Rochester Castle Castle and cathedral stand close together beside the River Medway. For once, it is the castle, which dominates, the squat cathedral tower seeming insignificant alongside the magnificent keep. This is the tallest of the Norman keeps, rising 115 feet to the top of its corner turrets. Archbishop Corbeil's keep is intact save for the loss of its roof and floors. A relatively small floor area accentuates the height; small that is when compared with an immense cuboid such as Dover. The keep is five stages high, including the double story, which contained the hall and solar. Originally, the only entrance was at first floor level via a fore building. The fore building is a tall and narrow projection, higher than most fore buildings, though it does not rise the full height of the keep. It contains a vaulted prison chamber beneath the entrance vestibule and an austere chapel, which was reached from the body of the keep, above it. At this level, the cross wall is pierced by a four-bay arcade. In the middle of the cross wall, a well shaft rises the full height of the keep so that water could be drawn at each level. Rochester is one of those ambitious keeps with a mural gallery at the upper level around the hall and solar. The windows here are unusually large for a Norman keep -- presumably at this height they were considered to be out of reach of siege towers. The top floor above the gallery level, also well lit, is a luxury matched among Norman keeps only at Hedingham Castle, which may have been designed by the same architect. Three of the corner turrets, rising well above parapet level, are square, but the south corner turret is circular. This whole corner belongs to Henry III's reconstruction after the siege of 1215. Cooling Castle Cooling Castle, a mile east of Cliffe, was built for Sir John de Cobham, a license to crenellate being granted in 1381. Two years before, French raiders had caused devastation on the Hoo peninsula, so Cooling was built at least partly with coastal defense in mind. Ironically, but not uncommonly where English coastal fortifications are concerned, the castle saw no action against foreign invaders but became embroiled in civil strife. In 1554, Sir Thomas Wyatt sought the aid of Lord Cobham in the rebellion that he was organizing to prevent Queen Mary marrying Philip of Spain. When Lord Cobham refused, Wyatt marched upon Cooling Castle and breached its walls by cannon fire in the space of a few hours. After the episode, the castle was abandoned. The castle is one of those later medieval castles which is split into two enclosures comprising a residential inner quadrangle and a much bigger base court, which housed the retainers' lodgings and ancillary buildings. Its low-lying site would have appeared stronger when the moat was full of water. The outer curtain and its rounded angle towers are now very ruinous, but the outer gatehouse is well preserved. This is actually just a gateway flanked by open-backed, half-round towers. It is curious that machicolated parapets crown the towers but not the gateway. The inner courtyard is reached through another gatehouse flanked by rounded turrets. Keyhole gun ports appear here and elsewhere in the walls. To the right of the gatehouse, the curtain is embellished with alternate panels of stone and flint, creating a checkered effect. The corner tower here has vanished, but the round towers at the other three corners, along with much of the intervening curtain, still stand. These towers were machicolated as well. Within the courtyard, the only domestic feature to survive is a vaulted undercroft, which carried the solar. Carisbrooke Castle Carisbrooke Castle is an extensive fortress situated on a hill about a mile southwest of Newport, virtually in the center of the Isle of Wight. As a fortification, it has a very long history, because the Norman castle is raised on the site of a Roman fort and is surrounded in turn by Elizabethan defenses designed to withstand artillery. The Elizabethan rampart surrounds the two baileys of the Norman castle in concentric fashion. This low, artillery-proof earthwork is encased in stone. There are arrowhead bastions at the corners and a fifth one on the west, commanding the entrance. Beyond the simple gateway through the rampart, one is confronted with the main gatehouse. It began as a thirteenth century gate tower but in 1336, at the start of the Hundred Years War, Edward III extended it outwards. Round turrets flank the handsome fašade and there is a row of machicolations above the entrance. The long gate passage, with three portcullis grooves, leads into a western bailey, which occupies the site of the Roman fort. Instead of utilizing the Roman wall, the Normans raised a massive rampart over it and piled up a lofty motte in one corner. Nevertheless, the Roman masonry still peeks out from the bank in several places. Before long, a polygonal shell keep was placed on the motte and a new wall was built on top of the bailey rampart. The rampart is so powerful that the curtain only needs to be of modest height. During the Elizabethan modifications, artillery bastions were added at the south corners of the curtains, but encased within both are square, open-backed towers. Clearly, they are early examples of mural towers and they are too small and too widely spaced to be effective as flankers. They support the written evidence that the curtain was built by Baldwin de Redvers. Deal Castle Henry VIII built three forts -Deal, Walmer and Sandown-along a two-mile stretch of shore to hamper any attacks. An earth rampart, with intermittent bastions, linked them but that has since perished. The whole scheme was finished by the fall of 1540. Deal Castle, the central fort of the three, was the largest of all Henry VIII's forts. Here the characteristic geometrical layout of the series attains its most elaborate form. The result, whether by accident or design, is a sexfoil plan reminiscent of a Tudor rose. At the center is a squat, round tower with six semi-circular bastions projecting from its circumference, and surrounding that is a massive curtain arranged into six projecting lobes. There is thus a return to the concentricity of Edwardian castles, a key feature being the graduated height of the parapets to permit cannon fire from three levels simultaneously. The stone-faced ditch is guarded by fifty-four gun ports set in the curtain, each one in a small chamber reached from the gallery at basement level. The gun ports are widely splayed embrasures typical of the Henrician era. One of the outer lobes is higher than the rest and contains the entrance, formerly reached by a drawbridge across the ditch. Within the gate passage are all the traditional trappings of defense - portcullis groove, studded oak gates and murder holes in the vault. To reach the central tower, it is necessary to pass through the courtyard, in fact no more than a curving corridor between the central tower and the curtain. It would have been a death trap for attackers attempting to make their way to the tower entrance while under fire from either side. The central tower had store rooms, garrison's lodgings and the governor's residence crammed into its three floors. Timber partitions radiate from a central stone shaft, which contains a spiral stair. Trematon Castle Trematon Castle stands on an eminence rising steeply above the River Lynher, two miles southwest of Saltash and the Tamar estuary. Robert, Count of Mortain and Earl of Cornwall probably founded the castle. It is referred to as his in the Domesday Book. At that time Trematon was a place of some importance whereas now it is scarcely a village. The castle saw action in the Civil War and, earlier, in the course of Kilter's Insurrection which broke out in Cornwall in 1594. The rebels laid siege to the castle and managed to lure out and capture its defender, Sir Richard Grenville. Trematon is a fine example of a motte and bailey castle. It is even more notable for the excellent preservation of its late Norman masonry, almost certainly the work of Henry de Dunstanville. An oval shell keep crowns the motte and a plain curtain surrounds the bailey. Both keep and curtain retain their crennelations, the latter having unusually narrow merlons. Until 1897 the curtain stood complete, but in that year a long portion was removed to supply materials for the house that stands in the bailey. Consequently, there is now a long gap between the gatehouse and the southwest corner of the bailey. At the foot of the motte is an original postern. He main entrance is through a perfectly preserved gatehouse added by Reginald de Valletort around 1250. Its square plan is decidedly old-fashioned at a time when round-towered gatehouses predominated. Nevertheless, the gatehouse projects entirely outside the line of the curtain, so that it acts as a powerful flanking tower, and the gate passage was defended by two portcullises and a pair of gates between them. The ascent through the gate passage is an obstacle in itself. Note the first arrow slits of the castle, both the cross-slits on the keep parapet and the slits with roundels in the gatehouse. Ashby Castle Ashby-de-ka-Zouche takes its name from the Zouche family whose line died out in 1399. In 1464, Ashby was one of the estates granted to William, Lord Hastings, as a reward for his services to Edward IV. Hastings held the office of Lord Chamberlain and, in 1474, he obtained a license to crenellate his houses at Ashby and Kirby Muxloe. During the Civil War, Henry Hastings strengthened the castle with earthen redoubts and turned it into the chief center of Royalist resistance in the county. The garrison endured over a year of siege before surrendering on honorable terms in February, 1646. The Hastings Tower was slighted by order of Parliament, but the rest of the castle remained habitable into the eighteenth century. It is now all ruined. Before Lord Hastings, there was only a manor house here, though it was a fine one in keeping with the status of the Zouches. Hastings made the older buildings the core of his mansion. They form a range centered upon a late Norman hall, flanked by the solar and a buttery and pantry wing. In the fourteenth century, the massive kitchen was added to the complex. Lord Hastings modernized these buildings and extended the range with the addition of a fine chapel in the prevailing Perpendicular style. Following the license to crenellate, he built a curtain around the manor house and raised the mighty square tower, which is named after him. The curtain cannot have been a very formidable obstacle -- only a portion survives-but the Hastings Tower is still impressive. It is one of the best examples of a late medieval tower house, providing its owner with a dignified but secure residence. It stands detached from the manorial buildings, facing them across the courtyard. The tower is built in very fine ashlar masonry. Tonbridge Castle Guarding a crossing over the River Medway, the important castle of Tonbridge was founded by Richard Fitz Gilbert. It existed by 1088, when Rufus stormed the castle with the help of a native English army raised to quell the rebellion of Bishop Odo of Bayeux. Despite his involvement in this revolt, Fitz Gilbert retained possession. The castle is an impressive example of a Norman motte and bailey -- a layout curiously rare in Kent. On top of the great motte are the lower courses of a round shell keep. The bailey curtain dates from thirteenth century, probably from the time of the earlier Gilbert de Clare or his son, Richard. Owing to later stone robbing, it is now very ruinous and none of the flanking towers survive. The curtain is best preserved where it overlooks the river, four latrine chutes showing that residential buildings once stood here. The Red Earl's gate house, by contrast, is still an imposing structure. Newly built in 1275, when Edward I visited the castle, the gatehouse is an outstanding example of Edwardian military architecture. Massive U-fronted towers, rising from square bases, flank the long entrance passage, which was protected by two portcullises, two pairs of gates and three rows of murder holes in the vault. Circular stair turrets clasp the rear corners. The building is a classic example of a keep-gate house, which could be defended independently if the rest of the castle fell. Hence the inner gates barred access from the bailey and portcullises sealed off even the doors leading to the curtain wall walks. A hall occupied the whole of the second floor of the gatehouse. This awkward arrangement was necessary, since the chamber immediately over the gate passage would be clogged with drawbridge and portcullia winding gear. An eighteenth century house stands beside the gatehouse. Raby castle Raby Castle stands within a vast park to the north of Staindrop. Despite the alterations inevitable in a castle that has become a stately home, Raby ranks among the finest of later medieval fortified mansions. It reflects the aspirations of the Neville family, who became the most powerful of the Bishop of Durham's vassals. Ralph, Lord Neville, commanded the English forces at the Battle of Neville's Cross and probably started building here. His son John obtained a license to crenellate in 1378, but the castle was probably nearly complete by then. The irregular layout suggests a piecemeal development around an older residential core. On the east side of the courtyard is a hall range, with a small tower -- the original pele -- attached to it. This was built up into a pentagonal enclosure surrounded by residential ranges. Massive, oblong flanking towers project at regular intervals. Clifford's Tower is the largest of them, placed at the northwest apex. Next comes the Kitchen Tower at the northeast corner. The east front was peculiar because its towers project deeply from the back of the hall range. There was thus a deep recess between Mount Raskelf, an adjunct of the Kitchen Tower, and the Chapel Tower in the middle of the east front. However, an eighteenth-century block has filled the recess. The same has happened to the void between Chapel Tower and Bulmer's Tower. The latter once stood curiously isolated from the rest of the castle and was therefore presumably a tower house. Two campaigns in particular affected the appearance of the castle. In 1782, John Carr drove a carriageway through the Chapel Tower and heightened the lower hall at the expense of the great hall and chapel above. The second was the rebuilding of the south range and the extension of the great hall in the 1840s. Chester Castle Chester originated as the Roman legionary fortress of Deva. Stone defenses first rose around AD 100 and for the next three centuries it housed the Twentieth Legion. When the Roman occupation came to an end the site appears to have been deterred, but the Danes took refuge one winter behind the old walls and withstood a Saxon attempt to dislodge them. This prompted Ethelred, Earl of Mercia, to establish a burgh here on the Wessex pattern in 907. It put up a rare resistance to William the Conqueror but fell in 1070. The present city wall is largely of the thirteenth century, a period when most English towns rebuilt their defenses. Underlying the medieval defenses are the remains of the legionary fortress. This had the usual rectangular plan of Roman forts, with rounded corners and a gate on each side. The city wall follows the Roman alignment on the north and east. Near Newgate can be seen the foundation of the Roman angle tower where the two walls parted company. King Charles' Tower, at the north-east corner, is the best of the mural towers. From here Charles I watched the Battle of Rowton Heath. However, an even more impressive tower is the cylindrical Water Tower, added in 1322-26 at the end of an embattled spur wall which projects from the north-west corner of the circuit. Chester Castle occupies a knoll overlooking the river at the south end of the walled city. Before the defenses were extended it stood outside their circuit. William the Conqueror founded the castle after the city had fallen, but he soon made Hugh d'Avranches Earl of Chester and granted the castle to him. The tower's upper floor contains a vaulted chapel in Norman Traditional style, adorned with the remains of newly-discovered frescoes. A length of inner curtain also survives. Penhurst Place At the heart of this great mansion is one of England's finest medieval manor houses. Sir John de Pulteney, four times Lord Mayor of London, built it after he purchased the manor about 1338. His house conforms to the usual domestic layout of the later Middle Ages, the hall being flanked on one side by service rooms and on the other by the solar block. Porches from both north and south lead into the screened passage of the hall. This magnificent chamber is virtually untouched by time, and its chestnut roof is one of the glories of medieval carpentry. Its main beams are supported on carved figures, other authentic features being the tiled floor, the step up to the dais and the