None of the buildings shown above, in Wallingford's Market Place, has stood for less than 250 years. The church of St Mary le More was partly rebuilt about 1650, the Town Hall (centre) about 1670. A market town, steeped in history (we have compiled a brief history of the town do have a look), Wallingford occupies almost exactly one square mile on the southern bank of the River Thames, between Oxford and Reading, as it meanders down towards London (48 miles) and the open sea. To the south-west are the Berkshire Downs and to the north-east the Chiltern Hills. Here in this rich agricultural area are many old-world villages of outstanding charm and interest.
One thousand 'living history' enthusiasts with full period uniform and weaponry will stage a re-enactment of the siege of Wallingford Castle over the weekend of 27-28 July 1996. Over 10,000 spectators are expected in Wallingford for this 350th anniversary. In the English Civil War the massive castle was held for King Charles I, but when the King fled it was besieged by Parliamentary forces. The Royalists held out for 16 weeks before negotiating an honourable surrender in July 1646.
There is an exciting proposal to create a Wallingford Arts Park on the northern side of the river bank. The water meadows here are often under water because the Thames breaks its banks virtually every year. The plan occupying 40 acres and costing about $60 million is for the construction of a series of low pavilions floating over a new artificial lake or rising above the water on stilts, with sculpture trails and a nature reserve.
Return to Bennett Family Ancestry.