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Castles Of Brittan Essay

1801 words - 7 pages

Castles in BritainWhat is a castle? The word castle has a definition so extensive it can be used to describe anything from a trench during wartime to a massive stone structure. Simply put a castle is any fortified dwelling used for residential and defensive purposes. Though dark and gloomy, British castles made some of the best strongholds during the fourteenth through the eighteenth Centuries. Many Battles were fought in and around these castles. During this time period the term castle ceased to have any significant meaning. Its proud possessor no matter how luxurious it was called every tower, palace, and mansion a castle.Owned by the Percy family Alnwich was a great border stronghold. Henry Percy purchased this castle in 1309 from the Bishop of Durham. The Percy's added seven semi-circular towers, two octagonal towers, a barbican, and a gigantic gateway between 1309 and 1440. These additions improved the basic castle shell making it an even more impenetrable fort. "Although Alnwick castle today sands as a magnificent ducal residence, its sturdy outer walls, flanked by sixteen towers and its strong strategic position act as reminders of the important role it played as a stronghold in the border clashes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries." " . . . So strong a castle that it feared no siege... in shape it was like a shield for it has but three sides round it, with a tower at each corner... And I think that you will never see a more finely situated castle, for on one side can be seen the Irish sea, towards the west and to the north the fair moorland, surrounded by an arm of the sea, so that no creature born can approach it on two sides without putting himself in danger of the sea. On the south side it is not easy, for there are many places difficult to get through because of woods and marshes and ditches hollowed out by the sea where it meets the river." Caerlaverock is a castle with a very unusual history. Caerlaverock was built to control the southwest entrance to Scotland. Caerlaverock Castle has an exclusive triangular layout, with three curtain walls, two towers and a large gatehouse. The castle was built some time between 1280 and 1300, and there are various debates as to whether it was built by the Scots or the English. King Edward I of England besieged the castle in 1300 forcing it to surrender. The castle remained in English hands for twelve years. Sir Eustace Maxwell, the owner of Caerlaverock, was not sure whether to support Edward II, the new English King or Robert the Bruce of Scotland. He began to tear apart his family home in accordance to the Bruce's policy that no building that might be of later use to the enemy should be left standing. Fortunately he did not do too much damage to the castle and thirty-five years later the damage was repaired by one of his successors. "In 1355 when held by the English, Caerlaverock fell to Sir Roger Kirkpatrick who was more successful than Maxwell." "Sir Roger Kirkpatrick caused so...

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