So, my chosen theme for the A to Z blog challenge is…. drum roll… fanfare…. Castles.
Was that an anti-climax? It could easily have been cathedrals.
I’m not an architect, nor a historian, but I love impressive old buildings. I’m in awe of the manpower and ingenuity that went into building such vast structures at a time when modern cement, diggers and cranes weren’t available. They represent an epoch when time wasn’t measured by a clock face, but by the passing of the sun and seasons. These day, we’d build such things to a strict timetable with lengthy project plans discussed in long meetings. Back then, war dictated the speed of construction and wealth, too. The more power, the more men employed.
Each castle built tells a story. It represents a piece of history. When I visit one, I’m not just drinking in the scale, but also the reason why it’s there. Who lived in its walls and why.
Romance has brought the age of the medieval castle into a new arena. The chivalrous knights, the roguish anti-hero who stormed their walls to rescue fair maidens, dragons who breathed fire on the ramparts and dungeons where the poor and downtrodden were tossed without trial. It’s all such fantastic fodder for writing.
I’ve picked a few castles – all based in the UK – to illustrate what makes me drawn to them and I’ve added a little fiction to each one. Sometimes a sentence, sometimes a poem or tiny story.
I hope you’ll come back on the 1st of April and join me.