central hearth. The louvre in the roof has been cunningly eliminated. The carved Tudor screen conceals three doors leading to the buttery, the kitchen corridor and the pantry. The large solar, now equipped as a dining room, lies over a vaulted undercroft of unusual grandeur. At right angles to the solar is the so-called Buckingham Wing, added to augment the accommodation by John, Duke of Bedford. He bought Penshurst in 1430, while Regent of England, on behalf of his young nephew, Henry VI. The Duke if Bedford enclosed the manor house within a great square of walls and towers. There were towers at each corner and probably in the middle of each side. The house stood well inside the enclosure so comfort did not have to be compromised. Eighteenth century demolition has robbed Penshurst of its surrounding curtain, deliberately restoring a domestic ambience. Only four of the oblong towers live on. The western corner towers form part of the present mansion, linked to the older core by long wings of Elizabethan origin. The other two are gate towers. Leicester Castle Leicester originated as the Roman Ratae, was occupied by the Danes as one of their Five Boroughs, then fortified against them following English re-conquest of the Danelaw. Hugh de Grantmesnil became Sheriff of Leicester after the Norman Conquest and he probably founded the castle on the King's behalf. Nothing is left of Leicester's Roman and medieval town wall. Furthermore, the castle has only survived as a number of isolated fragments. It stood beside the River Soar. Castle Yard marks the site of the inner bailey and the truncated Norman motte can still be seen there. The defenses of the bailey have perished but there are two interesting domestic survivals. The seventeenth century fašade of the Court House conceals a remarkable Norman hall. It was originally divided into aisles by two lines of wooden posts, but only on carved capital remains in place and the building has suffered from later partitioning. The adjacent church of St. Mary de Castro originated as an unusually sumptuous castle chapel, founded as a collegiate establishment about 1107, by the first Robert de Beaumont. Portions of elaborate Norman work have survived a heavy Victorian restoration. The church stood within its own precinct, entered through the surviving timber-framed gatehouse. Henry, the blind Earl of Lancaster, enlarged the castle in the 1330s. He added a large outer court known as the Newarke, enclosing a religious complex comparable to the lower ward of the Windsor Castle. The center of this complex was a second and larger collegiate church. This no longer survives but Trinity Hospital is still in use as an almshouse, preserving its chapel and infirmary arcades. Two gatehouses nearby are the only remnants of the defenses, both the legacy of a rebuilding program under the Lancastrian kings. Turret Gate, a simple ruin, led from the Newarke into the inner bailey. Wigmore Castle According to the Domesday Book, this was one of the strongholds founded by William Fitz Osbern, Earl of Hereford. Soon after the castle was granted to Ralph de Mortimer. Henry II captured the castle from Hugh de Mortimer in 1155, and it was here that Prince Edward obtained refuge following his escape from Hereford Castle in 1265. The most notorious of the line was Roger Mortimer, first Earl of March, who played a leading part in the deposition and murder of Edward II. In concert with his lover, Queen Isabella, Mortimer ruled England for three years until being overthrown by the young Edward III. He died on the gallows at Tyburn and Wigmore was given to the Earl of Salisbury, but the Mortimers regained their lands and title by marriage. They served with distinction during the Hundred Years War, but in 1425, the Mortimer line died out and the castle more or less died with them. The castle is in a very precarious condition nowadays, its walls overgrown or buried in debris, and threatening to crumble further unless essential work is carried out. If the remains were to be excavated and consolidated, Wigmore would be a castle of considerable interest, but at present there is just an atmosphere of desolation. It is a powerfully sited, motte and bailey stronghold with a lot of masonry still standing. The oval shell keep on the large motte incorporates Norman portions, but all the other stonework belongs to a reconstruction of about 1300, probably undertaken by the infamous Roger Mortimer. There are three towers on the line of the bailey curtain, two oblong and one half round. The largest tower contained a suite of chambers and is divided by a cross wall. Note the arch of the gatehouse, half buried in an accumulation of earth. Berkhamsted Castle Robert, Count of Mortain and Earl of Cornwall probably founded Berkhansted Castle. It was certainly held by him at the time of the Domesday survey. As William I's half-brother, Robert did well for himself out of the Norman Conquest, but his son made the mistake of supporting Robert of Normandy against Henry I. As a result, the Crown confiscated the castle. During the twelfth century it was leased to certain individuals, including Thomas Becket. The castle is a classic example of a motte and bailey stronghold, even if roads and railway have gnawed at its edges. The motte is tall and conical, and a double ditch surrounds the bailey with a rampart in between. Until the 1950s, the inner ditch remained full of water. In front of the outer ditch, on the north and east sides, following the circumference of the motte, rises a strong rampart. It is probably a concentric defense provided by Richard of Cornwall, though it has been suggested that the earth bastions that project from it could have been raised as platforms for treuchets during the Dauphin Louis' siege. The shell keep, which crowned the motte, has vanished but there are remains of the walls that descended to join the bailey curtain. Considerable lengths of this flint curtain survive, especially on the east side. At least some of the masonry dates from the time when Thomas Becket occupied the castle, though the money came from Henry II's executor. Three semi-circular towers flanked the curtain, and if they date from Becket's tenure they are remarkably early. Little more than foundations are left of the towers now. The stump of a large oblong structure on the west curtain is probably the tower built by Richard of Cornwall in 1254. Foundations show that the north end of the bailey was walled off to form a separate enclosure, in effect a barbican in front of the motte. Corfe Castle Corfe Castle, midway between Wareham and Swanage, is one of the most dramatic of English ruins. It stands on an isolated hill which forms part of the Purbeck range, towering over the picturesque village of the same name. The late Saxon kings had a palace here and it was outside the gates that Edward the Martyr was murdered in a family coup that put Ethelred the Unready on the throne. The site allowed for two baileys of unequal size flanking a steep-sided summit, which forms a natural motte. The ring work known as The Rings, a quarter mile to the southwest is probably the siege fort of Matilda. Edward II was held captive here for a while between his abdication and murder. After that, the castle was seldom visited by its royal owners and fell into decay. The marvel of Corfe Castle is the way in which the masonry has held together despite the most determined attempts to blow it up. Walls and towers have bowed outwards, even slid down the hillside, but a great deal stands nevertheless. The approach from the village is through a wide outer gate with rounded flanking towers. This is Edward I's only contribution to the castle. It leads into the large outer bailey, its curtain flanked by seven half-round bastions which are closely spaced on the southwest where the terrain is most vulnerable. The bailey ascends to another round-towered gatehouse, still an impressive structure despite having split into two halves during the slighting. A stairway from the gatehouse leads upward in the thickness of a wing-wall to the keep on the summit. Otherwise, the route to the top involves passing through the West Bailey, which was walled by King John. Its wall converge to a western point, guarded by the octagonal Butavant Tower, which has been destroyed to its foundation. Saltwood Castle Saltwood Castle is part ruined and part restored and sits upon a hill above the old Clinque Port of Huthe. Henry de Essex, Constable of England and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, is credited with the construction of the castle, at least in its stone form, at some point during the Anarchy. The inner bailey occupies an oval ring work surrounded by a curtain wall of Norman masonry. Archbishop Courtenay added the two square towers, which project from the south curtain, but three odd Norman towers also remain. They project internally like the interval towers of Roman forts, which seem to confirm a date around the mid twelfth century when there was room for experimentation in such matters. The eastern tower was later adapted to form the inner part of Archbishop Courtenay's handsome gatehouse. The entrance from the bailey is now blocked. This gatehouse, probably designed by the celebrated master mason Henry Yevele, his tall, cylindrical towers at the outer corners and a row of machicolations between them. It is big enough for a keep-gatehouse and it remains the inhabited part of Saltwood Castle, supplemented by more recent wings on either side. Within the bailey there are, unusually, two halls. The ruined hall backing onto the curtain dates from the early fourteenth century as its window tracery reveals. The other is said to have been Archbishop Courtenay's audience chamber. It is largely a modern reconstruction, though the vaulted undercroft is original. Courtenay is also credited with the walling of the triangular outer bailey, though the so-called Roman Tower incorporates older masonry. The outer curtain is at the present very ruinous, but it preserves two round flanking towers and a lower part of a gate tower. The approach to the latter is commanded by one of the towers of the inner curtain. Lyndford Castles Now a small village on the edge of Dartmoor, Lyndford was a burgh in late Saxon times. Its situation, on a promontory overlooking the River Lyd, has steep falls on all sides except one. A rampart defends the level approach The first castle of Lyndford was the ring work at the west corner of the promontory, now known as the Norman Fort. It did not stay in use for long and the present Lyndford Castle stands nearby, the parish church occupying the space between them. At first sight the castle seems to be a motte and bailey earthwork with a square keep on top of the mound. This is an illusion, however, because the keep was built first and earth was piled around its lower part as if to emulate a motte. It is also questionable as to whether we can regard this building as a keep in the normal sense of the word. In 1195 a strong house for prisoners was erected and the 'keep' has been identified with it. There is further complication in that only the ground floor is original, the upper stories being added after a gap in building operations. There is absolutely no refinement in the stonework, resulting in a grim tower, which seems to add weight to the prison theory. By the time the building resumed, a square keep was rather antiquated in any case. Internally, there is nothing to suggest that this tower was not a normal keep, though later alterations have been numerous. Even the cross-wall is a rebuilding. Notwithstanding the circumstances in which it was built, the castle subsequently did serve mainly as a courthouse and prison. This was inevitable because Lyndford was the administrative center of the Forest of Dartmoor and the local tin mines. These provided important revenue for the Crown. Dover Castle Dover Castle rises high above the town and harbor, crowning a hill, which ends at the White Cliffs. This site was first fortified in the Iron Age and the medieval castle fills the area defined by the ancient hill fort -- thirty-five acres. The castle, therefore, is of extraordinary size and exceptional strength. The keep is one of the greatest of square Norman keeps. It is a mighty cube, nearly a hundred feet long in each direction, with square corner turrets and the most elaborate of fore buildings. This fore building is an L-shaped structure appended to the main body of the keep with three projecting turrets of its own. The fore building was originally roofless, so the assailants would be exposed to projectiles hurled from the parapet. Where the accent changes direction is an ornate little Romanesque chapel occupying one of the fore building turrets. The staircase leads to a grand entrance portal at second-floor level -- one floor higher than usual and another parallel with Newcastle. No doubt, this arrangement provided an extra degree of security, but it also means the fore building took the form of a grand staircase, communicating directly with the principal apartments, as this floor contained the royal hall and solar. As in other major Norman keeps, this level actually forms a double story with a mural gallery running most of the way around the upper stage. A number of private chambers are contrived within the great thickness of the walls off the hall and solar. One of them contains a well, the shaft of which sinks 350 feet into the underlying chalk. A passage leads to another chapel, even more delicate than the one immediately below it, and showing signs of the transition to Gothic architecture. The floor beneath is similar in layout, including the mural chambers. Restormel Castle Restormal Castle occupies a knoll above the River Fowey, a mile north of Lostwithiel. Its plan is quite a curiosity. A perfectly circular bailey with a set of internal buildings arranged concentrically against the curtain. The domestic buildings are all ruined but the curtain is virtually intact. The sense of compactness is heightened by the absence of an outer bailey, because although one existed every trace has disappeared. There is no historical reference to the castle until 1264, when Simon de Montfort seized it, but Restormel is clearly older than that. From outside the embattled curtain appears to crown a motte, and the structure is often described as a large shell keep, but the "motte" is really a ringwork. Furthermore the inner bank was removed when the curtain was built, so the rampart now looks as if it has been heaped against the outside. In 1270 the castle passed to the earls of Cornwall and enjoyed a brief ascendancy. Earl Edmund chose Lostwithiel as his administrative center and Restormel became his residence. It is to this era that we owe the interesting apartments which back onto the curtain, resulting in a bewildering group of curved chambers. An inventory of 1337 identifys these apartments as the kitchen, hall, solar, ante-chapel and two large guest chambers. Apart from the kitchen, the main apartments all stood at first-floor level over cellars. The chapel, reached from the ante-chapel, occupied a contemporary square tower which projects boldly from the line of the curtain. A square mural tower in the Edwardian age is typical of Cornish conservation. At the death of Edmund in 1299 the earldom reverted to the Crownm and with the creation of the duchy the castle was seldom visited. The only military episode was a siege in 1644, when it fell briefly into Royalist hands. Lumley Castle Lumley Castle, in spite of later remodeling is one of the finest examples of a fully developed quadrangular castle with ranges of buildings on all sides. Bolton Castle is the best-known Northern example and Lumley resembles it quite closely. It has the same oblong corner towers, each one a tower house in its own right, and the same attention to defense within the courtyard as well as outside. But whereas Bolton is largely a ruin, Lumley has come down to us intact and is merely disfigured by some eighteenth-century alterations. The castle stands a mile east of Chester-le-Street on high ground, which suddenly drops to the stream known as Lumley Beck. Ralph, Lord Lumley, obtained permission to crenellate his house here in 1389, the bishop's permit being reinforced by a royal license three years later. Diagnol buttresses clasp the angles of the towers -- a feature rarely found in military architecture, though common enough in other buildings of the period -- and a dainty machicolated turret caps each buttress. The original entrance to the castle is in the middle of the east front, overlooking the stream and with its back to the present approach. It is not a gatehouse exactly, rather a gate passage in the middle of the range. A broad machicolation overhangs the outer arch and the wall above is adorned with a display of six heraldic shields and helms. The shields depict prominent local families such as the Nevilles and Percys in addition to the Lumleys themselves, but pride of place is given