March 7, 2017

Britain's Medieval Castles by Lise E. Hull

By Lise E. Hull

The common building of castles in Britain all started once Duke William of Normandy set foot at the shorelines of southern England in 1066. The castles that have been developed within the resulting centuries, and whose ruins nonetheless scatter the British nation-state this present day, supply us with a permanent list of the wishes and pursuits of the days. however the essence of the medieval castle—a constitution that's equivalent elements army, residential, and symbolic—reveals itself not just throughout the grandeur of such architectural masterpieces because the Tower of London, and the implementing nature of such royal apartments as Windsor, but in addition within the getting older masonry carvings, enduring battlements, and extra modest earthen ramparts that experience survived along them. via a feature-by-feature account of the architectural parts and methods utilized in developing the medieval fort, writer Lise Hull permits the a number of features of those multifarious types to polish via, and in so doing, lends a brand new energy to the thousand faces that the medieval international assumed to deter its enemies, motivate its acquaintances, and regulate its subjects.

This compelling research takes a special examine all of the medieval castle's major roles: as an offensive presentation and shielding fortification, as a residential and administrative development, and as a symbolic constitution demonstrating the prestige of its proprietor. every one bankruptcy specializes in one particular function and makes use of concrete architectural good points to illustrate that point of the medieval fortress in Britain. A wealth of illustrations can be supplied, as is a word list explaining the designated components of the fortress and their services. This ebook may be of curiosity to scholars studying structure, the center a long time, or army historical past, in addition to common readers drawn to castles or contemplating a visit to Britain to monitor a few of these amazing websites themselves.

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Recognizing the need for speed as they began their march toward Hastings, William's men dug a ditch inside the Roman walls at Pevensey and piled the soil and rubble alongside to form an earthen embankment, or partial enclosure, which was probably topped with timber palisades. Only after becoming king did William grant Pevensey to his half brother, Robert, Count of Mortain, who refortified the stronghold with masonry defenses and began its conversion into a substantial fortress poised to defend the coastline from seaborne assault.

Nonetheless, Richard Eales speculates that, given the historical and archaeological evidence and conclusions made by previous researchers, quite possibly some 950 to 1,150 "early Norman castles" existed in the landscape prior to 1200, with an average of between 500 and 600 in use at the same time. 7 Unfortunately, the high expense and considerable effort involved in excavating motte and ringwork castles have prevented researchers from making reasonably accurate conclusions on this issue. Interestingly, the earliest ringwork castles appeared in Wales during the first decade of the twelfth century, about thirty years after the first mottes and stone castles were built, begging the question of the purpose they served for the Normans.

In 1284, Edward was so insistent on occupying land held by Cistercian monks at Conwy, that he moved the entire monastic community at Aberconwy to Maenan to make space for what would become his grandest planned castle town, Conwy, where the entire 3/4-mile circuit of towered and gated walls are one of the best examples of their kind still extant in Europe. 21 22 BRITAIN'S MEDIEVAL CASTLES The deliberate plantation of foreign settlers in Ireland, not only by the Normans but by postmedieval monarchs as well, changed the course of Irish history and also the appearance of the landscape.

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