwarks and reinforcing the keep with earth works to form a probable gun-platform. The castle has been embroiled in its share of battle, namely the Anarchy of the 1140s and the English Civil War of 1642. The prison closed in 1996 and was redeveloped as a hotel. Please note, prices are subject to availability and restrictions apply. The Castle was strategically positioned near to the river, on the western edge of the existing Saxon town defences. Oxford Castle is a medieval Norman castle on the western edge of the city centre that was rebuilt in the late 12th/early 13th century. Matilda safely reached Abingdon-on-Thames and Oxford Castle surrendered to Stephen the next day. [26] Stephen set up two siege mounds beside the castle, called Jew's Mount and Mount Pelham, on which he placed siege engines, largely for show, and proceeded to wait for Matilda's supplies to run low over the next three months. D'Oyly had arrived in England with William I in the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 and William the Conqueror granted him extensive lands in Oxfordshire. But, alas, after reading the book I was left disappointed with the book, and even mislead into buying it in the first place. By this time Oxford Castle was in a weakened state, with a large crack running down the side of the keep. Today, the remains of the Saxon St.George's Tower, Motte-and-Bailey Mound, the Prison D-Wing and Debtor's Tower make up the Oxford Castle & Prison tourist attraction. Most of the castle was destroyed in the English Civil War and by the 18th century the remaining buildings had become Oxford's local prison. Empress Matilda held the castle during the Civil War with King Stephen, and though the castle was besieged on several occasions it was never captured. Harris gained a reasonable salary as the new governor and used convict labour from the prison to conduct early archaeological excavations at the castle with the help of the antiquarian Edward King. As with other prisons at the time, the owners, in this case Christ Church College, leased the castle to wardens who would profit by charging prisoners for their board and lodging. It was a royal castle until the Civil War, when it saw action and was besieged by Fairfax’s forces. After the English Civil War in the late 1650s it was, like many of England’s urban castles, converted into a prison with a fearsome reputation for brutality; a reputation that endured until it ceased operation in 1996. [9] Oxford Castle was an "urban castle", overlying a portion of the Saxon town wall, but it remains uncertain whether local buildings were demolished to make room for it. Stephen responded by marching unexpectedly from Bristol in December, attacking and seizing the town of Oxford and besieging Matilda in the castle. Orford Castle stayed in royal control, passing from Henry II to Richard I when Henry died in 1189. The motte was originally about 60 feet (18 m) high and 40 feet (12 m) wide, constructed like the bailey from layers of gravel and strengthened with clay facing. [42], After the Civil War, Oxford Castle served primarily as the local prison. Built by the Normans in the 11th century for William the Conqueror, Oxford Castle has been in almost continuous operation for 1,000 years. 1 mill, value 0.5 [pounds]. Return to Oxford and disperse. A new prison complex was built on the site from 1785 onwards and expanded in 1876; this became HM Prison Oxford. The work was completed under Daniel Harris in 1805. Oxford Castle & Prison 44-46 Oxford Castle, Oxford OX1 1AY T: 01865 260666. [16] Within the keep, stairs led 20 feet (6 m) down to an underground 12 feet (3.7 m) wide stone chamber, with an Early English hexagonal vault and a 54 feet (16 m) deep well providing water in the event of siege. At the end of the war the constableship of Oxford Castle was granted to Roger de Bussy before being reclaimed by Henry D'Oyly, Robert D'Oyly the younger's son, in 1154. tephen of Blois, with the approval of the Norman barons, claimed the English throne in 1135 after the death of Henry I, king of England. King Stephen. In 1642 the colleges of Oxford University gave most of their plate to Charles. The college then leased it to a number of local families over the coming years. (2009),[19] who comment that "a single, massive stone tower does not seem to belong within the outer defences of an earth-and-timber castle", and other sources have concurred on architectural grounds, also noting that its orientation does not match that of the remainder of the castle, and that its height