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Colegiul National Calistrat Hogas Tecuci


Sima Danut Clasa a XII-a A Matematica informatica Bilingv limba engleza Profesor coordonator: Marin Oana


Introduction.. 3 Chapter I British Castles .. 4 1. Medieval Castles.... 4 2. The Decline of Castles... 6 Chapter II Castels from Scotland... 8 1. Edinburgh Castle.... 8 1.1. Davids Tower... 9 1.2. Half Moon Battery......... 10 1.3. The Crown Room.. 10 1.4. The One OClock Gun... 11 2. Dornoch Castle ...... 12 3. Inveraray Castle...... 15 Chapter III Castels from England....... 19 1. Eastnor Castle......... 19 1.1. The First Earl Somers.... 20 1.2. The Construction of the Castle...... 20 1.3. The Interior of the Castle....... 21 2. Warwick Castle........... 22 Bibliography.. 28


Britain is strewn with ruins of castles, rubble from the centuries of her existence. Castles are tangible relics of a remarkable past, a lengthy heritage etched in stone, as well as with the blood and sweat of those who built, labored, fought, and died in their shadow. Ruins stir up in us a profound awareness of those past lives. Castles have a timelessness that is awe-inspiring. That they have endured centuries of warfare and the effects of weather is a testimony to the creativity and power of their medieval owners. Most of the fortifications that we consider as 'proper' castles were built during the Middle Ages (c.1000-1500). Unlike most other buildings, such as a church, a house or an inn, they served more than one purpose. A castle was a home for its owner and family, a place where guests could be entertained and often the local centre for administration and justice, but it was also built strong enough to defend its occupants while acting as a base from which attacks on neighbors or more distant enemies could be launched. Later buildings, which are often still referred to as a castle or have the word castle in their name, served only a single purpose, as forts built purely for defense or stately homes built solely as a residence. The word castle has become a generic term used to describe many types of fortification, and there are many structures that pre-date the Middle Ages that are often referred to as castles. In the 13th century BC, the Hittites built stone walls with square towers around their capital in Turkey. The Egyptians built a fortress out of mud bricks, with massive gatehouses and square towers, to defend their southern borders, 1500 years BC. From the 16th to the 12th centuries BC, small, separate kingdoms dominated much of mainland Greece, each with its own fortified citadel. The first fortifications began to appear in Britain from the 5th century BC, with the construction of Iron Age hill-forts. Maiden Castle in Dorset is one of the most impressive examples. These great earthworks (a series of ditches and raised earth banks) were topped by a wooden wall (palisade), and usually protected a settlement. However, they proved no match for the Romans when they invaded England in the 1st century AD. They quickly overpowered the hill forts and imposed their own authority by constructing forts, built to a standard rectangular plan, across much of the country. Some were built quickly out of wood while others were more permanent structures built of brick or stone.

Chapter I British Castels

1. Medieval castles
In medieval Europe the first castles appeared in the 9th century, when the Carolingian empire was collapsing as a result of Viking and Magyar raids. As central authority disintegrated, nobles fought for power and territory. They built castles so that they could control and defend their land. These castles started out as simple, wooden structures, relying on natural defenses such as rivers or hills, but soon builders were adding earthworks - mounds, banks and ditches - for extra defense. Earthworks could be mounds, called mottes, or round, raised enclosures, called ring works. A motte was topped by a wooden tower; while a ring work contained buildings protected by a wooden palisade. In each case earth was dug from the perimeter area, leaving a protective ditch. The fragmentation of land into separate estates or domains, and the manner in which they were ruled, led to the development of feudalism. The most powerful men, the counts, dukes and kings, controlled more than one estate. They would keep some of the land for themselves and give control of the rest to other lords. In return these lords promised to provide knights for their overlord's wars and for the garrisoning of their overlord's castles. In theory, a person's allegiance was always to their overlord, however there were constant battles for land and power and some men became almost as powerful as their overlord. Castles played an important part in European warfare, and William the Conqueror brought this knowledge with him. He built his first defensive structure within the walls of the old Roman Fort at Pevensey where his invasion force had landed. He then continued to build castles to defend his line of retreat and within two weeks of landing had built castles at Hastings and Dover. After his victory at the battle of Hastings he went to London where he was crowned King of England, on Christmas Day 1066. The period of Norman castle building had begun. As William's forces spread across the county they built castles as a means to subdue and control the populace. William claimed all the land as his own but gave grants of land (fiefs) to the Norman lords that had provided him with military assistance during the invasion. In order to prevent any of them achieving the level of power that he had acquired in France, he gave them many separate estates spread across the country so that it would be difficult for any one lord to join all his forces together in a single power base. In order to protect and control their new lands the lords built castles on each of their estates. By the time of William's death, in 1087, there were 86 Norman castles in England. The early castles were mainly 'ring works' or 'motte and baileys' which were quick to construct. A 'motte and bailey' castle consisted of a large mound, or motte, where possible based on solid rock, and made of compacted rubble and earth, topped with a wooden tower. It provided a look-out post, as well as adding tactically important height if the castle was attacked. The 'bailey' was a large, level enclosed area beside the motte, surrounded by an earthwork bank and ditch, topped with a timber palisade. The bailey often contained a hall, buildings for livestock, a forge and armory, and a chapel. Due to the use of wood in their construction, these castles were particularly vulnerable to fire. Many of these early wooden castles were later rebuilt in stone making use of the 4

