Framlingham Castle

Framlingham is one of the most iconic places in the East Anglian medieval landscape; mostly this is because it is one of the very few places that has survived into the modern era relatively unscathed, but it is also an impressive structure — even if it is not as large as some other castles or not as well-defined as others. Continue reading “Framlingham Castle”

Mileham Castle

Mileham is not well known at all though it is one of the largest sites in Norfolk. A former Norman motte and bailey castle (two baileys again), and an eye-in-training for medieval sites will distinguish the various typical features easily by walking around the grounds. It’s actually quite spectacular: I didn’t have much of a clue of what I was coming to see here, and when I arrived and started moving about, the various moats in between structures, the different baileys stood out very clearly. I think in this sense it might be one of the best places to get an idea what Norman human landscaping meant. Continue reading “Mileham Castle”

North Elmham Priory & Castle

I really enjoyed visiting North Elmham. The site can be summed up as the vision of two very different people, Bishops Herbert de Losinga and Henry le Despenser. The former built a stone chapel (to replace earlier timber edifices) in the early 12th century and the latter converted it into a castle approximately in 1388. One on top of another, the ruins don’t really allow for easy differentiation but I guess that a bishop’s castle residence is as holy as his chapel. Continue reading “North Elmham Priory & Castle”

Cambridge Castle

Cambridge is not well known for its fortification and it shouldn’t be. The castle here is long gone with bare marks on the ground where the earthworks used to be. Yet, visiting this site should be part of the regular Cambridge tour as I discovered on one of my recent forays into that city. Indeed, though I’ve been to the university town numerous times this was the first time for me to wander into the old castle “complex”, a term which I use loosely for the structures that originally dated from the Conqueror’s time. Continue reading “Cambridge Castle”

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar is a beast. It’s unlucky for it that a far more well known place is located within only a few miles, and that the more well known place is Edinburgh Castle which is both less historic and less awe-striking as well. Nevertheless, that is the situation right now and there’s little that can be done about “the Second Castle of Edinburgh” as some seem to call it. Continue reading “Craigmillar Castle”

Brough Castle

Brough was an interesting and imposing locale. That the site has been occupied in one way or another since the Roman period (if not before, naturally, as we really do not know all too much about these times) is one fact of interest here — the visitor can recognise why this site has been so relevant, however. A high ground with a good commanding sense of all surroundings and the Romans must have thought so as well to site a milecastles here on the York-Carlisle road. Continue reading “Brough Castle”

Cadzow Castle

Cadzow is one of these places where the intervening centuries have left a considerable mark. Perhaps this is not even so obvious to the casual visitor (including myself), but I think the people who originally built this place must notice a few things (even leaving the state of the fort aside). Namely, I wonder how much the Avon has eaten away at its’ constricting walls, cutting into the base of the valley. Continue reading “Cadzow Castle”

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