Donington Castle


Some twenty U3a members gathered at Donnington Castle Newbury, for the 10.30am start of a wonderfully varied walk, led by Newbury U3a member Kate Donato.
As we climbed the reasonably short hill, up to the impressive keep and ramparts, we were all struck by the commanding and far reaching views.
On hand was local historian and Civil War expert Philip Wood, together with his wife Jane, who were able to detail the action in and around the castle during those famous Newbury Civil War battles.
The weather was reasonable, which meant that Philip could explain in detail exactly where the various forces held ridges and woodlands, where troops advanced and withdrew and where the battles were subsequently won and lost.
Philip gave us a comprehensive guide to the castle itself and we were able to envisage exactly how it had looked in those historic days and what part it had played in the many activities over that period.
This was an extremely interesting talk from someone who was really able to bring that Civil War action to life.
Philip and Jane then accompanied us on a 4 mile circular walk. Kate Donato is highly familiar with the area and had put together a splendid walk where we were able to see for ourselves, not only the open ridges and woodland areas, but also historic sunken paths and the contrasting Snelsmore Common.
We left Donnington Castle far more knowledgeable than we had arrived but not before Chris French had recorded the occasion with some outstanding photos which have been linked to this walk.
We all retired to The Castle public house where we had a good lunch and got on with the serious business of networking!

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