old earthworks. Stone castles needed more workers, were more expensive, and took much longer to build than wooden ones, but they were fireproof and much more secure. The first stone castles were usually centered on a large tower. The earliest known stone tower was built at Dou-laFontaine, France, in c.950. In 1079, work started on a great stone tower at London, now known as the White Tower, at the Tower of London, and at a similar time at Colchester Castle. The great stone tower, donjon, or keep was much stronger than its timber predecessor, and its height gave defending soldiers a good view and better line of fire. A great tower provided secure storage for money and documents as well as offering more comfortable accommodation for the nobles. Castle builders turned the unique character of each site to their advantage, and keeps were built too many different designs, including rectangular, circular, square, multi-sided and D-shaped. At Portchester, the Norman keep was built inside the walls of an existing Roman fort. Others, like Chepstow, turned natural features such as sheer cliffs to their advantage, using the added protection they provided on one or more of the castle's flanks. A variation on the standard keep was the shell keep. A tall circular wall was built around the top of a motte, and all the most important buildings were placed inside, against the walls of the shell. The best example is Restormel Castle in Cornwall, and others can be seen at Totnes in Devon and Lewes Castle in Sussex. Curtain walls with projecting towers (so that the area in front of the walls could be shot at by defenders in the towers) became a standard of castle design. A great tower was not a necessity with this type of defense because a hall and other rooms could be built inside the courtyard, or in the wall towers or gatehouse. The weakest part of these castles was

the gateway and great effort was made to reinforce this part of the castle. The barbican was developed as a way to strengthen the entrance, by adding more defenses in front of it, often a long corridor with multiple gates and portcullises, and holes above that defenders could use to fire on attackers below. 5

During the 13th century, fortifications built to a concentric design began to appear. These castles had an inner circuit of curtain walls completely encircled by an outer circuit of walls that were built low enough to allow an unobstructed line-of-fire from the inner walls. Beyond the outer walls, moats and further defenses were often constructed. The idea may have come from knights who had seen the twin walls of the city of Constantinople during the crusades. Concentric castles had two main advantages: firstly, attackers had to get through more barriers; secondly, defending archers could stand on more than one set of walls, thus unleashing more firepower. Good examples of concentric castles can be seen at Beaumaris and Caerphilly in Wales, and at Dover Castle in Kent, generally considered to be the first British castle to feature a concentric design. Once the Normans were firmly established in power, castle building proceeded at a more leisurely pace. However, at later points in history, there were sudden spates of castle building, in order to enforce the king's rule over a rebellious population or to protect the country from the threat of invasion. A good example is Edward I's campaigns in Wales between 1277 and 1284, which led to an extensive period of castle building, with mighty castles at Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris built to enforce English rule over the Welsh. In Scotland castles developed several distinctive features. The border country was subject to raids by both Scots and English for many centuries. In the 14th century small fortified towers, or 'peles', were built to protect local areas in northern England from these raids, while in Scotland, the distinctive 'towerhouse' began to emerge. Scottish tower-houses had thick walls, battlemented parapets and strong turrets on the corners. Many were given the additional protection of extra walls, called 'barmkins', and ditches and banks. Iron gates called 'yetts' often protected the small doorways.