to the arms of Richard II. Beneath one of the square turrets flanking the gateway is a tiny prison cell reached only by a trapdoor. In typical Northern fashion the ground floors of the towers and connecting ranges are divided into a series of barrel-vaulted store rooms. Caister Castle Caister Castle stands three miles north of Great Yarmouth, not at Caister-on-the-Sea, but a little inland at West Caister. This brick stronghold is a monument to Sir John Fastolf. Fastolf was a distinguished veteran of the Hundred Years War, a knight of relatively humble origin who played an important part in the Lancastrian conquest of northern France. Falstolf built this castle in 1432-46 when he was enjoying a prosperous retirement. On his death in 1459, Caister passed to the Paston family, whose letters give a first-hand portrayal of life in fifteenth century Norfolk. Unfortunately for the Pastons, the Duke of Norfolk also laid claim to the castle and, when legal means had failed, he set about making good his claim by force. In 1469, he brought a considerable force to lay siege to the castle, which creditably held out for several weeks against the duke's cannon before the inevitable surrender. Veterans of the French wars built most fifteenth century castles and a number were in fashionable brick. They tended to be showplaces, combining lavish accommodations with a show of strength. Some had a secondary role in coastal defense and Caistor did repulse French raiders shortly after its completion. Caister was one of the finest of its kind but rather too much was pulled down in the eighteenth century. The castle stands in a wide moat still full of water. It is one of those with an inner quadrangle and a subsidiary base court for retainers. This is less obvious now because the arm of the moat between the two courtyards has been filled in. There is also part of a third courtyard behind, arrested only by a circular corner tower incorporated in a later house. The base court, of inferior brick, is now fragmentary and the main quadrangle had suffered so much destruction that only its north and west walls still stand. Barnard Castle The town takes its name from the castle built by Bernard de Balliot and extended by his son of the same name. Between them they erected a powerful stone castle in the second half of the twelfth century, strongly situated on a rock above the River Tees. Today the castle is an extensive but very ruinous pile. It possesses an exceptional four baileys, all walled in stone during the period of the two Bernards. From the town of Norman arch -- once part of a gatehouse -- leads into the northern outer bailey, known as the Town Ward. Much of its curtain still stands as well as the vaulted undercroft of the Brackenbury Tower. The southern outer bailey doubles the size of the castle but its defenses are now fragmentary. West of the Town Ward are the ditch and curtain of the inner bailey, with two flanking towers added by the Beauchamps. To reach the inner bailey it is necessary to pass through a middle ward, then turn sharp right over a deep ditch hewn out of solid rock. This succession of defenses is quite advanced for the twelfth century. Once inside the inner bailey the dominant is the Balliol Tower or keep which projects from the curtain. This cylindrical tower of ashlar is actually an early addition to the castle, though it could still be the second Bernard's work as he survived until 1199. As keeps go, it is a bit of a fraud, because it was not isolated from the rest of the castle. It was entered directly from the vanished solar at first floor level, and the triangular spur projecting from the keep is not a defensive feature but merely a wedge between the two. All the same, the keep is the only part of the castle to survive more or less complete and an unusual domed vault covers its ground floor. Walmar Castle Walmar Castle is the most southerly of the three Henrian coastal forts which protected the Downs, that sheltered strait lying between the coast and the Goodwin Sands. It stands a mile from Deal Castle, to which it was originally connected by earthworks, and was built at the same time. Though resembling Deal in principle, it is simpler in design. It consists of a squat cylindrical tower closely surrounded by a lower curtain, the latter projecting outwards in four semi-circular lobes to form a quatrefoil plan. It was a plan shared by Sandown Castle, the northern member of the group and now almost totally destroyed. Walmer Castle stands in its entirety but, in contrast to Deal and most of the other Henrician forts, it austerity has been mellowed by conversion into a stately home. In 1708, the militarily redundant castle became the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, a medieval office which has survived to the present day as an honorable sinecure. The transformation to a mansion is all the more remarkable given that the low, curved, immensely thick walls cannot have lent themselves easily to such a purpose. Fine gardens now surround the castle and encroach upon its deep, stone-faced ditch, while many of the gun embrasures have been converted into windows. When first built, Walmer exhibited the usual Henrician defensive arrangements. Cannon would have been mounted on the parapets of the central tower and outer curtain, a third tier of fire being provided at the level of the ditch by gun ports in the curtain. These gun ports are linked, as at Deal, by a continuous fighting gallery in the thickness of the wall. The central tower provided the main accommodation for governor and garrison. The lobe containing the entrance was heightened in the 1860s to provide further accommodation. Goodrich Castle Goodrich Castle is the most splendid in the county of Herefordshire and one of the best examples of English military architecture. It is still impressive despite its ruinous state. The castle is perched on a rocky spur above the River Wye, four miles southwest of Ross-on-Wye. Godric's Castle -- no doubt named after Godric Mappestone, who held the land nearby -- is first recorded in 1101. Nothing is left of Godric's stronghold but within the bailey, very close to the later curtain, rises a well-preserved though relatively small Norman keep. Henry II took over the castle and the keep is generally attributed to him, but the royal accounts record very little expenditure here. The keep is a tall, square tower with pilaster buttresses and Norman windows. The original first floor entrance was later converted into a window, a new doorway being inserted immediately below. Strangely enough, the existing curtain and corner towers are not the first on the site. King John granted Goodrich to the mighty William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, and a stone enclosure followed. Some of his masonry is embedded in the present east curtain and the foundations of a round tower underlie the present southwest tower. A later Earl of Pembroke, William de Valence, tore this structure down and erected his own. His building here is contemporary and comparable with the Edwardian castles of Wales. Such a castle is a rarity in England. It is square in plan, the more vulnerable south and east sides being protected by a wide, rock-cut ditch. A thick curtain surrounds the bailey, with massive round towers at three corners and a gatehouse occupying the fourth. Each tower rises from a solid square base, which sinks back into the cylinder in pyramid fashion. Forming spurs. The spurs projecting from the southeast tower are particularly high. Sudeley Castle Sudeley Castle stands in beautiful gardens to the south east of Winchcombe. A castle here was besieged during the Anarchy but the present structure is an amalgam of a late medieval castle and an Elizabethan mansion. Ralph Boteler, commander of the English fleet in Henry VI's reign, built it reputedly with the ransom of a captured French admiral. In 1458, Boteler received a pardon for crenellating Sudeley without a license, but he did not find favor with the ne Yorkist regime. He was compelled to sell the castle to Edward IV, who granted it to his brother Richard, Duke of Gloucestoer, later Richard III. Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's widow, lived here as the wife of Thomas Seymour. She is buried in Boteler's chapel, which stands just outside the castle. In the 1570s, Lord Chandos rebuilt the outer courtyard as an up to date mansion, and the inner courtyard was slighted following the surrender of the castle to the Roundheads in 1644. The castle's two quadrangles were not quite in alignment with each other. Ralph Boreler's outer quadrangle was probably a "base court' with lodgings for retainers, but the existing ranges around it date from the Elizabethan reconstruction. Only the gate passage is original. His inner courtyard has fared better, though not much better because of slighting. The western corner towers, both square, survive along with the much restored curtain between them. The slender Portmare Tower is named after the French admiral. Dungeon Tower is considerably larger, its name suggesting that it served as a donjon or tower house. The only other remnant is part of the east wall, which clearly belonged to a very fine building, often assumed to be the hall but more probably a suite of state apartments. Because this work is superior to the rest, it is believed to date from Richard of Gloucester's tenure. Pendennis Castle Pendennis Castle crowns a headland a mile east of Falmouth. The name suggests a Dark Age hillfort but any remains are buried beneath the later rampart. What now stands is an Elizabethan artillery fortress surrounding one of Henry VIII's coastal forts. Erected in 1540-45, when the Reformation had made England a target for invasion, the castle protected the entrance to Carrick Roades, the large inlet pf the sea which could have offered a sheltered landing place to the fleet of the Catholic powers. St. Mawes Castle was placed on the opposite shore and the guns of the two forts commanded the mile-long sheet of water between them. Pendennis is unusual among the Henrician coastal forts in having such an elevated position. On the rocks below is a semi-circular blockhouse which would have been of value in repelling ships invisible from the castle. As originally conceived Pendennis was one of the smaller coastal forts, just a squat round tower with gun ports at all three levels. The walls were thick enough to withstand the artillery of that time and the merlons of the parapet are rounded off to deflect any well-sized cannon balls. The porticullis remains in position and the slots for drawbridge chains can still be seen. Over the entrance is a handsome panel bearing the royal arms. The low chemise wall with gun emplacements surrounding the tower must also have been an afterthought, as it blocks the gun ports on the ground floor of the tower. Henry's castles were purely defensive units, but the quality of masonry here is high and there was clearly a lot of pride in the workmanship. A Classical entrance commemorates the completion of the defenses in 1611. The enlarged castle was garrisoned as part of the coastal defense system until the Second World War. Sherborne Old Castle It is so called to distinguish it from the 'new' castle, a great mansion first built by Sir Walter Raleigh but much enlarged since. Roger de Caen, Bishop of Salisbury, the most magnificent prelate of his age erected the old castle. He lost his influence and possessions for supporting the Empress Matilda against King Stephen, and despite the protests of subsequent bishops, the castle stayed in royal hands for the next two centuries. In 1592, it was leased to Sir Walter Raleigh, who started to modernize the castle before opting to erect its successor nearby. The abandoned castle was reoccupied on behalf of the King during the Civil War. It was stormed by Sir Thomas Fairfax after a two-week siege and slighted to prevent any further military use. Like some other Episcopal palace-fortresses of the Norman period, Sherborne consists of a residential quadrangle surrounded by a defensive outer bailey. The outer bailey covers a large octagonal area, or rather a rectangular area with canted corners, bounded by a deep ditch and curtain. There were five square flanking towers, all but one surviving to some extent. Mural towers were an advanced feature for Bishop Roger's time but there are not enough of them to flank the long curtain comprehensively. The best preserved is the gate tower at the west-south-west angle, which seems to have been the original main entrance into the castle. A square keep occupies one corner of the inner quadrangle, though not much above the vaulted ground floor still stands. There are remains of three sides of the quadrangle, especially the north range which contained an ornate chapel over a vaulted undercroft, but the hall opposite was probably pulled down by Sir Walter Raleigh to achieve the fashionable E-plan. To the west are foundations of a second quadrangle added after the castle returned to the bishop of Salisbury. Cockermouth Castle Cockermouth Castle crowns a promontory between the rivers Derwent and Cocker. The notorious William de Fortibus acquired the manor in 1215 and built a castle here, possibly on an older site, but Henry III ordered its destruction upon his downfall six years later. It seems to have survived this episode but most of the present complex is the work of Gilbert, last of the Umfraville barons, and Henry Percy, who acquired Cockermouth on Gilbert's death in 1381. As Earl of Northumberland, the latter played a major part in the Border struggles of the period. And the Black Douglas sacked the unfinished castle. Henry is better known for his revolts against Henry IV, familiar from Shakespeare. The castle remained in Percy hands but drifted into decay. In spite of enduring a Royalist siege during the uprising of 1648, the castle was slighted by Parliament as a potentially dangerous stronghold. Around 1800, Percy Wyndham, Earl of Egremont, built a mansion inside the outer bailey. The castle has a triangular plan very similar to Carlisle, its apex overlooking the junction of the rivers. There is no keep. Gilbert de Umfraville largely rebuilt the inner bailey though the curtain incorporates portions of William de Fortibus' work. The well-preserved outer curtain is entirely Henry Percy's. Its east front is flanked to the left by the square Flag Tower, now gabled, and to the right by a mighty gatehouse. This massive, oblong structure has the sidewalls of a barbican in front. A row of shields over the gateway bears the arms of Henry Percy and his allies. He vaulted gate passage was defended by a portcullis and three sets of doors. Within the outer bailey is the Wyndham mansion, built against the curtain. The inner bailey is much Ruined and has been distorted to some extent. Kirby Muxloe Castle Kirby Muxloe Castle, four miles west of Leicester, is the companion of Ashby Castle, being the work of William, Lord Hastings. Although a license to crenellate was granted in 1474, construction did not commence until October 1480, by which time Ashby was nearing completion. The building accounts, which survive in full, give a total expenditure of 1088 pounds on the incomplete castle. An older manor house occupied the site and some of its foundations are visible in the courtyard. Unlike Ashby, where Lord Hastings utilized existing buildings, Kirby Muxloe was completely rebuilt on quadrangular lines. It is oblong rather than square in plan. Kirby also differs from Ashby in the choice of brick as the main building material, stone being used only for doorways and windows. The low revetment wall, which defines the courtyard, rising out of a water-filled moat, marks the position of the intended curtain and its square angle towers. Only two portions, the gatehouse and the west corner tower now stand, though more must have been built. The gatehouse is a ruin and is known to have been left incomplete. It is a sturdy, oblong structure with semi-octagonal flanking towers and stair turrets at the rear. The angle tower has fared better because it is still intact, including the battlements, though now a shell. Kirby Muxlor was one of the last castles built with some serious regard for defense. A drawbridge, a portcullis and two pairs of gates defended its gate passage, and gun ports pierce both the gatehouse and the surviving tower. These gun ports, however, are the primitive type, which are pierced by gun ports. These gun ports, however, are the primitive type that had been in use for over a century -- small roundels permitting only a limited range of fire. Southampton Castle One of the chief ports of medieval England, Southampton preserves a wealth of medieval domestic architecture. Its flourishing Dark Age predecessor was abandoned in favor of the present site in the tenth century, and excavations have shown that this new town had earth and timber defenses from the beginning, no doubt as a defense against the Danes. Over a mile in length, the