Wallingford was a walled Saxon town on the Thames and the remains of the town walls can still be seen today. William the Conqueror built Wallingford Castle, which was used as a royal residence until the time of the Black Death. The Castle was demolished by the order of Oliver Cromwell in 1646 after a 65 day siege. Wallingford is a thriving market town. The centre is a conservation area with fine examples of churches and architecture dating back to the 14th century. The landscape from the River Thames is officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The narrow streets with their variety of small shops, pubs and restaurants, the antique shops in the Lamb Arcade, and the parks, commons and gardens make it a very pleasant town. Wallingford is within easy reach of both the M40 and the M4 and only 15 miles from Oxford.