About Broughton Castle
Broughton Castle in Oxfordshire is a medieval fortified manor house, surrounded by a three-acre moat and set amongst scenic parkland. Despite its name, Broughton is more a fortified manor house than a castle, and has been the family seat of the Fiennes family (who hold the title Lord and Lady Saye and Sele) since the 15th century.
Broughton Castle history
Broughton Castle was built in around 1300 by Sir John de Broughton (from whom it receives its name!), and in 1377 came into the possession of Bishop Wykeham of Winchester, one of Britain’s most powerful figures at the time. In 1451, a Wykeham descendant married into the Fiennes family, in whose hands the castle still rests today, and during the second half of the 16th century, it underwent a significant re-build.
Among the most important historical events to occur at Broughton Castle took place during English Civil War, when then-owner William Fiennes was a strong opponent of Charles I. Fiennes refused to take the Oath of Allegiance to the King, and Broughton became a key meeting place for those set against him.
During the Civil War, Fiennes raised a regiment against the Crown and with his four sons fought at the Battle of Edgehill, following which Broughton Castle fell under siege and was captured. Later in the conflict however, William actually opposed the execution of Charles I and stepped away from public office over the matter. As a result, a pardon was granted to him from Charles II after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
Broughton Castle today
Today Broughton Castle is a mixture of beautiful parkland, striking buildings, and the three streams which allowed the construction of a large moat.
The house itself is magnificent – the Great Hall has an impressive display of arms and armour from the English Civil War, as well as from the Fiennes family tree. The Oak Room is panelled, as the name suggests, with oak from floor to ceiling, whilst the Queen Anne room commemorates the visit of James I’s wife, Queen Anne of Denmark, in 1604.
The King’s Chamber was used by James I and Edward VII, while the oldest sections of the castle are the atmospheric dining room and passageways. The passageways contain vaulted ceilings, and there is a staircase which leads to the rare 14th century chapel. The garden is also well worth a look, with its curiously designed box hedging.
Getting to Broughton Castle
Broughton Castle is located 2.5 miles from Banbury in Oxfordshire on the B4035 road, and there is parking at the site. The nearest train station is in Banbury, approximately 3.5 miles away, from which the 50A bus can be taken to Wykham Lane, a 5-minute walk to the site.
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