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Reading Castle Hill

In the civil parish of Reading.
In the historic county of Berkshire.
Modern Authority of Reading.
1974 county of Berkshire.
Medieval County of Berkshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SU713732
Latitude 51.45383° Longitude -0.97485°

Reading Castle Hill has been described as a probable Timber Castle.

There are no visible remains.


The site of Reading Castle, said to have been demolished circa 1153 appears to be lost, but may have stood on the high ground called Castle Hill. (PastScape)

There was a castellle in the Saxons tyme in this towne: and the name of Castlelle-Streat yet remaynithe, lying from est to west to passe to Newbyri: but I could not percieve or clerely lerne wher it stoode. But by al lykelihod at the west-ende of the Castelle-Streat: and, as sum think, about the place of execution. (Leland)

Daniel and Samuel Lysons in their Magna Britannia published in 1806 state: “There can be little doubt, but that the old county gaol, in Castle Street, occupied the site of the castle; and the lancet windows and round arches, discovered upon pulling down the building in 1798 were part of the original structure.” (From

Slade suggests the castle demolished in 1152 was that at Forbury Hill in the Abbey built de novo by Stephen in 1150. He suggest Castle Hill might have been the site of an immediate post-Conquest castle of short-term use.
The masonry remains are unlikely to have been from a C11/C12 castle but the location near the church and the tendency to maintain function at a specific site (the gaol), as well as the Castle Street name (of medieval origin), are evidence for this being the site of a castle.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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