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Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Brightwell Cum Sotwell.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of Oxfordshire.
1974 county of Oxfordshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU57789076
Latitude 51.61250° Longitude -1.16796°

Brightwell has been described as a probable Siege Work, and also as a probable Fortified Manor House.

There are no visible remains.


Earthwork remains of two sides of a possible medieval moat around the southern and western sides of Brightwell Manor centred at SU 5778 9076. The total length of visible ditch measures 260m, the western side 90m and the southern side 170m at an angle of 108 degrees. A castle is documented in 1153 when it was destroyed by Henry II's troops who took it from Wallingford. Evidently a siege castle to Wallingford. This mound is unlikely to be the site of the siege castle. (PastScape)

Considered an unlikely site by King, but no other author seems to have a problem with this being a siege castle of Wallingford. This was a large moat which formerly included the church and the manor house. If this was the site of the recorded siege castle then it would seem likely that the castle was a strengthening of existing thegnal burh. It is also possible that the nearby Iron Age hill fort, Sinodun Castle Hill, could have been used (or, indeed, both sites may have been used). The Brightwell site is clearly a fortified manor and unusual in including the church within the moat, which is suggestive of an Anglo-saxon origin. The mound may be demolition rubble, a farm waste mound or a small motte marking the knightly status of a Norman tenant. The moat may have been recut and straightened in a later period.

The location of 'Bretewelle' is contested and may be Britwell Salome.

See Wallingford Castle and Wallingford siege castles for further information and bibliographies.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:20:06

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