walled circuit enclosed a roughly rectangular area. It had numerous bastions, mostly semi-circular, and larger towers ar the angles. Today, only the wall survives, along with parts of the north wall and a length near the southeast corner of the circuit. A tour of the wall may conveniently begin at the Bargate, the northern entrance to the old town and a very imposing one. The machicolated front is an early fifteenth century addition. Behind it are twin half-round towers a century or so older, while the gate passage retains a Norman archway from an older structure. In contrast with the fortress-like outer face, the side facing the town has large windows lighting the story above the gate. This spacious chamber served as the guildhall in medieval times and later civic uses saved the gatehouse from demolition in later centuries. It was a major obstruction to traffic until the construction of a bypass in the 1930s, which relieved the problem but resulted in the destruction of the stretches of town wall on either side. Beyond the Bargate, the wall leads west to the circular Arundel Tower, then soutward to the old quay. Shortly a kink in the circuit denotes the junction with the older castle wall. Southampton Castle was a royal stronghold first mentioned in the 1189s. Richard I and John rebuilt it in stone. The west curtain survives as the town wall, with a postern leading into a cellar from the castle's domestic buildings. Haddon Hall Haddon Hall stands on a bluff overlooking the River Wye, two miles southeast of Bakewell. The situation and the embattled outline give an impression of strength from a distance, but as a castle Haddon is something of a mystery. Its complex building history suggests a manor house, which developed defenses but has been effectively de-fortified since. The story goes back to Richard de Vernon, who obtained a peculiar license in 1195. It allowed him to enclose his house within a wall, but the wall was not to exceed twelve feet in height and was not to be crenellated. Some of the wall and part of the chapel survive from that time. What stands today is a rectangular enclosure of the fourteenth century with ranges of buildings on each side. The outer wall is certainly thick enough to qualify as a curtain except on the north side, where the range is a late medieval rebuilding. On the west the curtain remains defensive with a square bastion projecting from the middle. The terrain is strongest here but the insertion of Elizabethan bay windows elsewhere has transformed the appearance of the mansion. The only other towers are the tall gate towers at each end. An unaccountable weakness is the chapel that projects from the southwest corner of the enclosure. The hall lies across the middle of the enclosure, dividing it into two courtyards. This arrangement allowed the hall to be lit by large windows on either side without weakening the curtain. A fine porch leads from the lower courtyard into the old screens passage. The original wooden screen still exists, though the hall roof is a modern reconstruction. To the north are the kitchen and a row of domestic offices. To the south is a first-floor solar, the former parlor beneath it preserving a painted ceiling from about 1500. Beeston Castle Ranulf de Blundeville, the most powerful of the palatine earls of Chester, began Beeston Castle in 1225. Prompted by the King's growing growing mistrust, he built several strong castles to protect his territories. It is possible that Beeston was intended as an impressive new seat of administration away from the mercantile bustle of Chester. As an experienced soldier and crusader Ranulf clearly appreciated castles built in the new idiom -- with round flanking towers and no keep -- and the great rock of Beeston provided a wonderful situation for one. An Iron Age fort occupied this site, two miles south of Tarporley, but Beeston is a product of the time when castle building was approaching its zenith. It occupies a huge sandstone hill rising dramatically out of the Cheshire plain. The castle does not have a keep as such but its compact inner bailey occupies the highest corner of the rock, so the Norman motte and bailey concept had not been entirely forsaken. The outer bailey follows the contours of the hill and is large enough to gave accommodated a vast retinue. A nineteenth century gatehouse forms the entrance to the site, and some ascent is necessary before the real outer gatehouse is reached. More than half of the outer curtain has disappeared but the long section on the east side of the hill has seven towers, spaced closely together to provide effective flanking fire. These towers are the semi-circular, open-backed variety often found on town walls of this period. A long ascent through the outer bailey takes us to the summit. A rock-cut ditch of exceptional width and depth, now spanned by a modern bridge, cuts off the inner bailey. A squat gatehouse, perhaps the earliest in England to be equipped with round-fronted flanking towers, guards the entrance. The site commands magnificent views. Hever Castle Hever Castle, beside the River Eden, two miles east of Edenbridge, is set within a wet moat between beautiful gardens and what appears to be a Tudor village. Gardens, "village" and the splendid interior of the castle are all the creation of a rich American, William Waldorf Astor. He purchased the castle in 1903 and immediately set about its transformation, which thus went on at the same time as Lord Conway was restoring Allington Castle. To his credit, Viscount Astor did not interfere with the exterior, which remains largely authentic. There is some doubt as to the original builder. William de Hever obtained a license to crenellate in 1340 and Sir John de Cobham obtained another in 1384. The latter date is favored, though Sir John may just have added the gatehouse. The castle is a simple, square enclosure its embattled curtain enlivened by Tudor windows, chimneys and gables. Square turrets project at each end of the entrance front and between them is a handsome, oblong gatehouse. This dominates the rest and is no doubt an echo of the old keep-gatehouse theme. The gateway, surmounted by carved tracery and a row of machicolations, is placed off-center so that there is a large room on one side of the gate passage but just a tiny chamber on the other. Two original wooden portcullises, one still in working order, hang in the gate passage; the drawbridge is a restoration. Timber-framed ranges occupy three sides of the tiny courtyard, early Tudor in origin but heavily restored by Viscount Astor. They recall the castle's famous association with the Bullen family. It was here that Henry VIII came to court Anne Bullen, who changed her name to Boleyn. Her life as queen was cut short by the executioner's sword and her dynasty-making fater, Sir Thomas, died soon after. Tintagel Castle The legend of King Arthur has made Tintagel a hallowed place. Geoffrey of Monmouth, writing about the time when the castle was in fact founded, chose it as the setting for Arthur's conception. That is his only link with Tintagel, but it has lasted in the popular imagination. The beauty of the site is no doubt the reason why. This rocky, sea-battered headland is an unusual setting for a medieval castle but a very likely one in which to find an ancient hill fort. It comes as a surprise to discover that no evidence has been found of any fortification before the Norman period. Instead. The headland first became the retreat of Dark Age monks who were drawn to such inaccessible spots. The foundations of several groups of monastic buildings are scattered across the summit of the headland and its eastern slope. The Tintagel headland is nearly an island, but is connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of rock. The castle occupies the junction of the two and has a bailey on either side of the isthmus. Originally a bridge connected the narrow chasm between them, but over the centuries the causeway has eroded and the castle is now divided into two distinct halves, connected by precipitous stairways. Today the castle is very ruinous. Simple curtains protect both baileys, at least on those sides where the natural defense is merely a steep fall as opposed to a sheer drop. There is no keep. The shattered gate tower leading into the outer bailey is preceded by a narrow passage. This is overlooked by an elongated walled enclosure on an outcrop of rock so that attackers could have been showered with arrows from above. In the inner bailey on the headland are the ruins of a fourteenth-century hall within the footings of a Norman predecessor. Barnwell Castle On the Duke of Gloucester's estate at Barnwell can be seen three successive manorial centers in close proximity. First there are the earthworks of a Norman motte And bailey, now hidden in a clump of trees. Then comes the massive stone ruin of Barnwell Vastle, built by Berengar le Moine about 1265-66. It seems that Berengar took advantage of Henry III's preoccupation with his barons to build a strong adulterine castle. Berengar later sold his new castle to Ramsey Abbey. It is said he was compelled to do so by Edward I as a punishment for building it without a license. Barnwell remained with the abbey until the Dissolution, when Sir Edward Montague purchased it. He erected the present house, Barnwell Manor, nearby. The castle is an interesting example of thirteenth century military architecture with some delightfully experimental touches. On a smaller scale, it anticipates the great castles that Edward I would build in Wales in the following decades, and though it pre-dates Edward's coronation by several years, it is a rare English example of a pure Edwardian castle. An unusually thick curtain, well preserved except for the loss of its parapet and a single breach on the west, surrounds an oblong courtyard. Circular towers project boldly at three angles, the fourth being occupied by a gatehouse. The two northern towers are quite eccentric as they both have a smaller round tower projecting from them, resulting in a figure-of-eight plan. The prime function of these subsidiary towers was domestic rather than military. They contained latrines serving the apartments in the main body of the towers. The southwest tower has no projections, but its upper floors are square internally for greater domestic convenience. The latrine for this tower was accommodated in a more conventional manner within the thickness of the curtain. Castle Rising The village, four miles northeast of King's Kynnm takes its name from the Norman castle which dominates it. William d'Albini, Earl of Sussex, started building here about 1139. One of the foremost barons of his time, he was loyal to King Stephen but consolidated his own power during the Anarchy. Castle Rising's earthworks are prodigious, comprising an oval ring work and a smaller bailey in front. Such is the height of the ring work bank that is almost conceals the splendid keep within. This keep is the sole building of any substance left, though there was once a well-appointed group of residential buildings alongside. The only other masonry remains are the truncated gate tower and the ruin of an early Norman church. Set in a gap in the ring work bank, the gate tower is contemporary, with the keep, but the surviving fragment of wall is later medieval. The church originally served the village. William d'Albini buried it in his rampart and built the beautiful church that still stands nearby in recompense. The keep stands virtually intact, though long deprived of its roof and floors, except in the fore building tower. It is a rectangular structure that is considerably longer than it is high-in other words, a hall keep, and the best example of this rare type. The ground floor was just an undercroft for storage, the principal accommodation lying on the floor above. Owing to its importance, the first floor rises through two stages, giving the illusion of three stories in all. The keep is divided longitudinally by a cross wall, thus separating the hall from the solar on the first floor. Stone vaults support a kitchen and pantry at one end of the hall, and another vault supports a chapel beyond the solar. A gallery runs along one wall at hall level. Hertford Castle Hertford was one of the burgs founded by King Edward the Elder during the English re-conquest of the Danelaw. It was no doubt soon after 1066 that William the Conqueror raised the castle beside the River Lea. In general form, Hertford Castle resembles Berkhamsted -- a motte and bailey once surrounded by a double moat, with much of its flint curtain still standing. The earthworks of the castle do not compare favorable, since the motte is surprisingly small and the moats have long been filled in. Royal expenditure is recorded in 1171-74, and the curtain probably dates at least partially from that time. The octagonal tower at the south angle of the enclosure is a later medieval addition. Like Berkhamsted, the castle endured its only recorded siege in 1216, falling to the rebels during the Dauphin Louis' campaign to win the English throne. A frequent royal residence up to Henry III's reign, the castle declined in favor thereafter. Edward III granted it to his mother, the indomitable Queen Isabella, and those trophies of Edward's military successes-David II of Scotland and John II of France-both saw spells of imprisonment here. An equally reluctant royal visitor was England's own Richard II, who was deposed in the castle before moving on to his death at Pontefract. The castle enjoyed a revival under Henry IV. He built the brick gatehouse in 1461-65. The gatehouse is an oblong structure with shallow angle turrets, the plain surface of the walls being enriched just below parapet level by blank arcades echoing machicolations. This feature is enough to show that the gatehouse was more for show than for defense. However, the original arrangements have been obscured by later adaptation. Occupation of the gatehouse continued long after the rest of the castle had been abandoned, and in1790 it was enlarged. Portsmouth Town Defenses Portsmouth's historic role as a naval base derives from its position guarding the narrow entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. Richard I built the first dockyard here. Its importance increased with the Hundred Years War and the town that developed around it inevitably became a target for French attacks. Following a royal survey in 1386, an earth rampart was raised around the landward sides of the town. From 1560, the rampart continued along the sea front and strengthened elsewhere by a series of arrowhead bastions. Charles II's engineer, Bernard de Gomme, undertook more works. The defenses were further elaborated over the next two centuries but Lord Palmerston's astonishing ring of fortifications, built in the 1860's, rendered them obsolete. The complex of ramparts, bastions and outworks facing inland was demolished and only the seaward defenses remain. The oldest of the visible defenses of Portsmouth is the Round Tower, on the promontory known as The Point. Here the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor is just a few hundred yards wide and a boom chain ran across from this tower to another on the Gosport side. One of the earliest buildings devised for defense by artillery, the Round Tower was built in 1415 -- a year which brought victory for England but alarm in Portsmouth. The present gun embrasures, widely splayed for greater range, were inserted in Henry VIII's reign and the upper part of the tower was rebuilt during the Napoleonic Wars. From the Round Tower a Victorian gun battery leads towards the Square Tower, built in 1494, but refaced in 1827. It is here that the town's perimeter defenses bagan. Beyond another gun battery is the Saluting Battery, a stone platform for cannon which projects out a little from the rest of the defense line. It is he only unspoiled bit of Elizabethan work remaining. Exeter Castle Despite its checkered history, Exeter preserves many relics of its medieval past. Even its city wall has managed to survive for the most part and the bombing revealed stretches, which had been concealed behind houses for centuries. It is nearly two miles long, but with frequent small gaps and little parapet to walk along it is not a particularly rewarding circuit. The Roman and medieval city occupied a near-rectangular area, today bounded by Northernhay, Eastgate, Southernhay and West Street. Like most other Romano-British cities, Exeter was first enclosed by a stonewall in the third century. The Roman plinth and regularly coursed masonry can be seen in many places -- it is unusual for so much Roman work to survive. The castle of Exeter, often called Rougemont Castle from the red sandstone knell on which it was built, occupies the northern corner of the city's defenses. William I founded it straight after the capitulation. The square bailey is protected by the city wall on two sides. Towards the town there is a strong rampart topped by the ruins of a curtain. Towers mark the junctions between the city wall and the curtain wall and there is a half-round bastion, Athelstan's Tower, on the northeast wall. Herringbone masonry is visible in places and the well-preserved gatehouse is almost certainly a relic of the Conqueror's time. Two triangular-headed windows above the blocked outer archway and another facing the bailey indicate its antiquity. They suggest Anglo-Saxon work, the only plausible explanation being that English masons were employed and continued to build in their traditional style. The short barbican, with its tall arch, is contemporary with the rest of the gatehouse and thus the oldest in England. Exeter is one of those early Norman castles which put the emphasis upon a strong gatehouse instead of a keep.
