The remains of a moated manorial site, probably a fortified house. All that remains is the moat, partly water filled with an outer bank, which encloses a rectangular central area where the house would have been.
This castle lay S. of Reading, near Shinfield, and belonged anciently to the family of de la Beche. In 12 Edward III. Nicholaus de la Beche obtained a licence to crenellate his manor house of Beaumeys, as well as those of Aldworth (q.v.), and Watlyngton in Oxfordshire, and this year (1338) is probably the date of the erection of the castle, of which there are at the present day no existing remains. The necessity of fortifying the house was shown by the commission of an outrageous assault there in 1332, of which the facts are given in Lyson’s “Magna Britannia”. Sir Nicholaus de la Beche was owner of seventeen manors in Berks, and dying left this manor to his widow, Margaret, who had been previously married to Edmund Bacon, and who, after the death of Sir Nicholaus, had taken as her third husband Sir J. Arderne. He, too, had died, and his widow was residing in this her own house of Beaumys, when one John de Dalton came with an armed force and attacked the place. They killed Michael de Poynings, uncle to Lord Poynings, and frightened the chaplain to death, after which they robbed the place of all the goods and chattels they could find, the value of which amounted to £1000, and carried off some people as prisoners, among whom was the Lady Margaret de la Beche, or Aderne, herself. Indeed the raid must have had for its motive the forcible abduction of this lady, since we hear that she was wedded (en quatrieme noces) to this John de Dalton and that she died two years after. This is quite a precedent to the forcible marriage, at the close of the last century, of the Dowager Lady Lovat, by Simon Fraser afterwards Lord I,ovat (beheaded in 1746), in order to obtain her estates.
There is in the parish of Swallowfield a small elevation of the ground, and an ancient moat, which is believed to represent Beaumys Castle. (Castles Of England, Sir James D. Mackenzie, 1896)
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