Journey into Wallingford Castle - Activity 1

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Instructions for Journey into Wallingford Castle - Activity 1

The artist's picture (above) shows you how Wallingford Castle looked in the 14th Century. 

   

Unfortunately Wallingford Castle no longer looks like this, it was demolished in  1652  on the orders of Oliver Cromwell.

The best way to see the castle as it once was is to come to the museum to see our brilliant new  model. 

You will see some differences between the artists impression and the new model, as we have learned more since the drawing was done.

In this activity you can choose to journey into Wallingford Castle, as a knight, a blacksmith or as a spy. You can choose to be which ever one of these characters you like. Just click on the character below to find your route instructions. 

 

 

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The Knight

The Blacksmith

The Spy

 
 
 

The Knight's arrived at Wallingford Castle, on horseback, with his servants, pages and squires.

You are crossing Wallingford Bridge. Follow the "black stars" above and use the information below to follow the knight's route into Wallingford Castle, you are taking the grandest way into the Castle.

Look for the gate at the end of   Wallingford Bridge   which guards an entrance to the town and castle. 

Next turn right to cross the first moat and to cross the first of the drawbridges. The first gateway, in front of this drawbridge, is called the  Constable's Gate.  This gate is protected with a portcullis, and also murder holes, through which could be thrown stones, or harmful substances, such as boiling water or sewage, onto any attackers.

Have a look at our video to discover where in Wallingford, you can find the site of the first gateway.   

Next you will see in In front of you another drawbridge, which crosses the second moat, before arriving at the second gateway. This gateway is called the  Bydongate.  This gate is protected, with defences like the ones you have just seen on the Constable's Gate.

You now enter a courtyard. passing through this you will now find your self into the  Middle Bailey. 

Once in the Middle Bailey continue onwards towards the  Great Drawbridge  leading into the  Inner Bailey,  which is the heart of the castle.

Your have reached your destination the  Knights' Hall  in the Inner Bailey. 

 

Look at the close up of the Knights Hall in the picture below. 

 
 
 
 

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Knights' Hall

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The blacksmith's journey into Wallingford Castle started from his home in Wallingford.

Follow the "red stars" on the map above, and use the information below to follow his route into 

Wallingford Castle.

Start by walking down High Street towards Wallingford Bridge. Just before the bridge turn left towards the main castle entrance. 

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The first gateway, in front of a drawbridge, is called the  Constable's Gate.  This gate is protected with a portcullis and also murder holes, through which could be thrown stones, or harmful substances, such as boiling water or sewage, onto any attackers.

Have a look at our video to discover where in Wallingford, you can find the site of the first gateway.   

Next you will see in front of you another drawbridge which crosses the second moat, before arriving at the second gateway. This gateway is called the  Bydongate  protected with defences like those you have just seen on the Constable's Gate.

Constable's Gate

Bydongate 

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Now enter a courtyard, passing through this you will now find yourself in the  Middle Bailey. 

Once in the Middle Bailey it's a short  walk to the  stables,  your final destination.

 
 

The castle had many horses, they were essential for knights, hunting parties, messengers and any general travel needs. The Constable was in overall charge of the stables, as well as the fighting force garrisoned at the castle. The blacksmith made essential things such as horse shoes, sharpened knives, shears and agricultural tools and weapons.  

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Stables

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The spy's journey into Wallingford Castle started from Wallingford Bridge.

Wallingford Castle suffered sieges, attacks and escape of prisoners during its long history.

 

As a spy you will need to be able to pass unnoticed, to find out the best place to attack the castle for your master.

Follow the "blue stars" above and use the information below to follow the spy's route into Wallingford Castle.

Your journey starts on  Wallingford Bridge  going into Wallingford. Instead of going into the town or castle, turn sharp right back on to the River Thames. On the  wharf   are several boats unloading their cargoes. Don't stop long here as you are walking to the  mill.  At least that is your excuse.

To your left you see two of the castle moats, protected by drawbridges and gates. 

You can also see a high wall - the  curtain wall, surrounding the castle with projecting towers, so that the castle archers can fire alongside the wall as well as front facing, to prevent attackers scaling the walls with ladders. The slits in the towers are there for the archers to fire their arrows through.

 

Carry on past the mill, get to the end of the riverside wall and the gate known as Dernegate, now turn left and carry on walking around the outside of the Castle until you arrive at the  North Gate   of the Town. 

If challenged you plan to say you were testing if any ground close to the castle was suitable for archery practice.

 

Now go through  North Gate, down Castle street and turn left onto  High Street  once again walking towards the Castle's main entrance. Once you  you arrive cross one moat and across a drawbridge over the moat to enter the first of the castle gates

 

To pass from the Outer Bailey to the  Middle Bailey, you have to cross another moat, drawbridge and  gate.   

Once through the Castle gates you arrive in the Middle Bailey, where you will meet John Fletcher, the arrow maker, who is your excuse for coming to the Castle.      

 

You discover that the Castle has three baileys, curtain walls and moats but you know that there is only  one curtain wall on the river side. Perhaps that is the weakest part of the castle defences, the best place to attack?  

  

 
 
 
 

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Wallingford Castle Timeline - Activity 2

 

Instructions for Journey into Wallingford Castle Timeline - Activity 2

Enjoy looking at the cartoons in this timeline. Have a go at the quick quiz after the timeline. 

Try Wallingford Museum's Time Line quiz, click the link on the picture to take you there. 

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Wallingford Museum is a Company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales. It is managed in association with The Wallingford Historical & Archaeological Society (TWHAS) and is a registered charity. It was one of the first museums in Oxfordshire to be fully registered and is fully accredited by the MLA. It is entirely run by volunteers.

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