Donnington Castle Donnington Castle crowns a hill above the River Lambourne, a mile north of Newbury, Sir Richard Abberbury, the queen's chamberlain, obtained a license crenellate the place in 1386. In 1414 Thomas Chaucer, son of the poet, purchased the castle and through him it passed to the De la Pole dukes of Suffolk. Donnington is notable for its role in the Civil War. After the first Battle of Newbury, Charles I entrusted the castle to Colonel (later Sir) John Boys. The Roundheads laid siege in July 1644 but were unable to take it in spite of a fierce artillery bombardment. The King marched to the relief of the castle and the second Battle of Newbury was fought around it in October. Defense continued in appalling conditions for the next eighteen months. It was only when all hope of relief had finally vanished (in April 1646) that the garrison accepted honorable terms for surrender. They were permitted to march to Wallingford to join the Royalists still holding out there. It must be said that the old walls could not have sustained a pounding on their own.. Donnington was a comparatively modest stronghold and certainly not designed to withstand powerful artillery. In preparation for the siege, Sir John Boys constructed a series of earthworks on the slopes around the castle. These, with their projecting bastions, are rare survivals of Civil War fortification. The castle followed a quadrangular layout except that the rear bowed outwards in short, straight sections. There were round corner towers and two intermediate square towers on the longer sides. Owing to the siege or subsequent slighting only the footings of the curtain and its towers remain, but the handsome gatehouse has come down to us virtually intact, lacking only its roof and floors. The outer angles are clasped by boldly projecting, cylindrical towers which rise considerably higher than the main gatehouse. Upnor Castle Upnor Castle belongs to the genre of Henrician cosastal forts but is an Elizabethan addition to the chain. It was begun in 1599 to guard the approach to the new dockyard at Chatham, lying two miles away near the estuary of the River Medway. Sir Richard Lee interrupted his work on the fortifications at Berwick-on-Tweed, to come and design this fort, but construction dragged on for eight years. In 1599-1601, Upnor was enlarged but it had to wait until 1667 to face enemy action. In that year, the Dutch, under Admiral de Ruyter, sailed into the Medway and set fire to much of the English fleet. The castle was unable to offer any effective resistance and in the following year a new chain of defenses was begun, Upnor being relegated to the role of storehouse and magazine. Military occupation of one kind or another continued until the Second World War. As originally conceived, the castle comprised an oblong blockhouse, set in the middle of a curious screen wall terminating at each end in a stair turret. This building provided accommodation for the garrison, defense being concentrated upon the low, pointed bastion facing the Medway. Pointed bastions were devised as a defense against artillery in Renaissance Italy. Sir Richard Lee built several along his new ramparts at Berwick, but the Upnor bastion does not have the characteristic "arrowhead" plan resulting from a narrow collar. Its riverside setting made that unnecessary. However, since only one side of the bastion faces upriver, there were insufficient gun emplacements to fire effectively on an approaching fleet-this was the problem in 1667. The late Elizabethan enlargement provided defenses on the landward side. A walled courtyard was created in front of the blockhouse, with towers where the new curtain joins the screen wall. The courtyard is entered through a gate tower retaining the traditional obstacle of a drawbridge. Bedford Castle Owing to the defeat of Bedford Castle -- ruined as early as 1224 -- there are no castles in Bedfordshire with any masonry remnants, if we leave out the late medieval brick ruin of Someries. Nevertheless, the county does maintain some excellent motte and bailey castles, such as Cainhoe and Yelden. Bedford was one of the burghs carrying weapons against the Danes by King Edward the Elder, Alfred the Great's son. It is probable that this county town was saddled with a castle in next to no time subsequent to the Norman Conquest, but there is no actual evidence of one until around 1130, when Payn de Beauchamp held it. In 1138, when besieged by King Stephen, its strong keep and curtain are mentioned, the implication being that they were already of stone. For the duration of the Magna Carta war the castle was seized by Fawkes de Breaute and became the base for that notorious baron's misdeeds against his neighbors. In 1224 he overreached himself by abducting one of the King's justiciars and holding him prisoner here. The young Henry III responded by laying siege to the castle in person, bringing with him a tall siege tower, powerful catapults and a contingent of miners to tunnel beneath the curtain. Every obstacle was one after another battered down or undermined, and when the keep fell the garrison had to admit defeat. A number of them were hanged but De Breaute himself obtained a pardon. The King ordered the total destruction of the castle, as a result of which the walls were demolished and ditches filled in. Only the oval motte remains, near the bridge across the River Ouse, and even this has been truncated. The site, however, is freely accessible to the public and is a good stop on your castle tour. Buckden Palace Buckden Palace was a residence of the medieval bishops of Lincoln, allowing a midway break on the journey from London to their cathedral city. This Episcopal palace was entirely rebuilt in brick by Thomas Rotherham, who became bishop in 1472. After his transfer to York in 1480, it was completed by Bishop Russell. The dominant feature is a tower modeled on the great brick tower at Tattershall Castle. Buckden's tower house is oblong in plan with octagonal corner turrets rising above parapet level. However, it is less ambitious in scale and lacks the machicolated crown, which gives Tattershall such distinction. The broad chimneybreast is a prominent and altogether domestic feature. Another obvious weakness is the tower's proximity to the steeple of the parish church. They are separated only by the width of the former moat. This is typical of the castellated mansions of the later Middle Ages and shows that the builder was more interested in status than defense, though such towers must have had some value as refuge in the event of local danger. The tower house could serve as a self-contained residence but the palace buildings were far more extensive. The inner courtyard contained a lavish suite of residential buildings and it is a pity they have all vanished. It is unusual to find a courtyard of this era, which is not quadrangular, so the layout was probably dictated by an older moated enclosure. As well as the tower house, the inner courtyard preserves its diapered gate tower, with a range of ancillary buildings attached and the length of wall connecting the gatehouse to the tower house. This wall is pierced by arrow-slits but is too thin for a genuine curtain -- the wall-walk is carried on a row of arches. Much of the precinct wall survives, as well as an outer gate giving access from the High Street. Wallingford Castle The historic town of Wallingford lies within an earth rampart first thrown up in the reign of Alfred the Great or Edward the Elder, as a precaution against Danish attack. Wallingford was once believed to be a Roman town because the rampart encloses a rectangular area and the streets follow a grid pattern. The rampart can still be followed on the three landward sides but there is no evidence of any man-made defenses facing the river. In the Norman period the rampart was heightened, but the town then fell into economic decline so the timber stockades that lined the summit were never replaced in stone. The northeast quarter of the town enclosure became the site of Wallingford Castle. William the Conqueror crossed the Thames here in 1066, during his march on London, and he may have founded the castle in passing. It certainly existed by 1071. This important royal fortress fell into the Empress Matilda's hands during the Anarchy and resisted King Stephen in three great sieges. The platform of a siege fort from this time can be seen across the river. The castle showed its strength again in the Civil War. It resisted the might of Parliament until July 1646 -- virtually the end of the war -- and even then surrendered honorably. Six years later it was destroyed as a potentially dangerous stronghold. The earthworks comprising a large motte between two baileys are still quite impressive but almost all the masonry has disappeared. A number of English kings contributed to the defenses, notably Henry II and John, resulting in an impressive castle with a shell keep on the motte and two towered curtains. A section of the outer rampart has been turned into a public garden and this carries an excavated length of wall and one round tower. Castle House now occupies the inner bailey. Carlisle Castle Carlisle is the great fortress city at the west end of the Scottish Border. Roman Luguvallium grew up in the shadow of Hadrian's Wall and some vestige of the town remained when William II captured it in 1092. William repopulated Carlisle with Anglo-Norman settlers and founded the great royal castle on a bluff above the River Eden. Carlisle Castle is an impressive reminder of centuries of strife. It sits grim and squat at the north end of the old walled city, still a medieval stronghold but much patched up after the many batterings it has endured. The layout is roughly triangular, comprising two walled baileys but no motte. The curtain walls are basically Norman. Two flanking towers survive on the west side but the walls are otherwise quite plain. During the Civil War the Scot's tore down the cathedral nave to repair the damage wrought during the siege. The outer gatehouse facing the city, known as Ireby's Tower, dates from Henry III's reign but is not a great example of military planning. It consists of two square blocks curiosly out of alignment with each other, and a small projection between them containing the entrance. Gloomy barracks now occupy the outer bailey -- a reminder of the continuous military presence here down to modern times. In front of the inner gatehouse is one of Henry VIII's additions -- a semi-circular gun battery with a covered fighting gallery facing the ditch. During the invasion scare of the 1540s, Henry thickened the inner curtain to support artillery. The wide parapet is partly carried on arcades and there is a ramp for wheeling up cannon. Within the inner bailey rises a great keep, which is virtually a cube. The keep is freestanding though very close to the curtain. As was originally conceived, each of its four stories contains a single large room. Canterbury Castle Considering the level of bombing sustained by the city in 1942, it is a miracle that so much of medieval Canterbury survives. Among the many attractions are the ruined castle keep and a large part of the city wall. Indeed, though incomplete, the wall of Canterbury ranks among the foremost in England. The shape of the defenses was determined in the third century AD. The Roman wall enclosed an oval area nearly two miles in circumference, and the medieval wall follows exactly the same line. However, very little Roman masonry survives because the wall was rebuilt from the 1370s, when a French invasion seemed imminent. More than half the circuit is preserved, extending from the site of the North Gate at the southwest end of the old city. The only gaps in this sector are those left by the demolition of the gatehouses. Eleven bastions survive, notable for their early "keyhole" gun ports. The four northernmost are square and date from about 1400, but the others are the traditional U-shaped type with open backs. Canterbury Castle was probably founded soon after the Norman Conquest and certainly before the Domesday Book.. All that remains is the lower half of a large, oblong keep. The stepped splays behind the narrow window openings suggest an early date. The plinth and pilaster buttresses are typical Norman features. The entrance was at first-floor level in the northwest wall and excavations have uncovered a fore building. The West gate is the only survivor of seven gatehouses in the wall. The fortress-like outer fašade of the gatehouse, with machicolations overhanging the entrance and sturdy drum towers pierced by gun ports, contrasts with a more domestic townward front. Note the porticullis groove in the vaulted gate passage. The West Gate has survived because it housed the county gaol after the castle keep had become too derelict. St. Mawes Castle St. Mawes Castle guards the eastern entrance to the estuary known as Carrick Roads. It is the companion of Pendennis and exactly contemporary. These two Henrician coastal forts offer some interesting contrasts. In each a squat round tower is the chief feature, but instead of having a square residential block slapped on in front of it, the St. Mawes tower is elaborated by three attached semi-circular bastions with parapets at a lower level. A distinctive stair turret caps the tower. St. Mawes is unlike Pendennis but like the majority of Henry VIII's forts in being low lying and thus able to challenge enemy shipping at close quarters. Both castles share Henry's other fortifications, the rounded merlons designed to deflect cannon balls, the large embrasures for guns at several levels, and the emplacements for drawbridge and portcullis, the latter showing that the forts were intended to offer some resistance at close quarters if the enemy ever landed. Above the entrance we encounter again a panel of the royal arms. On the rocks in front of the castle is a semi-circular blockhouse matching the one in Pendennis, perhaps erected as an emergency fortification before the real work started. In terms of size, the castles would appear to have been conceived as equals and their early governors were bitter rivals. With the Elizabethan enlargement of Pndennis, however, St. Mawes shrank into a subsidiary role. Its part in the Civil War typifies this. In contrast with Pendennis Castle's heroic stance, the royalist governor here wisely judged the castle to be indefensible from the land and surrendered without a shot being fired. The insignificance of St. Mawes has allowed it to survive in a very unspoiled condition. Not only has the stonework suffered very little, but within there is a surprising amount of original woodwork. Portchester Castle Portchester Castle originated as the "Saxon Shore" fort of Portus Adurni. It is the best preserved of the chain of Roman forts erected along the southeast coast in the late third century AD. The reason for their construction is still debated. Defense against Germanic raiders is the for the most part the likely explanation and they were without a doubt used for that purpose in the following century. The fort survives in such good condition for the reason that it was in continued use after the Roman departure, first sheltering a Saxon burgh and then becoming an outer bailey of the medieval castle. Henry I restored the fort's crumbling walls, built the present gate towers, called Land Gate and Water Gate, and created a rectangular inner bailey in the northwest corner of the fort. It is defended by the Roman wall on two sides, and on the other two by a stone curtain with a projecting gate tower. Another square tower is positioned diagonally at the vulnerable southeast corner. Portchester is thus an early example of a castle employing flanking towers, perhaps inspired by the Roman bastions. The inner curtain is overshadowed by the lofty square keep, which has displaced some of the Roman wall at the northwest corner of the castle. It is the product of two phases, as shown by the pilaster buttresses which disappear two-thirds of the way up; Evidently, Henry I's keep comprised only two stories plus roof space. Its heightening to four stories is ascribed to the Manduits, who held the castle prior to Henry II's seizure. The keep is divided by a cross