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Military Architecture in England During the Middle Ages (Classic Reprint)

Military Architecture in England During the Middle Ages (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Military Architecture in England During the Middle Ages

Apart from the late Mr G.T. Clarks Medieval Military Architecture, published in 1884, the greater portion of which is a series of monographs dealing with individual castles, there has been no attempt, until within the last few years, to. apply systematic treatment to this branch of science. Recently, however, more than one book has been published upon the general subject of the castles of England. Mr Alfred Harvey has lately given a lucid account of the growth of the castle, with a valuable essay upon English walled towns; and the present year has seen the appearance of a book in which Mrs Armitage has embodied the result of labours of the utmost importance, extending over many years. In addition to works of a general character, a number of separate monographs, indispensable to students, have been published during the last twenty years, in the transactions of various archaeological societies. The contributions of Mr W.H. St John Hope to the study of castle architecture take a foremost place among these, with papers such as those by Mr J.Bilson on Gilling castle and by Mr Harold Sands on Bodiam and the Tower of London; and the late Mr Cadwallader Bates unfinished Border Holds of Northumberland contemn accounts of Warkworth and Bamburgh as well as of smaller castles and peles, which must take rank among the classics of the subject.

In the present volume an attempt is made to trace the growth of the general principles of medieval fortification, with special reference to castles, in which, within their limited area, the most complete illustration of those principles is given. In order to give greater clearness to the account of their evolution, a prefatory chapter deals generally with earlier types of fortification in Britain, and the critical period of Saxon and Danish warfare is treated in the second chapter with some detail. This leads us to the early Norman castle of earthwork and timber; and the stone fortifications to which this gave place are introduced by a brief account of the progress of siegecraft and siege-engines. The Norman castle and its keep or great tower are then described.

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