2. The decline of castles

Changes in society gradually led to the decline of the castle. Where the castle had once served an important defensive, administrative and residential role these functions were now being better served by other buildings. Nobles looked for more comfortable homes while forts manned by professional soldiers took over the defensive duties. Some castles remained a centre for local administration and many served as prisons long after they had ceased to serve a residential role. Some castles were turned into luxurious palaces, but this was expensive, and it was often cheaper to construct a new home, often using building material from the old castle. The fate of many castles was sealed by their role in the Civil War. Across the country, castles, whether derelict or still occupied, were refortified and used as bases for the opposing forces. Following their victory over the Royalists the Parliamentary forces adopted the policy of slighting - partially or even totally demolishing castles to prevent their potential use in any future conflicts. 6

Changes in the way that battles were fought and advances in weaponry also contributed to the decline of castles. The design of the older castles meant they could not stand up to assault from cannon-fire, and this led to the development of new defensive structures. In the 16th and 17th centuries, forts were constructed that could withstand canon-fire while providing a base for their own batteries of guns. Forts, such as St Mawes Castle in Cornwall, were built by the state at strategic points, purely for the purpose of defense. The last great fortifications to be built in Britain were initiated by Prime Minister Palmerston in the 1840s. Designed to protect the south coast from the threat of France, they were made obsolete by advances in artillery almost as fast as they were built. Good examples are Fort Brockhurst and Fort Nelson in Hampshire.

Chapter II - Castels from Scotland 1.


Edinburgh Castle is an ancient fortress which, from its position atop Castle Rock, dominates the sky-line of the city of Edinburgh, and is Scotland's most famous (and most visited) landmark. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC. As it stands today though, few of the castle's structures pre-date the 16th century. As with all castles, Edinburgh's fortress has been a centre of military activity. Uniquely as an ancient fortress within Britain, Edinburgh castle still has a military garrison albeit mostly for ceremonial purposes, and is home to the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, as well as the regimental museum of the Royal Scots and Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. The military governor is Major General Euan Buchanan Loudon, GOC of the British Army's 2nd Division. Direct administration of the castle by the Ministry of Defense only came to an end in 1923 when the army moved to the city's Redford Barracks. Nevertheless, the Castle continues to have a strong connection with the Army. Serving soldiers still stand watch at the castle gatehouse between 6 pm and 9 am, with responsibility for the Honours of Scotland. During the rest of the time the castle is now run and administered, for the most part, by Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive and undertakes the dual (and sometimes mutually contradictory) tasks of operating the castle as a 8

commercially viable tourist attraction whilst simultaneously having responsibility for conservation of the site. At the top of the Royal Mile, in front of the castle, is a long sloping forecourt known as the Esplanade. It is upon this Esplanade that the famous Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place annually. From the Esplanade may be seen the Half Moon Battery, which is a dominant feature visible in Nasmyth's painting. This drum-shaped building, 1574, incorporates parts of the keep of 1364, known as David's Tower. The castle proper is entered through a gatehouse in front of the Half Moon Battery. The road leads upward and around to the right of the battery and through an older portcullis gatehouse, to reach the courtyard known as Crown Square.

1.1. David's Tower

David's Tower was commissioned in 1386 by Robert the Bruce's son, David II of Scotland. David's tower was enormous by standards of the time, standing on the site of the present Half Moon Battery at 30 m high, with three stories (Twice as high as the Half Moon Battery). The tower initially served as the principal entrance to the castle, but by later years the tower was expanded to include many more rooms for guests and visiting nobility, and the original main entrance became boxed off by a guest room. When the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots married James Hepburn in 1567, a large proportion of the (Protestant) nobility rebelled, resulting ultimately in the imprisonment of Mary in Loch Leven Castle. Although she eventually escaped and fled to England, some of the nobility remained faithful to Mary, retaining Edinburgh Castle. Sir William Kirkcaldy of Grange held the castle under Lang Siege (Long Siege) for a year, until 1573, when the infant King James VI's regent, Regent Morton, requested assistance from Queen Elizabeth. Heavy guns were dispatched to the castle from Berwick, and within ten days of the commencement of the bombardment of the castle with these guns in May of that year, David's Tower collapsed. The collapse of this tower blocked off the single source of water for the castle, the well, and within a few days the castle surrendered, around two weeks after the arrival of the new guns. Sir William was soon hanged, and much of the castle rebuilt, including the new Half Moon Battery.

1.2. Half Moon Battery

The Half Moon Battery was duly constructed on the site of the old David's Tower. This magnificent set of defenses, prominent on the East side of the castle today, sits over the old ruins, and several rooms from the ground and first floors of the tower still exist underneath the Battery, windows facing out onto the interior wall of the Battery. Several of these are accessible to the public, although the lower (Ground Floor) elements are generally closed. The inaccessible areas include a former master Guest Bedroom, and a three-story room outside the original David's Tower (with large portions of the exterior wall still visible) created by the imposition of the Battery formerly used to house Pigeons for consumption during the winter months. The walls of this section are correspondingly pitted with chunks of stone removed to provide nesting places for the birds. The Half Moon Battery was completed in 1588.