wall and entered via a fore building, which is another addition of the second phase. Originally, the entrance was at first floor level, the ground floor doorway being a later insertion. Launceston Castle The keep of Launceston Castle dominates the town and surrounding countryside. Most Saxon burghs had castles forced upon them within a few years of the Norman Conquest, and the castle of "Dunhevet" is recorded in the Domesday Book. At that time it was held by William the Conqueror's half-brother Robert. Initially the castle passed through a variety of hands, and the only Norman masonry is the shell keep on the motte. In 1227 Henry III granted the Earldom of Cornwall to his brother Richard, and he must have been responsible for most of the existing masonry. Eventually, the castle fell into the common rut of being used as a courthouse and gaol for the duchy, and the defenses decayed. By the end of the Civil War, during which it changed hands several times, it was a total ruin. Earl Richard built a stone wall on top of the bailey rampart, but only the lower courses survive. It was a curiously plain curtain for the thirteenth century, without towers except for the drums flanking the southern gatehouse. The latter are still quite impressive and the simple gate tower at the far end of the bailey has also survived destruction. Otherwise it is the keep that commands our attention. The only approach is via the stretch of curtain ascending the side of the motte, controlled at its foot by a ruinous tower. Launceston's unique "triple crown" keep is the result of three phases -- a stone reverment around the upper part of the motte, the late Norman shell keep on top and Richard of Cornwall's cylindrical tower rising up within it. This arrangement appears to constitute an early example of concentric planning, though it is clear from the joint holes in the walls that the narrow space between the tower and the shell were roofed over. Wolvesey Castle As the capital of the kings of Wessex, who brought the whole of England under their sway in the tenth century, Winchester enjoyed the status of capital long into the Norman period, though eventually the pull of London proved too strong. It is therefore inevitable that William I should have founded a castle here soon after the Norman Conquest. The castle occupied a curiously elongated site on high ground at the western edge of the walled city. It received stone buildings in the twelfth century but much restoration was necessary following the city's capture by Dauphin Louis in 1216.The early history of the castle is confused because a royal palace with another Norman keep stood near the cathedral. It existed until 1411. During those troubled years, Henry partially fortified his own palace, which occupied the southeast corner of the city, counter-balancing the royal castle on the west. Wolvesey Palace, often called Wolvesy Castle, remained the chief seat of the bishops throughout the Middle Ages. It was finally abandoned in 1684, by Bishop Morley, who built the present Baroque palace alongside. The fine chapel is incorporated, but the rest of the old palace is very much a ruin. On the south, there is a definite curtain wall entered through a sequence of gateways. Henry went on to build two square towers against the eastern hall block, creating an illusion of strength on this side. It is an illusion, for despite the circumstances of its origin, Wolvesey's defenses are really more for show than anything else. The so-called keep is really just a symbolic imitation of a keep as it housed a vast kitchen, and the smaller Wymond's Tower served as a latrine block for the adjoining solar. The gatehouse on the north side of the court was erected following Henry's return from exile in 1158. Lincoln Castle Castle and cathedral have faced each other across the hilltop since Norman times. Lincoln Castle was raised over the southwest quarter of the citadel by order of William the Conqueror in 1068. The site had previously been densely occupied -- Domesday Book tells us that 166 houses were destroyed to make way for the castle. Its stonewall is mentioned as early as 1115 and Henry I is regarded as the likely builder. The high curtain, still intact though frequently patched up in later centuries, preserves portions of herringbone masonry confirming its early Norman date. It stands on top of an earth rampart surrounding a large, roughly square bailey. A rare feature is the presence of not one but two mottes, both on the southern edge of the bailey. Why they should stand so close together is a mystery, since they seem to threaten each other from a defensive point of view. The larger motte is crowned by a polygonal shell keep known as the Lucy Tower, evidently a later Norman addition and possibly erected by the Earl of Chester, who held Lincoln for the Empress Matilda. The smaller motte carries the so-called Observatory Tower, an early Norman structure extended in the fourteenth century and capped by a Victorian turret. Cobb Hall, a horseshoe-plan tower flanking the vulnerable northeast corner of the walled circuit, is a defensive improvement made after an unsuccessful siege by the Dauphin Louis' supporters in 1217. There are two gatehouses. The West gate, now blocked, is a simple Norman gate tower. The East Gate was re-fronted in the fourteenth century with a lofty gate arch and round turrets corbelled out higher up. Foundations of a barbican can be seen in front, but the courtyard extension of the gatehouse is another Victorian embellishment. It incorporates an oriel window from a medieval house in the city. Berkeley Castle Berkeley Castle rises on a low hill in sight of the Severn estuary. The castle is an appealing blend of Norman fortress and later medieval mansion, still remarkably unspoilt despite its continuous occupation by an aristocratic family, who might have been expected to rebuild or drastically modernize it in more recent centuries. The motte and bailey layout may go back to William Fitz Osbern, but the oldest masonry here is the unusual keep. If it dates from Henry II's contract with Robert Fitz Harding, about 1155, then the three semi-circular projecting bastions are remarkably early, though the plinth and pilaster buttresses are consistent with that date. One of the bastions contains a well chamber and another formed the apse of a chapel. The keep belongs to the shell keep type but its high wall actually encases the motte instead of rising from the summit. A feature taken from the tower keeps of the period, is the fore building. This is an afterthought, enclosing a narrow staircase that ascends to the keep entrance. A deep breach in the keep wall, facing the outer bailey, is the only damage wrought by the Roundheads following a brief siege in 1645. The oblong Thorpe Tower beside it dates from the fourteenth century. The keep is infamous for the murder of Edward II by his jailers, Sir John Maltravers and Sir Thomas Gurney, in 1327. According to tradition, the deed was done in the chamber above the forebuilding. Edward had been sent to Berkely for safety following his abdication, but dethroned monarchs seldom remain alive for long. The keep stood between two baileys. Only a restored gatehouse survives from the outer bailey but the inner is still intact. It is reached via a fourteenth century gateway flanked on one side by the keep and on the other side by a narrow, oblong tower. Lancaster Castle Lancaster Castle and its distinguished neighbor, the priory church, crown the summit of a hill overlooking the River Lune. A Roman fort occupied the site. Following the arrival of the Normans, Lancaster became part of the vast estate granted to Roger de Poitou and the first castle is very likely to have been his foundation. In 1265, the castle became the chief seat of the powerful lords who followed, including Thomas, ring leader of the baronial opposition to Edward II; Henry, the first palatine duke; and john of Gaunt, who married his way into the duchy. After John of Gaunt's son seized the throne as Henry IV in 1399, and the consequent union of the Duchy of Lancaster with the Crown, the castle fell into decline as a residence but remained the administrative center of the Duchy. It remains very much a working vastle, still serving as a courthouse and prison. The existing castle is largely a reconstruction of 1788-1823 by Thomas Harrison, designed to meet the growing requirements of the country gaol and the courts. The phony curtain and towers enclose an area roughly corresponding with the medieval bailey, except on the north side where the prison juts out in a big arc. Furthermore, a series of assize buildings, notably the semi-circular Shire Hall, projects on the west. Fortunately, a few important pieces of the medieval castle have been preserved. The finest of these is John of Gaunt's Gate, one of the most majestic of medieval English gatehouses. It is a massive and rather austere-looking block as befits the entrance to a prison. There is a continuous machicolated parapet around the wall head and the well-proportioned gateway preserves its original portcullis. Semi-octagonal towers that carry inner turrets above parapet level flank it. The circular Hadrian Tower forms part of the Shire Hall complex. Norwich Castle Norwich and York were the biggest towns of medieval England after London, and Norwich was saddled with a royal castle within a year of the Norman Conquest. The site, at the heart of the old city, is a natural hillock that was scraped into a formidable motte -though a motte large enough to be regarded as an inner bailey. A car park occupies the site of the outer bailey. The strength of this earth and timber fortification is attested in 1075 during the rebellion of some disaffected barons. On the failure of this revolt, the Earl of Norfolk fled abroad, leaving his wife to hold the castle against William I's supporters, which she commendably did for a siege lasting three months. On top of the motte there now stands a large square keep, unique for the rows of blank arcading that adorn the outer walls in between the pilaster buttresses. If the masonry looks too fresh, it is because the exterior was entirely refaced under Anthony Salvin in the 1830s, but it is clear from old drawings that the new work is a FAITHFUL COPY OF THE Caen stone original. No other Norman keep is so decorative, not even Falaise in Normandy, which might be called Norwich's twin. Falaise was built by Henry I and it is likely that Norwich was also. The probable date is 1119032, when there was a pause in building the cathedral, thus releasing masons with the necessary skills. Some authorities would put the keep later on architectural grounds, but there is no recorded expenditure under Henry II. The keep became derelict in the eighteenth century and the old cross wall has been replaced by a Victorian arcade inserted when the keep was re-roofed to form part of the Castle Museum. It is now difficult to visualize the original layout. Allington Castle Allington Castle stands beside the River Medway about a mile north of Maidstone. This beautiful, moated castle seems perfect, but the perfection has been contrived in modern times. Henry II destroyed a Norman castle after the revolt of 1173-74. The low mound immediately southwest of the present castle represents the motte and some herringbone masonry is visible in the curtain facing it. Other than that, Sir Stephen de Penchester, Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports built the existing structure. He obtained license to crenellate in 1291 and the original survives. His castle is characteristic of the Edwardian age but is not uncompromisingly military like the contemporary castles of Wales. In design, it reflects the quadrangular layout that was becoming popular, but the rear bows outwards in a gentle curve and the distribution of towers is quite irregular. Five D-shaped towers of different sizes project from the curtain, though one or two others existed originally. Solomon's Tower, at the south corner, is the largest and may be regarded as an early tower house. There is also a gatehouse flanked by simple, half-round turrets; the machicolations above the gateway are modern. Some ruins of barbican survive on the far side of the moat. The range on the southwest side of th courtyard, known as the Penchester Wing, may incorporate a slightly older manor house. However, once the castle was built, the main apartments stood opposite, centered on a hall that still exists but is largely a reconstruction. Only its fifteenth century porch is authentic. In 1492, Allington was granted to Sir Henry Wyatt in recognition of his loyalty to Henry VII. He upgraded the castle by building the narrow range which divides the courtyard into two unequal parts. Its upper floor forms a long gallery. The picturesque, half-timbered house within the smaller enclosure also dates from the Wyatt period. Compton Castle Compton Castle, three miles west of Torquay, has belonged to the Gilbert family - with one long interruption -- since the early fourteenth century. The Gilberts are famous for their role in the age of exploration, Sir Humphrey Gilbert discovering Newfoundland in 1583. Occupation descended to impoverished tenant farmers who could not afford any fashionable rebuilding, and for this reason the castle is one of the few to survive more or less intact but remarkably unspoiled. Disregarding its later defenses for a moment, Compton originated as a typical West Country manor house. It is centered upon a fourteenth-century hall which, having fallen into ruins, was rebuilt on its original lines in 1955. Otto Gilbert added the west wing containing the solar and a pretty little chapel. It appears that the tower attached to the solar is older than the others and began as a tower house. Otto's son John transformed the house into a more extensive complex. His additions have been dated at about 1520 and if this is accurate then Compton vies with Thornbury as the last true castle ever raised in England. At this time, the coast suffered frequent attacks from French pirates and Compton, not far inland, would have been a target. A new wing containing the kitchen and its domestic offices was added to the east of the hall. The outer face of this wing, with its projecting towers, is clearly a curtain wall. It is likely that a quadrangle was intended, the hall lying across the middle and dividing it into two. If we imagine the scheme brought to completion there would have been square towers at the four corners and others in the middle of the two longer sides. The older tower is one of these. However, the west wing was never extended southwards to match the east wing. Tiverton Castle According to tradition, Richard de Redvers, Earl of Devon, first raised a castle here around 1106, but if so nothing remains of it. Hugh Courtenay built the present stronghold soon after 1300, and the quadrangular plan is very typical of that era but would be unlikely in a Norman castle. We may compare Hugh's reconstruction of Okehampton Castle, where his work was conditioned by the old motte and bailey layout. Tiverton's quadrangle was surrounded by a curtain wall, which remains on three sides. There were towers at the corners but only the two southern ones remain. The southeast tower is circular and rather picturesque with its later conical roof; the larger southwest tower is square and ruinous. Windows piercing the curtain between them, some retaining their tracery, show that important buildings stood here, the largest marking the site of the chapel. These windows and the relatively slight projection of the angle towers show that the castle, though a product of the Edwardian age, was not too serious a fortress. The gatehouse in the middle of the east front exemplifies this. Though undeniably strong, it eschews Edwardian defensive principles, being a simple tower with one floor over the vaulted gate passage. The part, which projects in front of the curtain, is a slightly later extension. Hugh Courtenay became Earl of Devon and Tiverton was the favorite seat of subsequent earls until their attainder in 1539. On the Courtenays' reinstatement, the castle was not restored to them but passed instead to the Giffards. They abandoned the old residential buildings on the south and west and built an Elizabethan house in the northeast corner of the courtyard, backing onto the old curtain. This house still exists in a much-modified form. Afterwards, the west side of the castle was torn down but the rest was left intact out of courtesy to the occupants. St. Briavels Castle St, Briavels Castle occupies an elevated site overlooking the Wye Valley and the Welsh Border. Niles Fitz Walter, Earl of Gloucester, first built the castle during the Anarchy, but Henry II took possession in 1160 and it remained a royal stronghold thereafter. Kings, especially John, came here to hunt in the Forest of Dean. It between times, it served as the administrative center of the forest, which was important for iron forges, and the castle became a