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Wallingford Castle Gardens & Meadow

Wallingford Castle Gardens & Meadow
Bear Lane
Wallingford
OX10 8DR

Wallingford Castle

The green mounds in the castle gardens were once the site of one of the strongest and most important castles in England.

The building of the castle began in 1067 on the direct instructions of William the Conqueror, who had crossed the River Thames at Wallingford on his way to London to take the throne.

The castle was expanded in the 13th century, after which it became a royal castle, closely associated with many medieval kings.

In 1502, the castle was inherited by the future Henry VIII, but he preferred his manor house at nearby Ewelme. It fell into disrepair and was robbed of stone and lead, which was shipped downriver to help with the building work at Windsor.

In the 17th century, Wallingford Castle enjoyed a renewed and final glory. During the Civil War, it was refortified as a Royalist stronghold but, realising its potential danger to the cause, Cromwell’s Council of State ordered its demolition on 17 November 1652.

Wallingford Castle Gardens

The site is now a garden offering visitors a peaceful stroll and a place for rest and contemplation.

The flower beds are designed to maintain a kaleidoscope of colour throughout the summer season, and a wildlife meadow has been carefully developed over the past few years.

The wildflower meadow includes wildflowers and plants that are (or were) indigenous to this area of the Thames Valley. These flowers have also encouraged recolonisation of the area by many butterflies.

Garden Opening Times

01 October to 30 March from 8.30am until 3.00pm
01 April to 31 May from 8.30am until 6.00pm
01June to 30 September from 8.30am until 7.00pm

Parking

There is no parking available at the Castle Gardens. Please park in the Wallingford Town Centre car parks.

Good to know

The Castle Gardens are a dog-free area with the exception of assistance dogs. Dogs are allowed in the Castle Meadows.

Ball games, music, cycling or skateboarding are not permitted.

The ruins in the Castle Garden are a scheduled monument and should be respected and not climbed on.

Wallingford Castle Meadows

Wallingford Castle Meadows includes the remains of one of the greatest medieval castles in England, along with floodplain meadows beside the Thames and a Victorian Grotto. 

The Earth Trust manages the site on behalf of the South Oxfordshire District Council. 

In 2020, Wallingford Castle Meadows was awarded its 13th consecutive Green Flag and its Green Heritage Site accreditation for the seventh year in a row.

Castle Meadows Opening Times

The Castle Meadows are always open but note that when the Castle Gardens are closed, there is no access to the meadows through the gardens.

Parking

There is limited parking on Cemetery Lane (nearest postcode OX10 8LG). Please park considerably. Alternatively please park in the Wallingford Town Centre car parks.

Good to know

  • Dogs are allowed when on the lead. Cattle often graze there so please take extra care.
  • There are no toilet facilities

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