1.3. The Crown Room

This vaulted chamber contains the Honours of Scotland. These are the Crown jewels and regalia. They include the crown, scepter and sword of state. The crown dates from 1540, is made of Scottish gold and is set with 94 pearls, ten diamonds and 33 other precious and semi-precious gemstones. The Scepter is also made of gold, and topped with a large Rock Crystal (Quartz). The most treasured possession of Scotland is also located among the honors. It is the Stone of Destiny, otherwise known as the Stone of Scone and upon which the monarchs of Scotland are traditionally crowned. It had been taken to England and incorporated into the Coronation Throne in Westminster Abbey but was returned to Scotland in 1996 on the understanding that it be returned to the Abbey for subsequent coronations.

1.4. The One Oclock Gun

The One O'Clock Gun is fired every day (except Sunday) at precisely 13:00, allowing citizens and visitors to check their clocks and watches. The origin of the tradition lies in the days before accurate timepieces, when sailing ships in the Firth of Forth needed a reliable means to check and reset their chronometers. In 1861 Captain Wauchope, a Scottish Naval Officer in the Royal Navy invented the time ball, still seen today on top of Nelson's Monument, Calton Hill. At one o'clock the ball drops giving the signal to sailors, but this meant that someone would have to be looking out for it and it often couldn't be seen in foggy weather. So, in the same year the gun was fired simultaneously to the time ball dropping. Originally an 18-pound muzzle loading cannon which needed four men to load and fire was fired from the Half Moon Battery.


The gun could be easily heard by ships in Leith Harbour (2 miles away) The cannon was replaced with a 25 pound Howitzer in 1953, and more recently by the L118 Light Gun. It is now fired from Mill's Mount Battery on the North face of the Castle by the District Gunner from 105th Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers). Because sound travels slowly (approx. 343 m/s), maps have been produced to show the actual time when the sound of the gun was heard at various locations in Edinburgh. Although the gun is no longer required for its original purpose, the ceremony has become a popular tourist attraction.
One of the District Gunners, Staff Sergeant Thomas McKay MBE - popularly known as "Tam the

Gun" - was the longest running District Gunner to fire the One O'Clock Gun, from 1979 until his death in 2005. He also opened a small museum about the Gun in the castle and was seen every Hogmanay signaling the New Year by firing his gun. The Gun is also fired to mark the arrival of the New Year as part of Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. Among the other things to see at the castle are its eerie vaults, the Scottish United Services Museum, a gallery in hospital square, the Witches Well (where women were burned for witchcraft), Mons Meg ( a 15th century cannon ), a little cemetery towards the summit of the castle where the garrison bury their pets, The castle offering a spectacular view of Edinburgh city and the surrounding area.



The original Dornoch Castle was built by the Bishops of Caithness, with the cathedral is close by (literally across the street). The castle was built as a 13th century Bishop's palace, not really a fortress, but a comfortable residence. It currently contains an altered 14th century keep with a round 16th century stair tower, which still houses a staircase for the hotel. It has two open rounds and a gabled roof. Many of the windows have been enlarged for modern living, but the walls are still pierced with shot holes and gun ports. Adjoining this original tower is a four story 16th century wing with its own stair tower. The castle was severely damaged by fire in 1570 during a feud between the Murrays and MacKays. As a result, only the south range remains of an early 16th century quadrangular palace. The five story northwest tower (the dominant feature of the castle now) was added in 1557. It contains bedchambers at the west end, and large halls on the second and third floors. There is a parapet with three angled roundels. The present Tower and the Tower of the Cathedral were the only two strong points to hold out during the siege of 1570. The only other surviving portion of the Castle is the big chimney the Bishop's Chimney - adjoining the Tower which was the kitchen chimney in the Bishop's Palace. During the following centuries the Castle went from ruin to repair and ruin again and by 1800 the ruinous Castle had become a nuisance to the town planners of the day. The Council decided they needed a new market place and wider streets, proper schools premises and above all a better Courthouse and Jail were a necessity.


In 1812 the new work began and the centre of Dornoch as it stands today with wide, clean attractive squares and places was created. The residential part of the Castle was pulled down to make way for the present Courthouse and Public Buildings, however there was a hitch in acquiring some of the old houses nearby, so the Jail and Courthouse were not built until 1850. In the meantime, the Castle Tower, with its spiral stone staircase, was re-roofed, and hurriedly turned into the Courthouse and Jail.

