The Siege of Basing House
John Paulet, "the Great Loyalist" and Marquis of Winchester was one of Charles I's wealthiest supporters. His mansion, Basing House was surrounded by Cromwell's army on 8th October 1645. The bombardment began on 12th October and within a day the army had succeeded in breaking through the fortress walls, allowing an assault on 14th October. The house fell in less than an hour of fighting and along with the Marquis, the architect Inigo Jones was also captured. A vast amount of moveable wealth and loot was carried off by Cromwell's soldiers, estimated at the time to be worth £200,000. A fire destroyed most of the house and Cromwell ordered the demolition of what remained. He encouraged the villagers of Basing to loot the building for materials in order for them to rebuild their houses which were damaged during the siege.
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