Elizabethan Architecture Essay

621 words - 2 pages

The era in which Shakespeare lived is generally considered the “golden age” in English history. It was a time of great progress in many fields including science, art, technology, and architecture. After the verge of bankruptcy with the downfall of the cotton trade, England had rebounded in the hands of a new queen. There was once again money for things such as the construction of symbols of prominence. One of the most magnificent architectural marvels of this time period that comes to mind is the castle. Its design and structure was perfected over hundreds of years. It required an immense amount of man power which is clearly visible in its cost. Additionally, it provided a strong tactical role in military dominance. Hence, this is what made the castle an awe inspiring creation of it’s time.The first castles were temporary outposts that provided tactical support. They were generally a single tower made out of wood and provided a height advantage against the enemy. Unfortunately the choice of building material although cheap and easy to construct meant they were very weak and easily set ablaze. Hence, stone was later used. All castles generally had two elements in common: the keep and the enceinte. The keep’s main function was to serve as the castles command tower. It was used as a secure storage for items such as gold, treasures and important documents. In times of trouble its function was also as a safe house. The second basic component of the castle was the enceinte. Essentially this was a fortified defensive wall that protected a castle from invasion. Flanking towers were usually encompassed into the wall for better protection with the addition of archers. The weakest point of a castle’s defense was the gatehouse. However, over time it was strengthened using removable bridges, more towers, longer passage ways, double gates and arrows (also called murder holes) where projectiles could be fired...

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