A new building was erected over the vaulted kitchens, next to the great Bishop's Chimney, and became the schoolhouse. The Castle appears to have been free from the taint of witchcraft which had caused concern locally. The Witch of Assynt, who flew from Assynt on her broomstick and lighted on the Cathedral Tower in the early 17th century, left the Castle strictly alone. Fortunately, the Castle was unconnected with the last public burning in Scotland of a witch. She was a hapless old woman, Janet Home, who was charged in 1722 with transforming her daughter into a pony to ride to the witches' meeting place, and having her shod by the Devil. She was paraded through the High Street past the Castle and burned in a barrel of tar some hundred yards away near the sea. But the Castle does seem at one time to have had a quite harmless ghost - an unhappy sheep stealer by the name of Andrew McCornish who was imprisoned in the dungeons below the Tower. He was reputedly seen by the Minister of Avoch towards the end of the last century. After the Castle ceased to be a Jail, it was the Sheriff's residence for a time. Miss Marion MacKenzie, daughter of Sheriff Mackenzie who was Sheriff Substitute for over 50 years until he retired, lived in the castle until 1912.


The Castle passed into private hands in 1922 and the new owner took the precaution of having the Castle exorcised. This must be wearing off as there have been several sightings in the last 5 years. When some old pipes were being dug up in the Castle area near where the hanging is supposed to have taken place, some bones were found, believed to be those of the Covenanter. Also found were some pieces of church plate which are now in a museum in Edinburgh. Tradition has it that during the troubles of the Reformation, the Cathedral clergy hid the valuables in the Church, including a plate of pure gold, in a secret underground passage which connected the Castle and Cathedral. They then sealed and concealed both ends of the passage. From this has grown the legend that when the golden plate and the Church treasure are found, the end will be at hand for the present House of Sutherland. Needless to say, no serious effort has been made to find the tunnel and Sutherland line seems safe from threat at least.


In 1970, a southeast wing was added when the castle was bought and made into a hotel (where we stayed). Inside, the old tower contains a few rooms, but most of the work was done in the "new" wing, which has a number of pretty standard hotel rooms. It has been very altered inside, although the old cellars remain, and the staircases are intact. Some of the hallways wind through the original rooms, making a trip to the restaurant from any of the hotel rooms exciting.


Inveraray Castle is first and foremost a family home for the Campbell family who played an important role in the rich tapestry of Scottish History. The contents of Inveraray Castle span many generations of the Campbell family and will give the visitor a glimpse of their heritage and the way their ancestors lived.


Inveraray Castle is a remarkable and unique piece of architecture incorporating Baroque, Palladian and Gothic. Featuring four imposing French influenced conical spires surmounting the stone castelated towers, this unmistakably Scottish Castle was the first of its size and type to be built (at the time of construction) in an extremely remote part of Scotland. The complicated story of the design and construction of the castle began in 1720 with a sketch prepared by Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, for the 2nd Duke of Argyll. Vanbrugh died six years later and the design was sympathetically developed by Roger Morris who saw the start of construction in 1746 and worked with William Adam, then the most distinguished architect in Scotland. Both Morris and Adam died in 1748 after completion of the designs and it was Adam's sons John and Robert who saw the project to completion for the 5th Duke of Argyll in 1789.

Developed in keeping with Vanbrugh's original sketch dated 1720 and using a similar concept which he used at Castle Howard & Blenheim Palace, the dramatic Armoury Hall soars to 21 meters in height, the highest ceiling in Scotland.
Breathtaking displays of arms in elaborate patterns adorn the walls, including 16th and 17th century pole-arms and roundels of Brown Bess muskets dating from around 1740, with spandrels of muskets alternated with Lochaber axes. The


latter, as well as 18th century Scottish Broadswords date from the time of Queen Victoria's first visit to Inveraray in 1847. Situated centrally in this great hall, the showcases contain a fascinating collection of treasures associated with Inveraray and the Castle, which help illuminate the long and colorful history of the Campbell Clan. A highlight of the collection is the dirk and sporran belonging to Rob Roy MacGregor (1671-1734). When originally designed, the Castle was to be entered by the South and when work commenced in 1746 the builders followed the architect's plans. However, after the structure was complete, the 5th Duke changed his mind, and decided to move the entrance to the North side of the building. When completed in 1789 what had originally been intended as a long gallery running the entire length of the building had been sub-divided, forming the Tapestry Drawing Room & State Dining Room either side of the modest entrance hall. In 1780 after the 5th Duke had taken occupation, the decoration was completed with the addition of the delicate Gothic plasterwork seen today. Exquisitely decorated in the Parisian style and representing the most sophisticated tastes of the 1780's, this remarkable room still retains the original set of Beauvais tapestries in the setting specifically designed for it. As well as these magnificent tapestries, restored at Hampton Court Palace in 1976 after the huge fire, the room boasts architectural decoration by Girard. The original ceiling was designed by Robert Adam and was gilded by Dupasquier. Other features of the room include a painting of Lady Charlotte Campbell (daughter of the 5th Duke) as 'Aurora' by John Hoppner, a pair of confidantes with matching armchairs and a circular gilt wood palm tree table with a specimen marble top inlaid with the 7th Duke of Argyll's coat of arms. The entrance to the turret from the Tapestry Drawing Room is ingeniously concealed by a pair of double doors covered with tapestry panels integrated into the design of the drawing room. Interestingly, the decorative ceiling is made of papier-mch and was designed by Robert Mylne in 1773.
Originally designed as a Library, this room now displays a wonderful collection of Oriental and European porcelain, including Japanese Imari-ware of