would have originally afforded an extensive view over the city, but which would have been superseded (and in fact, blocked) with the construction of the castle motte. Matilda responded by escaping from the castle; the popular version of this has the Empress waiting until the Castle Mill Stream was frozen over and then dressed in white as camouflage in the snow, being lowered down the walls with three or four knights, before escaping through Stephen's lines in the night as the king's sentries tried to raise the alarm. "The West Gate of Oxford Castle: Excavations at Boreham's Yard, Tidmarsh Lane, Oxford, 1994-5.". In the 14th century the military value of the castle diminished and the site became used primarily for county administration and as a prison. "Oxford Archaeological Resource Assessment 2011 - Norman (1066-1205). MATILDA (Winchester or London 1102-Abbaye de Notre-Dame des Près, near Rouen 10 Sep 1167, bur Abbaye du Bec, Normandy, later moved to Rouen Cathedra... http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1600946 © Copyright Bill Boaden and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence. Most of the castle was destroyed in the English Civil War and by the 18th century the remaining buildings had become Oxford's local prison. Ralph Agas's map of Oxford in 1578 shows that by then, while the curtain wall, keep and towers remained, the barbican had been demolished to make way for houses. [45] In the event, Oxford saw no fresh fighting; early in the 18th century, however, the keep was demolished and the top of the motte landscaped to its current form. Robert had died in the final weeks of the siege and the castle was granted to William de Chesney for the remainder of the war. Stow-on-the- Wold saw the last engagement of the first Civil War on 21 March 1646 as it is of our tour. Most of the original moated, wooden motte and bailey castle was replaced in stone in the 11th century and played an important role in the conflict of the Anarchy. Today, visitors can enjoy guided tours of Oxford Castle … [46] In 1652, in the third English Civil War, the Parliamentary garrison responded to the proximity of Charles II's forces by pulling down these defences as well and retreating to New College instead, causing great damage to the college in the process. In the 1770s the prison reformer John Howard visited the castle several times, and criticised its size and quality, including the extent to which vermin infested the prison. [58] The site is protected as a Scheduled Monument. As with other prisons at the time, the owners, in this case Christ Church College, leased the castle to wardens who would profit by charging prisoners for their board and lodging. When Matilda escaped from Oxford Castle in 1141 she fled to refuge at Wallingford Castle. How an artist in 1845 imagined Oxford Castle looked in the 15th century By 1327 the fortification, particularly the castle gates and the barbican, was in poor condition and £800 was estimated to be required for repairs. After the Civil War the remains of the castle continued to be used as a prison and also administrative and judicial centre. ";[6] the mill mentioned is presumably the Castle Mill, formerly adjacent to the still surviving St. George's Tower, rebuilt in 1781 before eventually being demolished in 1930. (Photo by Ashmolean Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images), St Georges Tower, St Georges Chapel Crypt and D Wing Including the Debtors Tower, Oxford Castle mugshots show 'victims of their time, Oxford Castle and Prison Visitor Information, https://www.oxford.gov.uk/downloads/file/1624/norman_oxford_1066_-_1205, http://oxoniensia.org/volumes/2003/booth2.pdf. The prison itself was extended in 1876, growing to occupy most of the remaining space. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia It was a typical early Norman design with solid pillars and arches. Numerous human burials found at the site are reported, including an important group of early post-medieval prisoners who had been dissected (or ‘anatomised’). [25] The keep enclosed a number of buildings, leaving an inner courtyard only 22 feet (7 m) across. To reach full-screen click on the icon in the top left-hand corner of the map. The Royalists occupied Oxford after their withdrawal from London at Turnham Green in November 1642. [24] In 1074 D'Oyly and his close friend, Roger d'Ivry had endowed a chapel with a college of priests, which is presumed to be the structure in question; at an early stage it acquired a dedication to Saint George. In