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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Benson.
In the historic county of Oxfordshire.
Modern Authority of Oxfordshire.
1974 county of Oxfordshire.
Medieval County of Oxfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU615915
Latitude 51.61993° Longitude -1.11400°

Benson has been described as a Timber Castle although is doubtful that it was such, and also as a Fortified Manor House although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


According to Hearne the castle at Benson stood west of the church, where bones, spurs, bridles, swords etc had been found. Area now built over with modern housing and no remains visible. (Oxfordshire HER)

A considerable earthwork between the Church and the river is mentioned by several old writers. Hearne states that: "The Castle stood on the west side of the present Church, where a few years since a great quantity of Bones, some of which were Humane, and the rest the Bones of several kinds of Animals, besides strange old Spurs, Bridles, Swords, etc., was dug up. And 'tis on this side of the Town where there are still to be seen Tokens of the Ditch that surrounded it in old Time."... In Brewer's "Oxfordshire," 1813, we read: "To the west of the Church are a bank and trench, which seem to have been of a square form. Three sides of the embankment are now much defaced; but the part of the north retains considerable boldness." (Field)

The location by the church and on the Thames is certainly the location for a manor house. However the tenurial history argues against a manor house. This was a royal manor but not the location of a residential royal manor. It was, by repute, the location of a residence of King Offa. Was this the location of the manorial steward house and court with a later reputation as the site of a Saxon 'castle'? Such a house may well have been moated, although mainly to manage flooding rather than being defensive.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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