Repairs of medieval castle could start THIS month

·4-min read
Final repairs for Wallingford Castle could begin this month (Picture credit: Ed Nix)
Final repairs for Wallingford Castle could begin this month (Picture credit: Ed Nix)

THE second stage of repairs scheduled for a medieval castle could start at the end of this month.

Historic England are due to release the rest of the £283,200 grant awarded to Wallingford Castle last year after it was deemed the site was “vulnerable to decay and damage from weather conditions, ivy regrowth and vandalism”.

The castle, which is on the Heritage at Risk Register, reopened in April after being closed from October last year due to public safety issues from potential falling masonry.

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However the first stage of repairs costing £5,000 included securing the ruins with scaffolding and fencing while the restoration work takes place.

Oxford Mail: Scaffolding went up last November to enable careful cutting back of vegetation, comprehensive condition surveys and 3D scanning.
Oxford Mail: Scaffolding went up last November to enable careful cutting back of vegetation, comprehensive condition surveys and 3D scanning.

Scaffolding went up last November to enable careful cutting back of vegetation, comprehensive condition surveys and 3D scanning.

An architect has now sent off the redesign plans for the castle, which lies largely in ruins, and a firm has been chosen by Wallingford Town Council, who manage the ruins, to carry out the work.

Professional historian and councillor Katharine Keats-Rohan, who secured the grant, hopes the second stage will begin imminently.

She said: “I’ve just signed off a request for the second stage of funding. We’ve had delays like these things usually do.

“But we’ve finished the design for the preservation and restoration stage and we’ve had the tenders back and we’ve identified the firm we hope will do the work if everything checks out.

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“Historic England just need to sign off on the design and release the money and hopefully by the end of the month see the next stage started.”

Oxford Mail: Wallingford Castle (Picture: Ed Nix)
Oxford Mail: Wallingford Castle (Picture: Ed Nix)

Wallingford Castle (Picture: Ed Nix)

Mrs Keats-Rohan said that there will be opportunities for people to visit the castle while repairs are underway.

She said: “There will be days for people to come in and the workers can explain what’s going on and it’ll be very interactive but we have to make sure it is safe.

“The stonework is very crumbly and we need to be careful but with any luck by August or September we’ll be able to explain what’s going on.”

The historian added that it is “fitting” that the castle, which was built during the reign of William the Conqueror but destroyed after a siege in the English Civil War, will be worked on during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

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She said: “It’s nice we’re able to do get the work on this completed this year during the Platinum Jubilee as the thing about the castle is it’s one of the most royal castle sand was well maintained due to it’s strong links to the royals -  so it’s really nice we able to do it this year.

“We’ll it more accessible when the repair stage is underway so there are plenty of opportunities for the public to get to see the castle and know more about it.”

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Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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