By Christopher Gravett
The easy castles raised after the Norman conquest have been constructed all through eleventh and twelfth centuries, when the advent of Islamic and Byzantine fortification concepts from the past due twelfth century ended in additional advancements in fort structure. those fortifications have been to be good validated in the course of the process the thirteenth century as England used to be riven by means of the clash, characterised by way of lengthy sieges, among the monarchy and robust magnates. in addition to offering the focal point for war, castles more and more turned the centres in their groups, supplying a extra everlasting base for the lord, his relations and retainers, in addition to performing as centres for justice and management.
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Additional info for English castles, 1200-1300
Llywelyn harried f r o m M o n t g o m e r y to R a d n o r , B r e c o n and C a e r l e o n , then south-west to Cardigan Castle. H u b e r t brought a royal a r m y to Painscastle, on the r o a d to H e r e f o r d , but waited m o n t h s while a stone fortress w a s built to replace the old Broase Castle. His campaign of Elfiel (near Builth) w a s thus a fiasco and a truce was made with Llywelyn. A truce m a d e in 1 2 3 4 allowed him to keep Cardigan and Builth. In 1 2 3 3 King H e n r y c a m e t o the siege o f R i c h a r d M a r s h a l in Usk and achieved results by asking, through bishops, that R i c h a r d yield up the castle to preserve his h o n o u r and he would receive it b a c k in 1 5 days.
The Byward Tower (left) at the Tower of London, with a late medieval or Tudor second floor. It is the inner of Edward I's two gatehouses and connects via a causeway to the Middle Tower standing in the moat (the latter was partly resurfaced in Portland stone in the 18th century). To far right can be seen the slots for the counterweights of the turning bridge that guarded the now vanished barbican, the Lion Tower. westwards and defined a new boundary. T h e Bell Tower remains at the southwest corner o f this wall, its offset polygonal base made of marble to withstand the river w a t e r but with a cylindrical upper part.
Many, as at Bolingbroke, consist of only a narrow door set in the curtain. At M o n t g o m e r y , the walls blocking the ditch between middle and inner wards had posterns, while Sandal had a postern in the western wing wall that linked the bailey to the motte. Knaresborough had a postern with a portcullis guarding the passage (some 2 7 . 5 m ) midway. Bristol had a tunnel (16m) opening out near the bottom of the ditch. Henry Ill's circular tower at Winchester Castle had a passage leading from the basement through a tunnel under the ditch to emerge in the city, while a second c a m e out in the western suburb.
English castles, 1200-1300 by Christopher Gravett