stone house for the innumerable crossbow bolts made there. A massive gate house dominates the castle, Built by Edward I in 1292, it must have been a good example of the keep gate house theme and a worthy counterpart to the gatehouses of Edward's Welsh castles. The effect is marred now by the loss of the parapet, long since displaced by pitched roofs, and the destruction of one side of the long gate passage. Semi-circular flanking towers rise from square bases which retreat back into the wall as short pyramidal spurs. This strengthening of the wall portcullises closed the gate passage, and smaller portcullises even barred the doorways leading into the porter's lodges. Beneath one of these lodges is a pit prison, and later the entire gatehouse served as a prison for those who had fallen foul of the harsh forest laws. Originally, however, the two upper floors of the gate house contained a hall and other apartments for the constable. The gatehouse forms one end of the present house, which originated as a suite of royal apartments. Though much altered in the Jacobean period and later, the house preserves a lot of masonry from King John's time, notably a reset fireplace in the so-called Jury Room. An altered chapel projects into the bailey, but the hall that stood opposite has vanished. Dartmouth Castle Dartmouth, on the beautiful estuary of the River Dart, was a flourishing port from the twelfth century. When the Hundred Year War made legitimate trading difficult, the inhabitants turned to piracy to boost their profits. Their unfortunate targets were the ports across the Channel. In 1404, the Bretons land in force and attempted to sack the town in revenge, but the inhabitants drove them off with great loss to themselves. According to French sources a second attempt was more successful. Dartmouth Castle is actually a mile southeast of the town, at a point where the estuary narrows. A fortification first rose here about 1388 in response to the threat of invasion from France. It was built at the instigation of the mayor, John Hawley, and is interesting as the earliest example of a fort built by a municipal authority as opposed to the private castle of an individual. It was a simple affair, consisting of a curtain with circular towns cutting off the landward approach to the headland. A tall piece of curtain and one shattered tower can be seen on the high ground overlooking the defenses. In view of the primitive artillery of the day it is difficult to see how this fortification could have interfered with any ships. It was also overlooked by much higher ground. Perhaps for these reasons it soon fell into disuse. The tower, which now forms the focal point of the castle crowns the rocks on the edge of the headland. It looks like two connected towers, one square and one oval. In fact, the original design was for a freestanding oval tower and the most prominent square portion is an afterthought, but there is no internal division between the two. The splayed gun ports provided a degree of flexibility for cannon fire, which was hitherto unknown. They lie in the rock- cut basement. Christchurch Castle Christchurch was in the beginning called Twineham and Richard de Redvers, Earl of Devon, in all probability founded its castle in the region of 1100. The town is noted for its priory church, a gem of Norman architecture, but close by stands the Norman House, which is as well of great interest. This ruined building contained the hall and solar of the castle, both apartments standing higher than an unvaulted undercroft. The original doorway, once upon a time reached by an outside staircase, marks the junction flanked by the two rooms, which were only divided by a wooden dividing wall. A number of two light windows enriched with chevron ornament lighted the hall. Two of them pierce the wall in front of a stream, for example, the outside wall of the castle. In the face of the fact that positioned at first floor level they are too near to the ground and too large for real defense. Flanked by these two windows is a tall, circular chimney -- one of the very oldest in existence in England. The architecture of the hall looks a lot like that of the 1600s, making it the work of Richard de Redvers, the grandson of the founder, or his son Baldwin. The only other remnant of the castle is the motte, bearing two featureless walls of a square tower. It may possibly have been a Norman keep, despite the fact that the canted corners suggest at least a remodeling in the later Middle Ages at what time the castle belonged to the Montagu earls of Salisbury. In 1645, the derelict castle became the very last way out of some Roundhead armed forces, who managed to hold out here at what time the Royalists attacked the town. Afterwards, the coastal defenses were destroyed by order of Parliament. Colchester Castle Colchester reached the peak of its importance before the Romans came. A city for veterans of the Roman army was established here, dominated by a temple of the deified Emperor Claudius. Queen Boudicca razed it to the ground in AD 61 but a new city soon rose from the ashes. Colchester Castle, near the center of the walled town, has by far the largest ground area of any keep in England, measuring 150 by 110 feet. William the Conqueror founded a castle here soon after the Norman Conquest and the keep may have been started following a Danish raid on the town in 1071. The masonry is certainly early Norman -- note for example the herringbone work in the fireplaces. The keep has affinities with the Tower of London's White Tower, so much so that the builder of the latter, Bishop Gundulf of Rochester, is often credited with the design. However, it is possible that a destroyed keep at Rouen provided the model for both. The chief similarity is the apsidal projection at the south end of the east wall. In some respects the Colchester keep is quite different; it is much more rectangular in plan, there are projecting towers rather than mere buttresses at the corners and the keep was originally divided by two cross-walls, so that the eastern half contained two curiously long and narrow apartments. Only the eastern cross wall still stands. The apse shows where a chapel was intended, but the keep now appears peculiarly squat in relation to its area because only the two lower floors survive. Traces of walled-up battlements reveal that, when only one story high, an embattled parapet capped the keep. This may have been done as an emergency measure in 1083 when a Danish invasion seemed imminent. The next level must have followed soon after. Wingfield Manor At South Wingfield are the stately ruins of a mansion erected by Sir Ralph Cromwell in the 1440s. Lord Cromwell was High Treasurer of England and builder of the grass brick tower at Tattershall Castle. Unlike Tattershall, Wingfield Manor is all of one period and entirely of stone. It follows the late medieval trend for two courtyards, one containing Cromwell's residential buildings and the other a base court for retainers. This arrangement is often described as a security measure but here the distinction was purely a social one. Neither courtyard can be described as defensive and both are entered by gatehouses that have side arches for pedestrians in addition to the main arch. The flanking turrets cannot make up for such a weakness. In fact the only defensive feature, apart from the commanding position above the River Amber, is an oblong tower house rising at one corner of the inner courtyard. Tattershall's tower was a comfortable residence and a symbol of lordship, but the tower here is a comparatively modest affair and can never have dominated the mansion. Its outer half was blasted down after the Civil War. The tower house is unusual for its distance from the principal apartments, which are situated at the far end of the courtyard. The hall is notable for its porch, its bay window and its vaulted undercroft. It is peculiar to find the solar and the domestic offices lumped together beyond the west end of the hall. Shortly before his death in 145, Lord Cromwell sold the mansion to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. It remained in Talbot hands for over a century. During that time Mary Queen of Scots spent portions of her long imprisonment here, in some discomfort. In 1643, the house was wrested from the Roundheads by the Earl of Newcastle. Brancepeth Castle Brancepeth Caste, four miles southwest of Durham, was the original seat of the powerful Neville family. It is first mentioned during the Magna Carta war of 1216. In outline, the castle may date back to this period but nothing now standing is that old. The castle is similar architecturally to some of its late fourteenth century neighbors in the county and the rebuilding is attributed to Ralph Neville, first Earl of Westmoreland, after Raby was complete. Unfortunately his stronghold has been subjected to radical alterations. From 1818 there was a heavy-handed restoration in neo-Norman style under the architect John Paterson, whose uninspired work has been justly criticized. The end result is a castle, which is a mishmash of original and sham features, best seen from a distance. Nevertheless, a considerable amount of medieval masonry has survived and the contrast between the old and the new is clearly apparent. The castle is situated on a rise overlooking the Stockley Beck. It is a large, irregular enclosure surrounded by a strong curtain. The curtain looks complete, but some portions have been rebuilt. Paterson erected the present round-towered gatehouse on the site of the original. Most of the mural towers are authentic and have suffered comparatively little interference. These massive, oblong structures are unusual for the diagonal buttresses clasping their outer corners. Proceeding clockwise from the gatehouse, we pass the Westmoreland and Constable towers, which have turrets rather than buttresses. Next comes the Russell Tower, a Paterson insertion, followed by three closely spaced towers containing vaulted chambers (including the so-called Barons' Hall in Bulmer's Tower). These three towers were attached to the main residential apartments, but the buildings, which now lean against the curtain on this side, are entirely of the nineteenth century. The curtain returns to the gatehouse via two small turrets. Windsor Castle Windsor Castle is one of England's largest, containing thirteen acres within its walls. It has enjoyed favor as a royal residence from Norman times to the present and is the only royal castle to have made the transition to palace. Most monarchs have contributed in some way to its splendor and every century except the eighteenth has left its mark on the fabric. The result is a magnificent but extremely mutilated stronghold. The castle owes its position to William the Conqueror. He chose the elevated site on a chalk cliff above the Thames in 1067 and his earthworks have since dictated the layout of the castle. Although raised on the grand scale, Windsor is a typical motte and bailey fortress, with two baileys or wards of roughly equal size on either side of a motte fifty feet high. The west front has three D-shaped towers, named Curfew, Salisbury and Garter. Henry VIII rebuilt the gatehouse leading into the lower ward in 1510. The heavily restored Henry III and Edward III towers rising at the foot of the motte were built in the thirteenth century. Five Norman flanking towers also remain -- the York, Augusta, Clarence, Chester and Prince of Wales towers. Mural towers were by no means a new invention, but Windsor's are spaced closely enough to methodically flank the curtain. These simple square towers may be compared with the round towers flanking Windsor's west front to appreciate the progress of fifty years. The route towards the upper ward passes the Winchester Tower overlooking the river. At the foot of the motte is the so-called Norman Gate which leads from the lower ward into the upper. This gatehouse has the veneer of newness characteristic of all the castle's defenses, but the vault of the gate passage, the porticullis and one of the twin flanking towers go back to Edward III's reign in 1359. Hurst Castle Its nucleus is one of the coastal forts of Henry VIII, expanded as a result of another invasion scare in Victorian times. The original castle was built in 1539-44 and the master mason, Thomas Bertie, later became captain of the garrison here, a curious but not uncommon reward for a castle builder. Like Calshot, it lies at the end of a spit of shingle, well over a mile long and projecting into the middle of the Solent. The Isle of Wight is little more than a mile away and, along with its counterpart at Yarmouth, the castle's guns could effectively command the western entrance to the Solent. Hurst was garrisoned almost continuously until the Second World War. Its situation also made a secure prison, used mainly for the incarceration of Catholics though its most famous inmate was Charles I en route to his trial and execution. The Henrician fort is now flanked by two long batteries added in 1861-73, when the fear of a resurgent France under Napoleon III led to that vast array of defensive works known as "Palmerston's Follies'. Henry's castle is made up of a central tower, polygonal outside but circular within, surrounded by a thick curtain with three semi-circular projecting bastions. Large gun ports in the beginning pierced the curtain and further cannon could have been mounted on the parapets of the curtain and the higher central tower. Later modifications have obscured much of the original layout. The central tower has a spiral stair turret at its nucleus, probably an original feature though it was rebuilt in the Napoleonic period when the tower's brick vault was inserted. Only the northwest bastion, which is higher than the others, preserves its original appearance. Beside it is the entrance gateway, retaining its portcullis groove and slots for the drawbridge chains. Thornbury Castle The Thornbury Castle has been described as the last genuine castle, or rather private house with defensive features, ever raised in England. This is probably true if we ignore Scottish border territory. It is testimony to the ambition of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, who began building here in 1511. Ten years later, Henry VIII had him executed on a charge of treason. It was alleged that the duke had raised a private army in the Welsh Marches, in defiance of the Tudor laws against such practices, and Thornbury Castle may have been another factor weighing against him. The castle follows the standard quadrangular layout of later medieval times, and is provided with an outer courtyard large enough to house a sizeable body of retainers. So here, as elsewhere, the hired levies were kept away from the duke and his personal household, though whether this arrangement reflects mistrust or the social hierarchy is a moot point. Two long ranges of retainers' lodgings back onto the outer curtain. This curtain has three square flanking towers, the angle tower is set diagonally, several intermediate turrets and a liberal supply of gun ports and arrow slits. The main entrance, flanked by semi-octagonal turrets to front and rear, was furnished with a portcullis in traditional fashion. The south wall of the outer courtyard was never built and on the east lies the inner quadrangle. Clearly, the west fašade of the inner curtain was intended to look uncompromisingly defensive, with massive octagonal towers at each end and a twin-towered gatehouse in between. However, this front appears woefully squat because it was left in 1521 at less than half its intended height. The north range, with square flanking towers, is similarly truncated and the east range, which would have contained the hall, was never even begun. Naworth Castle Naworth Castle has become a fine mansion without sacrificing its medieval character. Ranulf de Dacre obtained a license to crenellate in 1335. His castle, on a promontory two miles east of Brampton, consists of an irregular, quadrilateral courtyard surrounded by a curtain wall. The only level approach is from the southeast and this side has a tower at each end, named Dacre and Howard after the two prominent families who have lived here since the fourteenth century. Dacre Tower is the original tower house. Five stories high with corner turrets, it flanks the original gateway through the curtain though it does not project at all from the southeast front. The doorway into its vaulted ground floor preserves an iron yert. The Howard Tower is probably one of Thomas Dacre's additions and as a defensive tower it is something of an illusion. It fills the acute angle between two walls and its inner sides are supported on arches above the residential buildings, so it is only a tower at the upper levels. In front of the southeast curtain was a narrow outer bailey, as indicated by the surviving gatehouse and the squat tower known as the Boat House. There are courtyard buildings against the curtain on three sides. They are