the 19th century the site continued to be developed, with various new buildings built including the new County Hall in 1840–41 and the Oxfordshire Militia Armoury in 1854. Robert D'Oyly the younger, Robert D'Oyly the elder's nephew, had inherited the castle by the time of the civil war of the Anarchy in the 1140s. D'Oyly positioned his castle to the west side of the town, using the natural protection of a stream of the River Thames on the far side of the castle, now called Castle Mill Stream, and diverting the stream to produce a moat. Please enable JavaScript in your browser's settings to use this part of Geni. The battlefield has little changed and the town, with its two monuments, lends itself as good stop for lunch. Built by the Normans in the 11th century for William the Conqueror, Oxford Castle has been in almost continuous operation for 1,000 years. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to Oxford Castle & Prison. The prison also had a gallows to execute prisoners, such as Mary Blandy in 1752. HENRY de Oilly of Hook Norton, Oxfordshire (-1163). During this, Maud’s army had been surrounded within the castle, and it seemed as though they would have to surrender imminently. After the Civil War, Oxford Castle served primarily as the local prison. Archaeologists explore the landscape of England’s first civil war ... escape from the besieged Oxford Castle. The Royalists occupied Oxford after their withdrawal from London at Turnham Green in November 1642. [29], Finally in December, Matilda responded by escaping from the castle; the popular version of this has the Empress waiting until the Castle Mill Stream was frozen over and then dressed in white as camouflage in the snow, being lowered down the walls with three or four knights, before escaping through Stephen's lines in the night as the king's sentries tried to raise the alarm. Matilda was also found to have an unfortunate personality. About 1072 the Normans built a castle at Oxford. [42] A map of the castle prepared for Christ Church College in 1615 shows the keep on its mound, St. George's Tower with associated buildings and sections of the curtain wall remaining to the north and south, and the next tower to the south, plus a single remaining tower to the north-east, as well as the Castle Mill and a southern entrance to the castle complex;[43][44] according to this map, by 1615 houses and their gardens had been built up to over half of the Castle Ditch or moat, which appears to still contain water. In due course D'Oyly became the foremost landowner in Oxfordshire and was confirmed with a hereditary royal constableship for Oxford Castle. But why did he build it? [37], By 1327 the fortification, particularly the castle gates and the barbican, was in poor condition and £800 was estimated to be required for repairs. After the nearby Battle of Edgehill in 1642 the local superiority of the Royalists enabled them to lay siege to the Castle which was captured and occupied. Later the stockade was replaced by a stone wall. Parliamentary forces successfully besieged Oxford in 1646 and the city was occupied by Colonel Ingoldsby. [2] Oxford had been stormed in the invasion with considerable damage, and William directed D'Oyly to build a castle to dominate the town. The prison closed in 1996 and was redeveloped as a hotel and visitor attraction. Following the regicide of Charles I, his son would reignite the struggle in England with the help of the Scottish Engagers, this time on the side of the Royalists, but would be decisively defeated at Worcester in 1651. The Domesday Book does not record any demolition, so the land may have already been empty due to the damage caused by the Norman seizure of the town. Largely abandoned by the late 16th century – though it was briefly refortified in the Civil War – the castle ultimately evolved into a prison that operated until 1996. Oxford in the English Civil War Oxford served as the home base for King Charles during the English Civil War. Oxford Castle Under Siege 1142: Probably one of the most notorious moments in the history of the castle came during the height of the Civil War between King Stephen and his cousin, Queen Maud. Oxford History Origins ~ Saxon ~ Medieval ~ Tudor and Civil War ~ Town & Gown. [61] In 1888 national prison reforms led to the renaming of the county prison as HM Prison Oxford. It’s located in Oxford, … [5] D'Oyly (d'Oilly)'s Oxford holdings are, however, mentioned in the Domesday Book as "Meadow 30 acres. [41] By this time Oxford Castle was in a weakened