Wallingford Castle still under attack after 947 years!

Wallingford Castle still under attack after 947 years!

William the Conqueror started rebuilding the Saxon fortifications into a castle in 1067, while on his way to London to become King, after the Battle of Hastings.

With the building on the Heritage at Risk register, Historic England granted £283,200 for repairs, but since the work was completed Wallingford Town Councillor Steve Holder said stones have been removed and thrown off the ruin. He emphasised that the "need to educate and make the future generation of Wallingford aware about its rich history''.

Councillor Katharine Keats-Rohan, of South Oxfordshire District Council and Wallingford Town Council, which maintains the castle gardens and ruins, said: "The castle’s remains bear priceless witness to the important role Wallingford has played in English history and should be a source of pride to us all”.

A community-led campaign was started after increased vandalism and litter in the town during lockdown. In late 2023 the council had enough and utilised local security company uWatch to provide a solution to the challenge of monitoring a remote site in a public place and gathering evidence as to who is causing the criminal damage.

Historic England granted permission and funds for security equipment to be installed at the site. Within 5 hours of uWatch installing their solution, the first images of vandals were captured. 

Beryl Guiver, MD of uWatch, commented “There is a lot of useful new technology around for remote monitoring by the community which we invested heavily in over lockdown, and all our software systems are cyber-certified.

This type of real-time engagement with people will dramatically improve the effectiveness of the local police in many areas once they appreciate its potential. All picture evidence we capture is date and time-stamped, be it from our remote solar-powered cameras or our WeWatch and Stop Fly Tipping apps. Available in any language and designed to be very simple to use, our systems empower the community to securely report evidence about local issues, confidentially, without the conjecture and abuse that comes with social media”.

A day later …. Further images of vandals were captured posing on the ruins.

The most frequently abused area of the site has seen the protective turf completely worn down to the reinforcing membrane which will cost hundreds of pounds to reinstate and re-establish.

Wallingford Town Council stated “we are dedicated to preserving the historical integrity of Wallingford Castle. The recent acts of vandalism around the town are a stark reminder of the challenges we face in protecting our heritage. We are grateful for the swift and effective measures implemented by uWatch, which have already yielded positive results. We urge the community to respect this valuable site and join us in our efforts to safeguard it for future generations. Together, we will ensure that Wallingford