Category Castles

Vantage point – visiting a castle – #AtoZchallenge

You might have guessed I’ve visited a few castles in my time. I’ve plenty still to go!  What I have noticed over the years is visiting a castle involves two positions: looking up and looking down. When you’re a small child, castles are huge. Even as an adult, one who’s lived in big cities with […]

Upnor castle: a delightful failure #AtoZchallenge

Although I lived in Kent for a few years, I’m ashamed to say I didn’t explore the county very much. A dismal failure on my part. I completely missed Upnor castle. Upnor is a late entry to the castle collection – 1559. Built on the banks of the Medway river, its location was strategic to […]

Tintagel: stuff of legends #AtoZchallenge

It’s one castle I’ve always wanted to visit and I finally got that chance last year. On a sunny, wind swept day, my family and I headed out to the craggy outcrop and climbed. And climbed. How they managed to build that castle on such a challenging terrain amazes me. The huge uneven steps and […]

Stokesay Castle: the beautiful manor

Slight scheduling error – this is today’s post! Many castles are actually fortified manors.  Manor houses were built during the times when Feudal laws existed in England, and throughout Europe, and they were administrative centres as well as homes. Stokesay Castle is a gorgeous example of the mix of manor house and defensive castle.  Built […]

Raglan: the slighting of a Welsh castle #atozchallenge

Are all castles owned by great lords, built by kings? Not necessarily. Money is a prerequisite, certainly. Having good connections too. Raglan castle, which is sited near the Wye valley in South Wales, was owned by William ap Thomas who fought with Henry V at Agincourt and was constructed in a later medieval style using […]

Queen’s castle: Balmoral #AtoZchallenge

When is a castle not a castle? Well, it depends on its purpose. Take the Queen’s royal residences, of which she has a few. Her official ones include Buckingham Palace, Holyrood Palace and Windsor castle. The latter is definitely a castle – started in the 11th century by William the Conquer and built up over […]

Portcullis, Pele and Privy #atozchallenge

Today, less about a specific castle and more about three P’s – the portcullis, privy and pele tower. Portcullis is a grilled door made from iron clad wood, usually oak. Invented by the Romans in 200s BC and incorporated into castles in the 12th century. In later developments, the portcullis was linked to the drawbridge, […]

Orford: keeping the wild man #atozchallenge

I’ve shifted to the east coast and Orford Ness, which is a spit of land mainly made up of shingle. As well as hosting a lighthouse, there’s a castle. The castle has a distinct design – three rectangular towers triangulating a circular keep – and was built by Henry II in 1173. The castle is […]

Nottingham castle #atozchallenge

The year after William the Conqueror’s invasion in 1066, he ordered the construction of Nottingham castle. The wooden structure was replaced with stone in Henry II’s reign. Close to the royal hunting grounds of Tideswell, known as the King’s Larder, and Sherwood Forest, which has of course been made famous by Robin Hood Whether Robin […]

From motte to moat #atozchallenge

Who hasn’t built a sandcastle on a beach? Well, if you’re like me, when you do, you dig out a circle and pile the sand high, then when the tide rises, you watch the little circular ditch fill with water.  Eventually, the castle disintegrates, eroded by the waves. When the Normans brought along their motte […]

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