Expansion of Wallingford
King John extended the castle and met discontented barons here. Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry III spent a lot on making the castle even grander.
Prince Edward (later Edward II) was held captive at Wallingford by Simon de Montfort when an attempt was made to rescue him, de Monthfort threatened to fire him out of the castle on a catapult. Others were imprisoned here too.
Edward II and Isabella
Edward II gave Wallingford Castle first to his favourite Piers Gaverston, and later Hugh Despencer, both unpopular choices with the . He relented and gave the castle to his wife, Isabella. When Isabella and Roger Mortimer because lovers and plotters against Educaward issued a proclamination from Wallingford Castle offering £2000 for Hugh Despensers head. After the Despencers were captured and killed, Isabella and Mortimer had a royal feast at Wallingford and Mortimer was made constable.
Edward the Black Price and Joan of Kent
In 1335 Wallingford became part of the Duchy of Cornwall, given to the kings eldest son, Edward Duke of Cornwall, later the Black Prince was first to benefit. Edward married Joan of Kent, and gave her the castle. Joan died here, apparently of a broken heart, believing her son John Holland was to be executed for an accidential killing, although he was later repreived.
Isabelle De Valois
Isabelle de Valois, the 11 year old consort of Richard II tool refuge at Wallingford Castle when Richard went to Ireland. However, Henry of Bolingbroke (later Henry VI) took advantage of Richard’s absence to raise an army and killed the king on his return. Isabelle later married Charles Duke of Orleans, who would later be imprisoned at Wallingford Castle, after the battle of Agincourt.
Catherine De Valois and Own Tudor
Catherine de Valois, Isabelle’s sister and widow of Henry V, was given Wallingford Castle. She is believed to have met Owen Tudor here when Owen was helping to bring up the future Henry VI. The romance of Catherine and Owen led to the Tudor dynasty, but didn’t prevent Owen from being imprisoned at Wallingford after Catherine’s death.
Henry VIII, Charles I and the end of the line
Henry VII gave Wallingford Castle to his son Prince Arthur. When Arthur died as a boy, it passed to Prince Henry, later Henry VIII. However, Henry preferred nearby Ewelme Manor, and thus ended the use of the castle by the crown, until Charles I used it as a military base in the Civil War.