The Purpose of Thornbury Castle
Since Thornbury castle started being built in 1511 it has been in the
centre of a debate with historians whether it is a castle built for
defence or a luxurious palace for show.
When I went to Thornbury castle you can see lots of different features
that would confuse you in deciding what Thornbury castle was built
for. There are lots of different features showing both.
This picture shows some
As you walk around the castle you see things like arrow slits and gun
loops in the walls showing they were probably built in case of an
attack. Around the outer and inner gateway walls there are portcullis
grooves which were never finished if it had have been the walls would
have been as high again this is because there is nowhere for the gates
to go. Around the castle towers there should have been crenellations
which you can see on the only finished tower the crenellations which
are the thing around the top are used to shoot between the gaps and
hide in the higher bits. Underneath the crenellations there are
machicolations which were used to pour thing though (e.g. red hot oil
or stones) to hit invaders below.
The finished tower
Around some of the outside walls shows ditches which may have been the
start of a moat or other people think it many have been a ha-ha.
'The stream to the west of the building was broadened into a moat'
This statement is by A D K Hawkyard.
'There cummithe an armelet of severne ebbynage and flowing into this
parke. Duke Edward had thowght to have trenchyd there, and to have
browght it up to the castle.'
This quote is by John Leland in 1541 so it was written around the time
Thornbury castle was being built.
These two sources show that there was meant to have been a moat, this
is also a way of protecting castles from attack. The deep moat would
have strengthened the defences of the gunports and the massive
When I visited Thornbury Castle their was an old ruined part this is
meant to be the army barracks for the purpose of retaining men, on the
ground floor it was meant to be stables and on the floors above
reached by wooden staircases, were living quarters for the hired army
its hard to say how many men Buckingham would have had it might have
been hundreds or possibly a thousand, with which Buckingham intended
to assert his independence and viewed of fortifying himself against
the king. Under Henry the VIII no-one was meant to own their own army
but why was Edward Stafford building room for so many people? Then in
the outer court there is a wide open space which may have been meant
to for a training ground for his army.
These pictures show the old soldiers barracks.
These are the things which make Thornbury...