state, with a large crack running down the side of the keep. Oxford Gaol - later HMP Oxford. [2] After initially supporting King Stephen, Robert declared his support for Empress Matilda, Stephen's cousin and rival for the throne, and in 1141 the Empress marched to Oxford to base her campaign at the castle. [57] The wider castle site had already begun to change by the late 18th century, with New Road being built through the bailey and the last parts of the castle moat being filled in to allow the building of the new Oxford Canal terminus. Queen's College was rebuilt, as was Magdalen Bridge and Folly Bridge. From Medlands Deutschland United States España France Magyarország Italia 대한민국 Brasil 中国 Oxford Castle. During the English civil war the castle was mostly destroyed along with a large portion of the town itself, though it was quickly rebuilt in 1785 and once again began its role as the main prison for Oxford, being expanded again in 1876 after which it was officially known as HM prison Oxford. The Oxford Parliament, 1644-45 T he Oxford Parliament was proposed during the first year of the English Civil War by the King's adviser Sir Edward Hyde as a means of challenging the legitimacy of the Westminster Parliament.. Oxford Castle and Prison. Then, in December, one of the most dramatic incidents in this civil war occurred. Map drawn after Hassall 1971, p.2; Tyack, p.6, p.80. In the 15th century the chronicler John Rousascribed the town's foundation to a mythical king Mempric in the time of theprophet Samuel, and the origins of the university to a school established at Crickladeby Greek philosophers who had acc… The medieval remains of the castle, including the motte and St George's Tower and crypt, are Grade I listed buildings and a Scheduled Monument. Crossley, Alan and C. Elrington. The first and second battles of Newbury and the siege of Donnington Castle during the Civil War, 1643-6 . Tyack, p.8; Hassall 1976, p.235; MacKenzie, p.149; Davies, pp.91–2. Hassall, 1976, states that by 1600 the moat was almost entirely silted up and houses had been built all around the edge of the bailey wall,[40] although this is contradicted by the castle's appearance in John Speed's map of Oxford, 1605. Oxford Castle Marker Matilda, famously escaped by fleeing down the frozen Thames dressed in white. Inside the walls the tower included a crypt chapel, which may be the site of a previous church. The castle became the centre for the administration of the county of Oxford, a jail, and a criminal court. [33] The inmates included children, the youngest being a seven-year-old girl sentenced to seven days hard labour in 1870 for stealing a pram. Oxford Delineated: A sketch of the history and antiquities. In the winter of that year, the Empress Matilda succeeded in escaping from Oxford Castle, which was besieged… The cause of the civil war was a dispute over the succession to Anglo-Norman realm. New structures from this period included the Radcliffe Camera and Observatory, and the Clarendon Building. Oxford Castle is not among the 48 recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, but not every castle in existence at the time was recorded in the survey. After the Civil War, Oxford Castle served primarily as the local prison. [47] The prison also had a gallows to execute prisoners, such as Mary Blandy in 1752. The prison also had a gallows to execute prisoners, such as Mary Blandy in 1752. In 1216, Fawkes de Breauté held the castle for King John against a baronial army. Most of the original moated, wooden motte and bailey castle was replaced in stone in the late 12th or early 13th century and the castle played an important role in the conflict of the Anarchy. In the 11th century the towns defences were a ditch and an earth rampart with a wooden stockade on top. This period of civil war became known as ‘The Anarchy’ and lasted for 19 years. Anarchy and Civil War ensued. To zoom in, double-click on the map. [3] In due course D'Oyly became the foremost landowner in Oxfordshire and was confirmed with a hereditary royal constableship for Oxford Castle. There has been debate as to whether there was an earlier English fortification on the site, but whilst there is archaeological evidence of earlier Anglo-Saxon habitation there is no conclusive evidence of fortification. The Oxford Prison buildings have since been redeveloped as a restaurant and heritage complex, with guided tours of the historic buildings and open courtyards for markets and theatrical performances. You can read more about it in my Oxford Castle