Donnington Castle in Berkshire is a hauntingly beautiful site, where the echoes of its long history intermingle with chilling accounts of ghostly sightings…
Donnington Castle, located near the town of Newbury in Berkshire, England, is a historic fortification with a rich and storied history. Built in the 14th century, the castle has played a significant role in several key events in England’s past. It also has a reputation for being one of the most haunted castles in the country.
Donnington Castle was originally built as a fortress in the 1300s by Sir Richard Abberbury, a loyal supporter of King Edward III. It was strategically located near the town of Newbury, an important crossroads during the medieval period. The castle served not just as a military stronghold, but also as a residence.
Over the centuries, the castle underwent several renovations and additions, including the construction of a great tower in the late 1400s. This tower served as a lookout point and the main residence of the castle. In the late 1400s, the castle was visited by King Henry VI and his queen, Margaret of Anjou, who were on their way to the Battle of Tewkesbury.
Civil War and Beyond
During the English Civil War in the 1600s, Donnington Castle was used as a military stronghold by both Royalist and Parliamentary forces. The castle was eventually captured by Parliamentary forces, who then used it as a prison for Royalist soldiers. After the Civil War, the castle was abandoned and fell into disrepair.
In the late 1800s, the castle was purchased by the local council and efforts were made to preserve and restore the site. Today, visitors can explore the castle and see remnants of its long history, including the great tower, the castle ramparts, and the remains of the castle’s defensive walls.
Hauntings of Donnington Castle
Donnington Castle has a long history of ghostly sightings and paranormal activity, with reports of ghostly encounters dating back hundreds of years. Some of the most notable hauntings include:
The Green Lady: A ‘green lady’ has been seen lurking at the gates of the castle. She reportedly asks someone passing by why the gates are closed before suddenly disappearing. Mysterious candlelight has also been seen at night in the castle.
The Soldier and the Screaming Woman: A group of friends camping inside the castle reported an alarming encounter. They heard a blood-curdling scream and reportedly spotted an elderly Royalist soldier holding a woman in a headlock. When they shouted at the ghostly figure, it turned and growled at them, before both the soldier and the woman disappeared into thin air.
The Ghostly White Dog: A couple reported seeing a white dog appear near the castle, before heading into nearby woods. The dog is said to be soundless and is often seen bounding down the hill before it disappears.
The Ghost of a Woman: This ghost is said to be that of a woman who was imprisoned in the castle for years, and is said to wander the castle grounds in search of her lost love.
The Ghost of a Soldier: Visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a soldier who was killed in battle, wandering the castle’s ramparts and battlements.
Strange Noises: Visitors have reported hearing strange noises, including ghostly footsteps, unexplained whispers, and the blood-curdling screams of a woman, while exploring the castle.
Unexplained Lights: Some visitors have reported seeing unexplained lights in the castle, particularly in the great tower.
You can find Donnington Castle at Donnington, Newbury RG14 2LE
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