the early 18th century, a Meissen dessert service, a large derby dinner service from the early 19th century and other interesting pieces of English porcelain.


The North West Hall contains a collection of costumes worn by the family through history to the present day. The display includes the Coronation robes of HRH Princess Louise, the robes of the Knight of the Thistle and the 12th Duke's uniform of the Royal Company of Archers. A more recent addition is the stunning cream gown designed by Bruce Oldfield and worn by the current Duchess at her wedding to the 13th Duke in June 2002. The Duke's Coronation robes and coronet are also on display, as is the baton of the

Hereditary Master of the Royal Household in Scotland. The appointment dates from 1461 and the baton is still used today by the Duke for ceremonial occasions. The Clan Room conveys the many fascinating historical aspects of the great Clan Campbell, from its origins right through to the present day, with the Duke of Argyll as Clan Chief or MacCailein Mor. The room includes the remarkable and detailed family tree which adorns the South Wall and traces the Campbell lineage and its various branches of the family from the present day back to Colin the Great in 1477. A map of Scotland shows the lands possessed by the Clan at the height of their power. In addition to most of Argyll, the Campbell strongholds stretched as far East as Taymouth in Perthshire, a castle which in many ways replicates Inveraray, North to Cawdor Castle in Inverness-shire and South to the now ruined Louden Castle in Ayrshire. There is also a fine collection of military drums loaned by the Caledonian Schools Trust.


Chapter III - Castels from England 1.

Eastnor Castle is the private family home of the Hervey-Bathurst family. Situated in the spectacular Malvern Hills, Eastnor Castles 5000 acre estate includes four small lakes, rolling hills and woodland parks, all of which combine to provide the perfect fairytale setting. Eastnor has undergone a triumphant renaissance in recent years, and many of the castle treasures are now displayed for the first time in richly decorated Italianate and Gothic splendor. The castle grounds contain a famous arboretum of spectacular rare trees descending to a 22 acre lake. The deer park beyond, on the western slopes of the Malvern Hills, has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest within the local Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


1.1. The First Earl Somers

The family line emanates from two distinguished families, the Cocks and the Somers. The Cocks' family moved to Eastnor at the end of the 16th century. They bought the Manor of Castleditch and over the following 200 years gradually gained further land in the area. The Cocks' married into the Worcestershire Somers' family, and it was the combination of their estates - including the valuable inheritance left by the Lord Chancellor Somers in the early 18th century and the banking wealth of the Cocks Biddulph Bank (now incorporated into Barclays Bank) - that gave the 1st Earl Somers the financial means to begin the construction of Eastnor in 1810. His cause was also aided by a judicious marriage to the daughter of the eminent and rich Worcestershire historian, Dr Treadway Nash. At that time, the size and splendor of a country house were the most obvious indications of the standing and fortune of any family, and there can be no doubt that the imposing mass and scale of Eastnor was intended to reflect the personality and stature of its creator and pitch the family into the ruling classes for future generations.

1.2. The construction of the castle

The style proposed by the architect, the young Robert Smirke, was Norman Revival. From a distance, Eastnor was intended to create the impression of a medieval fortress guarding the Welsh Borders. The symmetry of the design emphasized authority, distinguishing it from the rambling, picturesque, castellated mansions of a slightly earlier period at Downton and Lowther, the latter also designed by Smirke. By any standards, the Castle is a massive edifice and the construction team and materials used were on a similar scale. A workforce of 250 men working day and night were employed over the first six years of construction, and in the first eighteen months 4,000 tons of building stone, 16,000 tons of mortar and 600 tons of wood were used. The stone came from sandstone quarries in the Forest of Dean by canal to Ledbury, and from there by mule. Estate timber was used as much as possible, but the major roof trusses and beams are cast iron, a material used to save timber in the midst of the Napoleonic Wars when it was in great demand for shipbuilding. By the time the building work was finished in 1820, the Castle had cost 85,923 13s 11d - about 8.5 million in today's terms.