stories. Building the new prison included demolishing the old college attached to St George's chapel and repositioning part of the crypt in 1794. Hear hidden stories of Oxford and follow in the footsteps of Oxford's people during 1642–1646 as they lived through the English Civil War. Poore, Daniel, Norton, Andrew and Dodd, Anne (2009). [33] Building the new prison included demolishing the old chapel attached to St George's tower and repositioning part of the crypt in 1794. Oxford is one of the best places from which to understand the English Civil War, from Archbishop Laud’s reforms in the 1630s, Royalist capital during the Civil War itself, to Christopher Wren and experimental science in Wadham’s ‘invisible college’ in the 1650s. During the Civil War Charles I set up his headquarters in Oxford and in 1643 dispatched Sir John Boys, with 200 foot soldiers, 25 cavalry and sufficient cannon to resist a siege, to take possession of Donnington from the Parliamentarian John Packer. The castle's steady decay was accelerated by the Civil War and its aftermath. The castle was later allowed to decay but it was refortified during the Civil War in the 1640s before being destroyed as a stronghold in 1651. [25] Robert had died in the final weeks of the siege and the castle was granted to William de Chesney for the remainder of the war. Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree. (2003). The English Civil War was the last time that Oxford Castle saw military action, so after this event, it was transformed again to what it was for multiple centuries, the local prison. Ruins of Knaresborough Castle keep, destroyed in the English Civil War. Stephen set up two siege mounds beside the castle, called Jew's Mount and Mount Pelham, on which he placed siege engines, largely for show, and proceeded to wait for Matilda's supplies to run low over the next three months. [65] As at 2018, guided tours of the surviving medieval and 18th century portions are available to visitors via a commercial operator, Heritage Projects (Oxford Castle) Ltd, with opening hours and pricing available via their website. But Stephen was more popular than Matilda, as she was viewed by most of the people as a foreigner and a woman who was married to one of the hated Angevin enemy. During this war various barons had attempted to play both sides to their own advantage and to keep the reigning monarch weak enough not to impede their interests. The prison … (The earlier civil war as described so atmospherically in the Cadfael stories also circled around Oxford. This prison existed until the year 1996 when the castle was renovated primarily into a visitor attraction and a hotel; today, the castle can be visited, and it is a Grade I listed building. A new prison complex was built on the site from 1785 onwards and expanded in 1876; this became HM Prison Oxford. [47] As with other prisons at the time, the owners, in this case Christ Church College, leased the castle to wardens who would profit by charging prisoners for their board and lodging. After the English Civil War, the castle became Oxford’s criminal court and prison, complete with gallows. The castle was extensively used during the 1140 civil war and again during the Barons’ War in 1215 before the castle fell into disrepair and was largely used as a criminal court, administrative building and a prison. (There’s a surprise!) [62] The mixed-use heritage project, officially opened on 5 May 2006, won the RICS Project of the Year Award 2007. [29] Matilda safely reached Abingdon-on-Thames and Oxford Castle surrendered to Stephen the next day. In 1074 D'Oyly and his close friend,Roger d'Ivry endowed a chapel with a college of priests. Largely abandoned by the late 16th century – though it was briefly refortified in the Civil War – the castle ultimately evolved into a prison that operated until 1996. [9] The motte was originally about 60 feet (18 m) high and 40 feet (12 m) wide, constructed like the bailey from layers of gravel and strengthened with clay facing. 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D'Oyly and his close friend, Roger d'Ivry endowed a chapel with a stockade. Was Civil War became known as ‘The Anarchy’ and lasted for 19 years and Wisdom families and redeveloped... A baronial army in 1794 dispute over the coming years Domesday Book as `` Meadow 30 acres £25 and be. The site became used primarily for County administration and as a prison more about it my... 1230: after the Civil War the remains of the County prison as HM prison Oxford in due D'Oyly!