largely the work of Thomas, Lord Dacre, who proved to be a capable Warden of the Western march. The southeast range contained the solar and the chapel, the latter indicated by large windows at the Dacre Tower end. The hall occupies most of the northeast range. This lofty apartment contains four intriguing heraldic beasts -- a bull, a gryphon, a dolphin and a sheep. These but little else survived a devastating fire in 1844. As a result of this fire, the interiors, while adhering to the old, are the work of Anthony Salvin. He also added the Morpeth Tower near the north corner. Hedingham Castle The village of Castle Hedingham is dominated by one of the finest keeps. Faced with ashlar masonry brought all the way from Barnack, it is almost perfectly preserved, lacking only its battlements. The sloping plinth and pilaster buttresses are typical Norman motifs but the turrets rising at two opposite corners are a distinctive feature. From outside, the keep is seen to have five stages. This translates to four stories within because the hall -- as usual in the larger Norman keeps -- is twice the height of the other rooms and its upper windows are at gallery level. The top floor, or solar, is just below the parapet, so there is no blank space to protect a steeply pitched roof as in many Norman keeps. It is interesting to see how the windows graduate from narrow slits at ground level to larger and more elaborate openings above, though being Norman, they are relatively small. Note the even rows of putlog holes used in the construction. A fore building preceded by a flight of steps guarded the way in. This has been allowed to decay into a ruinous stump, but the first floor entrance, with chevron ornament and portcullis groove, is still in use. The room within is bisected by a wide archway, which prepares us for the loftier, molded arch at hall level. These cross arches are a unique feature. They helped support the wooden floors without dividing the keep into smaller rooms as a cross wall would have done. A mural gallery runs all the way around the keep at the upper level of the hall. Frequent window recesses pierce it so the hall benefits from light at two levels. The present floors and roof are modern, the older ones having been consumed by a fire in 1918. Palace of Westminster The Houses of Parliament occupy the site of a royal palace which flourished from the time of Edward the Confessor until Henry VIII moved to Whitehall and St. James's. Although the Tower of London could accommodate the royal entourage, most kings found Westminster more congenial than the volatile city of London. There was convenient transport between the two by barge along the Thames. Parliament's relationship with the palace is an old one, since the House of Lords regularly met in the private royal apartments from the fourteenth century and the House of Commons used the collegiate chapel. Several royal palaces were unfortified even in Norman times and Westminster was one of them. The precinct wall that surrounded the palace never quite developed into a defensive curtain, though Edward III commissioned a youthful Henry Yevele to build two towers along its line in 1365. One of them, the original Clock Tower, has disappeared beneath its famous successor. The Jewel Tower survives owing to later use as a repository for Parliamentary records. Now an isolated structure facing, and overawed by, the Victoria Tower, it occupied the southwest corner of the medieval palace precinct. The present windows, enlargements in 1718, do not conceal the defensive character of the tower, and the ground floor is covered by a vault with beautifully carved bosses. As a matter of fact, the Jewel Tower, as its name suggests, was built as a secure place for the extensive treasures of the King's privy wardrobe. The tower is a rectangular structure with a smaller wing at right angles, carefully contrived to stand completely outside the angle of the precinct and thus not encroach upon the King's private garden, which lay behind. The moat, reinstated at this point, had to be pushed out onto a piece of land appropriated from Westminster Abbey, much to the annoyance of the abbot and monks. Tattershall Castle Tattershall Castle posses one of the most splendid of later medieval tower houses. It has justly been described as the finest piece of medieval brickwork in England. Ralph, Lord Cromwell, erected this tower in the years 1434046. Rising over a hundred feet to the top of its corner turrets, with a view stretching from Lincoln Cathedral to Boston Stump, it dominates the surrounding fenland, all the more so because the rest of the castle has perished. There had, in fact, been a castle here since 1231m when Robert de Tattershall obtained a license to crenellate. Weir moats enclose an inner bailey and a concentric platform, which is divided into two outer baileys. Unfortunately, the thirteenth century curtain has been totally destroyed though excavations have left on view the stone bases of two rounded flanking towers. The corner turrets rise well above parapet level and are finished off with decorative brickwork emulating machicolations. Between the turrets on all four sides is a covered fighting gallery projecting outwards on genuine machicolations. The gallery has embrasures in its outer wall and there is an embattled parapet above. This elaborate crown gives Tattershall its unique dignity, but the present isolation of the tower is misleading. Originally, it was connected to the main residential buildings of the castle and that is why the angle turrets do not project at all on the bailey side. The tower basically formed a suite of apartments for Lord Cromwell's personal use so it was not a self-contained keep in the old sense. There are five stories in the tower, including the vaulted basement, each level comprising one grand apartment with extra accommodation provided in the angle turrets. The first floor contained a hall. The second floor is conjectured to have been Lord Cromwell's audience chamber. Above that was the solar. Leeds Castle Leeds Castle rises serenely from the waters of its urrounding lake. The lake is an artificial one created by damming the River Len. The castle existed in 1139 because, in that year, King Stephen wrested it from Matilda's supporters. The two islands on which suggest a motte and bailey origin, and the lake itself existed by 1272. In terms of masonry, however, the castle is essentially the work of Edward I, with additions by Henry VIII and much nineteenth century beautification. Around the entrance, the lake decreases to a narrow moat. On the near side of the moat are the ruins of a peculiar barbican, which had three gateways because three roads converged here. The gatehouse is a squat tower, Edwardian in date but not at all in spirit. It has a recess for the drawbridge and a later row of machicolations above the entrance. Except for one of the four D-shaped flanking bastions, the curtain was reduced to a low retaining wall in the nineteenth century, to allow an unimpeded view across the lake. Foundations of an earlier curtain enclosing a slightly narrower area have come to light, so Leeds may have been a concentric castle, though there is no proof that the two walls stood simultaneously. There are two separate residential blocks within the bailey: Maiden's Tower, one of Henry VIII's additions, and the neo-Gothic mansion built by Fiennes Wykeham-Martin in the 1820s. It occupies the site of lavish medieval apartments. From the back of the mansion, a stone corridor, replacing a wooden causeway and drawbridge, leads to the keep on the smaller island. It is known as the Gloriette. This peculiar, D-shaped structure is built around a tiny courtyard in shell keep manner. Its lower part, including the tall plinth, which rises straight out of the water, is Edward I's work. Hereford Castle Hereford means "army ford", a reference to the turbulent days of its foundation when the Kingdom of Mercia was pushing westwards into Welsh territory. Excavations have uncovered the Saxon town rampart. For centuries the English settlers and the Welsh beyond the River Wye were uneasy neighbors, and in 1055 the town went up in flames. Harold Godwinson, later King Harold, drove back the invaders and rebuilt the shattered defenses. In Norman times, the enclosed area doubled in size and a walled circuit replaced the earthwork defenses from 1224 onward. Hereford rebuffed a Scottish army in 1645 but fell to Parliament at the end of the year. Damaged during these sieges, the city wall suffered the common fate of demolition and concealment thereafter. However, clearance in the 1960s for the Victoria Street bypass has led to the re-appearance of much of the western part of the circuit, extending from the river almost to West Street. The wall is mutilated but it preserves two semi-circular bastions. All the gatehouses have perished, including the one which guarded the medieval Wye Bridge. There was no wall on the riverside, but remains of a ditch show that the medieval city had a suburb on the opposite bank. According to John Leland, Hereford Castle was one of the "largest, fairest and strongest" in England, so its virtual disappearance is a great pity. Castle suffered from too close a proximity to the cathedral. In 1140 the Empress Matilda's supporters fired stones and arrows into the bailey from the central tower, a forerunner of the present one. Henry III found himself a prisoner here after of Battle of Lewes, but his son Edward escaped and rallied the royal forces to victory over Simon de Montfort at Evesham.The defenses of this royal stronghold were torn down at the Restoration. Berry Pomeroy Castle Berry Pomeroy Castle occupies a spur of land falling steeply to the Gatcombe Valley, three miles northeast of Tornes. The ruins of a late medieval castle are juxtaposed with those of a great Tudor mansion. The Pomeroys settled here soon after the Norman Conquest but their castle dates only from the fifteenth century. It is probably the work of Henry Pomeroy who held the manor from 1446 to 1487. The new defenses were doubtless a response to the menace of French raids, the castle being just a few miles inland from Torbay. Only one side remains of the castle defenses, comprising the gatehouse, the D-shaped Margaret's Tower and the length of curtain between them. Enough survives to show that this was no regular quadrangle. The gatehouse has tall flanking towers with pointed fronts and a long machicolation between them. An arcade, the narrower part having served as the chapel, divides the chamber over the gate passage. A fine fresco here depicting the Adoration of the Magi shows Flemish influence, and its discovery led to the re-roofing of the gatehouse during the restoration of the 1980s. An earth rampart as reinforcement against artillery backs the curtain, and the walls are liberally supplied with gun ports. The big residential block on the east side of the courtyard incorporates the Pomeroys' hall and solar, but it was transformed in the large-scale rebuilding of the following century. In 1547, Sir Thomas Pomeroy sold the castle to Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and Lord Protector. As well as converting the eastern block, which survives as a well-preserved shell, he began an ambitious Renaissance mansion centered upon an immense new hall range on the far side of the courtyard, overlooking the valley. Unfortunately, it is too fragmentary to be readily appreciated. Somerset was executed in 1552 and his son completed the work on a reduced scale. Durham Castle In the year 995, monks from Chester-le-Street brought St. Cuthber's body here to protect it from the Danes. They chose the naturally fortified site within an incised loop of the River Wear as the setting for their new cathedral. As late as 1075 it rebuffed a Danish attack. The only landward approach to the promontory is guarded by Durham Castle, which was established by William the Conqueror in 1072 but was soon given to Bishop Welcher. The castle remained the chief seat of the bishops of Durham until 1836, when Bishop Van Mildert gave it to the newly founded university. It now serves as University College. As seen from across the Wear, castle and cathedral form a magnificent spectacle. It is the cathedral which dominates, but this can only be expected of England's celebrated Norman church. Above the river the castle presents a purely residential fašade, the domestic buildings protruding from the great hall to the edge of the precipice. Clearly, the steep drop was considered protection enough. Whereas Durham Cathedral is still essentially a Norman building, the castle exhibits architecture of every century from the eleventh to the nineteenth, reflecting the changing tastes of the bishops, and is memorable as a palace rather than a fortress. In outline, however, the castle is still a Norman stronghold, comprising a triangular bailey overlooked by a large motte. The promontory within the loop of the Wear was given a stone enclosure wall for extra protection under Bishop Flambard in the early twelfth century. Much of this wall remains in a featureless condition, particularly on the west side beyond the cathedral building. Near the soythern apex is the Water Gate, rebuilt in 1778. The short gap between the castle motte and the eastern arm of the river was closed by a stronger wall and ditch. Peveril Castle Peveril Castle crowns a steep hill overlooking Castleton in the Peak District. This area was a center of medieval lead mining and William the Conqueror appointed William Peveril (supposedly his illegitimate son) as bailiff of the royal lands here. The ruined castle that bears his name was usually called the Castle of the Peak in medieval times. It existed by the time the Domesday survey and comprises a triangular enclosure sloping upwards to a sheer drop at the rear. The very ruinous curtain is probably William Peveril's, since I displays herringbone masonry typical of early Norman work and stone was easy to come by here. It is of some interest as an early stone enclosure with neither keep nor gatehouse originally. It would seem that the north wall, guarding the easiest approach, came first, with the western wall (overlooking the ravine) following. Henry II inserted the present gate arch, facing the town. The precipitous southeastern side of the bailey was not walled until the thirteenth century and the curtain here has since disappeared. Two round towers stood along it, though why there should have been towers on the edge of the cliff but none elsewhere is difficult to explain. When the third William Peveril forfeited his estates in 1155, the castle was taken over by Henry II. Expenditure of 184 pounds in 1176-77, is just enough to account for the square keep which now dominates the castle. The keep has come down to us in good condition, preserving its ashlar facing except on two of the outside walls. As keeps go its is a modest structure, just two stories high, though the walls rise higher to protect the vanished roof. The entrance was at first-floor level as usual but there is no evidence for a fore building. Clearly the main accommodation was always in the bailey and the foundations of two successive halls. Tower of London The Tower of London and Dover Castle were the strongest castles of medieval England. There are those who would put Dover first and London second, but this is a matter of preference. Both castle retain their majesty in spite of extensive later mutilation. It must be admitted that Dover makes the most of its glorious position; whereas the Tower derives no advantages from its site. Squatting on the north bank of the Thames, and now overshadowed by the glass skyscrapers of the City, the grandeur of the complex is not immediately apparent. Nevertheless, its sheer size-eighteen acres-cannot fail to impress and the majestic keep and concentric curtains are visible from all directions. The prime role of the Tower was to overawe the defiant citizens of the capital. This may seem less strategic than Dover's coastal defense, but English kings generally had more to fear from their own subjects than from external attack. One claim can never be denied. That is the fact that, in terms of historic intensity, the Tower has no equal. The interior of the White Tower is somewhat obscured by the vast array of arms and armor on display. This magnificent collection recalls one of the chief functions of the Tower of London as its use as a palace declined -- that of arsenal and armory for the realm. Until 1812, it housed the mint and the Crown Jewels are still entrusted to the Tower's safe keeping. Above all, the Tower is celebrated for the sinister events arising from its use as a prison for illustrious captives, many of who languished here en route to the block. Indeed, imprisonment within the Tower, and decapitation on Tower Hill, were jealously guarded privileges of the nobility. A list of victims reads like a roll call of tragic heroes and villains.
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