1.3. The interior of

the castle

The cost of the construction of the fabric of the Castle was so great that the decoration of the interior inevitably held a lower priority. When the family moved into the west wing after 1813, many parts of the Castle must have been little more than a shell. Smirke's designs for the interior were simple and in keeping with the medieval style of the Castle. Details of his work remain in the Red Hall, Dining Room and Staircase Hall. Surviving furniture by Smirke includes the plain Gothic benches and chairs in the Entrance and Great Hall. Gradually over the course of the 19th century, the Castle was made more habitable. In 1849, the 2nd Earl, commissioned Pugin, who had completed the remodeling of the House of Lords just two years earlier, to decorate the Drawing Room in High Gothic revival style. The celebration of the ancient lineage of the family over the chimney-piece evoked the medieval culture of religious feudalism from which Pugin took his inspiration. Now fully restored, this room remains Pugin's most complete interior outside the Houses of Parliament.



Warwick Castle, overlooking the River Avon, lies in the town of Warwick of the English county of Warwickshire. It is traditionally associated with the earldom of Warwick, one of the oldest in England. The castle today is a popular tourist attraction and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Legend has it that the first fortification of significance on the grounds of Warwick Castle was erected by Ethelfleda, the daughter of Alfred the Great, in the year 914. This almost certainly replaced older wooden fortifications which had proven ineffective against marauding Danes who sacked the town during the reign of her father. This fortification was part of a network built to protect the Kingdom of Wessex. The remains of this ancient fortification can still be seen on Ethelfleda's Mound, a mound of earth at the southern end of the castle's courtyard. As intriguing as this legend is, the majority of the remains date from the period of Norman rule. After the Norman Conquest of England in the 11th century, William the Conqueror appointed Henry de Newburgh as Earl of Warwick. During this time of change, a Norman motte-and-bailey fort was erected.


In the year 1264, the castle was seized by the forces of Simon de Montfort, who consequently imprisoned the current Earl, William Mauduit, and his countess at Kenilworth (who were supporters of the king and loyals to the barons) until a ransom was paid.

After the death of William Mauduit, the title and castle were passed to William de Beauchamp. Following the death of William de Beauchamp, Warwick Castle subsequently passed through seven generations of the Beauchamp family, who over the next 180 years were responsible for the majority of the additions made to Warwick Castle. After the death of the last direct-line Beauchamp, Anne, the title of Earl of Warwick, as well as the castle, passed to Richard Neville ("the Kingmaker"), who married the sister of the last Earl (Warwick was unusual in that the earldom could be inherited through the female line). Warwick Castle then passed from Neville to his son-in-law (and brother of Edward IV of England), George Plantagenet, and shortly before the Duke's death, to his son, Edward. The Great Hall is the largest room in the castle and throughout history has been its heart. In the early middle ages, straw and dirt covered the floor of the Great Hall. Burning in the centre of the room would have been a large fire, its smoke turning the air acrid. The only natural light filtered through narrow lancet windows. Here it was that the nobility ate, drank and even slept.

The Hall as it stands today was first constructed in the 14th century. It was rebuilt in the 17th century and then restored in 1871 after it had been badly damaged by a fire which swept through part of the castle. Set against the wall is the magnificent Kenilworth buffet, made in oak by local craftsmen for the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the window is a huge cauldron known as 'Guy's Porridge Pot', named after the 10th Earl of Warwick. About 500 years old, it was used to cook stew for the castle's garrison of soldiers.


Built on the orders of Thomas de Beauchamp, Caesar's tower is a masterpiece of 14th century military architecture. It has an irregular quatrefoil or cloverleaf shape and rises 44.8 metres from the solid rock just above the river level. Not including the dungeon, it has three storeys. These are topped by a platform with a crenellated and machicolated parapet. Behind the parapet there is another storey again which contains a hexagonal guardhouse. Ghost tower. First built in the 14th century to guard against enemy approaches from the river, the interior dcor reflects the later Jacobean style. A prominent Elizabethan and Jacobean courtier (his poetry, published posthumously in 1633, won him a reputation also as an important writer), Sir Fulke Greville had been keen in the early years of his political career to see military action abroad. His enthusiasm for the venture, however, was repeatedly thwarted by Queen Elizabeth's insistence that he stay in England. Greville spent a sizeable part of his income turning the semi-derelict castle into a stately residence. Work was sufficiently advanced for James I to be received in 1617 and for Bishop Corbett, a friend who visited in 1618, to remark of the refurbished castle that "it seems nor art nor force can intercept it. As if lover built, a soldier kept it". However generous his spending plans for the castle, it was, tragically, an accusation of meanness that led to his death in 1628. While in London, an argument broke out between Greville and one of his servants, Ralph Haywood, over the contents of Greville's will. Haywood, convinced that his master had not bequeathed him his rightful due, drew a knife and stabbed Greville the Earl died 27 days later. Realizing the enormity of his actions, Haywood fatally turned the blade on himself. Greville had once expressed a wish to have tombs built for himself and his friend and fellow poet, Sir Philip Sidney, in St Paul's Cathedral. In the end it was to the Church of St Mary in Warwick, that Greville's body was taken and laid to rest in the tomb he had prepared for himself there. It is
said, however, that his ghost still haunts this tower in which he lodged.

