The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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British Castle Studies in the Late 20th and 21st Centuries

Sarah Speight

Abstract - Few areas of medieval research have been so polarised in the late 20th century as castle studies. With two schools of thought pulling in opposite directions, one towards the castle as fortress, one towards the castle as residence, efforts have been channelled into justifying these camps rather than exploring common ground. Yet many of the approaches on offer are compatible both with each other and with a more inclusive examination of medieval society that examines castles as venues and stages for human behaviour rather than as mere architectural forms. The key to moving forward and opening up new vistas is multi- and inter-disciplinarity; using a wider range of models and sources to examine function and use, and using our historiographical skills to reduce mechanism and determinism in favour of a holistic approach to medieval ‘real’ life.

Published in History Compass (January 2004) Vol. 2, Issue 1 p. 1-36


Last updated on Friday, March 10, 2017