Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain

Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain

Marc Morris

Language: English

Pages: 200


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Castle" is a wide-ranging history of some of the most magnificent buildings in Britain. It explores many of the country's most famous and best-loved castles, as well as some little-known national treasures. The story begins in the 11th century, when castles were introduced to Britain, and ends in the 17th century, when they were largely abandoned. It is, in some respects, an epic tale, driven by characters like William the Conqueror, "Bad" King John and Edward I, who, by building and besieging castles, shaped the fate of the nation. At the same time, however, it is a more homely story, about the adventures, struggles and ambitions of lesser-known individuals, and how every aspect of their lives was wrapped up in the castles they built. As Marc Morris shows, there is more to castles than drawbridges and battlements, portcullises and arrow-loops. Be it ever so grand or ever so humble, a castle is first and foremost a home. It may look tough and defensible on the outside, but on the inside, a castle is all about luxury and creature comforts. Inside real castles, we do no necessarily find cannons and suits of armour, but we do discover great halls, huge kitchens, private chambers and chapels - all rooms which were once luxurious and lavish, and which made these buildings perfect residences for their owners. To understand castles - who built them, who lived in them, and why - is to understand the forces that shaped medieval Britain.

Wild Coast: An Exploration of the Places Where Land Meets Sea

Look Back in Anger: The Miners' Strike in Nottinghamshire 30 Years on



















1972). CHAPTER TWO An excellent up-to-date introduction to stone castles in the century after the Conquest is given in E. Fernie, The Architecture of Norman England (Oxford, 2000). For a more detailed view, The History of the King’s Works, ed. R.A. Brown, H.M. Colvin, A.J. Taylor (6 vols, London, 1963) is still in most respects unsurpassed. A revisionist perspective can be found in C. Coulson, ‘Peaceable Power in English Castles’, Anglo-Norman Studies XXIII (Woodbridge, 2001). P. Dixon, ‘Design.

Which William never lived to see completed. Its importance to future generations of castle-builders was correspondingly colossal. As the great stone building slowly inched its way skywards, it became known simply as the Tower. This, without question, was the shape of things to come. CHAPTER TWO TOWERS OF STONE THE CITY OF Rochester lies on the north coast of Kent, at the mouth of the river Medway. Like most modern cities, it has its fair share of tall buildings, from elegant Victorian.

King’s governors encouraged a cease-fire by recognizing the legitimacy of many of the rebels’ grievances. They issued a new version of Magna Carta, and indicated that in future the king would respect its terms. The only person who stood to lose out now was Prince Louis; it took a decisive battle at Lincoln and a large payment of cash to persuade him to go home. By 1217, the war was over; John was dead and peace had been restored. Rochester Castle, however, remained shattered and broken – a pale.

The great libraries of London and Oxford. You can, however, get lost in libraries. Making the TV series helped me find my way back out. It was a wonderful opportunity to get back to basics, to revisit the scenes from my childhood, and to be reminded what made history so exciting in the first place. My thanks to everyone who made it all possible. INTRODUCTION THE COUNTY OF Kent has more than its fair share of castles, and my parents and schoolteachers conspired to ensure that I was familiar.

Day (or a long night, if they wanted cover of darkness). Deprived of its moat, the castle would be an easy (if rather muddy) target. Mud, however, was not really much of a hindrance – using tree-branches and planking, an organized attacker could quickly lay a carpet of makeshift duckboards and create a path to the foot of the walls. So is there anything to be said for Bodiam’s defences? The castle, seen from the north, would certainly have us think so. While getting into the building today is.

Download sample