Towers were the mainstay of a castles defensive system. Because they projected above and out from the wall, they gave archers a clear view downwards and sideways. Guys Tower was built in the 14th century. It is twelve-sided, stands 39 metres high and has five storeys. The first four storeys consist of a central stone-vaulted chamber with two small side 24

rooms one a gardrobe (toilet), the other probably a bedchamber. The fifth storey is a hexagonal guardroom. During the Civil War the windows here were enlarged so that they could take small hand-held cannons. The walkways that run along the curtain walls meant that crossbowmen and archers could move swiftly to quell danger at any point on the perimeter. Once in position they could pick off the enemy from the battlements. These consist of solid sections of wall, called merlons, and gaps, known as embrasures. The tops of the towers are encircled by parapets that added a further layer to the castle's defenses. Cut into the floor of the parapet at regular intervals are openings, or machicolations, through which the garrison could drop stones or pour boiling pitch and quicklime onto the unfortunate attackers below. On the wall to the right Clarence Tower is a rare corbelled turret or crow's nest. A watch would be posted there to keep a lookout along the base of the curtain wall. Set in the centre of the north wall, Bear & Clarence towers are all that is left of the mighty Tower House which Richard of Gloucester (future King Richard III) started to build in 1478.It was to have been the same height as Guy's Tower, but twice as wide, with a turret at each of its four corners. However, this gigantic Royal Keep was intended not just to repel an attack from beyond the walls. It was also designed to protect against a mutinous attack from within the castle itself. At ground level wells were dug and baking ovens installed, providing the domestic means necessary for those safe inside to endure an attack. In the walls, arrow loops and holes drilled to take cannon are features of the structure's defensive measures. In 1485 Richard was killed at Bosworth and the building stopped. The Clarence Tower is named after Richard's elder brother, the Duke of Clarence. It is thought that the other tower housed bears that were used for baiting. The Mound was built in 1068 on the orders of William the Conqueror, it formed the most important part of the Norman castle's defense system.


Advances in military architecture, however, made it more and more of an outpost. By the 17th century, it had been absorbed within Sir Fulke Greville's garden, topped by a single Scots pine. Today, it is the perfect vantage point, not for defending against marauding English troops but for taking in the beautiful unfolding views of these peaceful grounds.

First laid down in 1868, the Victorian Rose Garden, like the Peacock Garden was designed by Robert Marnock. By the end of the Second World War, though, it had disappeared under a tennis court. Fortunately, two of Marnock's original drawings survived, so the plot was lovingly brought back to life in 1986. Its charm stems from the contrast between the very precise geometry and proportions of the beds and the garden's informal, almost secretive setting. The roses are all of the old-fashioned type, many of them popular with the Victorians. To commemorate the recreation of the garden, 120 years on, a new English rose was bred and named 'Warwick Castle'. The best time to see the display is in late June and the whole of July. The pair of unusual icehouses date back to the 1830s and were built in the earth bank facing away from the sun. They were still being used in 1869 when in December of that year 16s 4d allowance was paid 'to men filling the ice houses'.

After passing through the hands of 20 more Earls (and three more creations of the title), Warwick Castle has now become a member of the Treasure Houses of England, a heritage consortium founded in the early 1970s by ten of the foremost stately homes in England still in private ownership with the aim of marketing and promoting themselves as tourist venues. In 1978, Warwick Castle was sold to the Tussauds Group, a large visitor attraction business.


The thought of castles conjures up images of adventure, romance and intrigue, a majestic castle standing on top of a sunny hill or cliff. In reality, most castles are in ruin. More days than not, they are shrouded in fog, mist and rain, with dark skies as a backdrop. No matter the weather, though, castles always provide the perfect picture.


Castles and Landscapes , published by O.H. Creighton in 2002 The Castels in England , published by DJ. Cathcart King in 1988 English castles , published by Brown R. Allen in 1962