Gatehouse is an active and ongoing project. New sites are added to the database from time to time and new features are added to Gatehouse with some regularity.
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In future, to save myself some duplication, the latest news of developments in Gatehouse will be published as a pdf file.
A couple of new books, of similar format, have been published in the last few months. Buckton Castle and the castles of the North West England and The Castles of Bedfordshire. Both, by teams of authors, have introductory chapters on castles (always the weakest part of such books), detailed summaries of recent archaeological work of one castle - Buckton and Bedford castles respectively - of real value and import and a gazetteer of castles in the local area of some interest. In The Castles of Bedfordshire, James Petre identifies a number of 'reject site' and a 'ringwork' not previously in Gatehouse - although this is also dubious.
An old book, Derek Renn's Norman Castles of Britain, was looked at some years ago in the early days of the Gatehouse website. It has now been much more carefully examined with a broader understanding of medieval fortifications. Although the 'castellology' content is somewhat dated the historical sources cited (something archaeologists are often weak at) generally remain valid and these references (usually to earliest mention) have been added to the Gatehouse records. Fortunately many of the transcription made by C19 scholars of the primary sources are now available online and where this is so links have been added.
A few sites mentioned by Renn had been missed in the earlier reading and these have now been added. Also missed was a licence to 'fortify his house of Stokes' (firmandi domum suam de Stokes) granted to Geoffrey fitz Peter in 1202. Renn suggested Stokesay castle in Shropshire as a possibly location for this house. Tenurially this does not seem possibly and more likely would be a house at Stoke Manderville, Buckinghamshire, where Geoffrey, a career civil servant of relatively humble origins but who was regent at times in John's reign, gained the sub tenancy of one of the two manor's there when he married the Manderville heiress. Stoke Manderville is a DMV (The modern village lies north of the original site) but the surviving earthworks are not clear. Presumably the original Manderville manor house was moated and Geoffrey may have intended greater work but it does not seem that a substantial house was constructed. This was a Liberate Roll entry, equivalent to Close Roll entry in practice, so arguably not a licence to crenellate but clearly of a similar interest. A record has been added to the List of Licences to Crenellate.
The records for Devon have been checked, updated and brought up to standard. The Devon and Dartmoor HER has been part of Heritage Gateway for a while but revised and improved entries from the HER have been added to HG in the last couple of months so the revision of these record has been particularly timely and they are generally much improved.
Andrew Herrett kindly let me know of a reputed motte near Strelley, Nottinghamshire. This is a quarry mound bit is still though to be a motte by some locals.
A short news report for what seems to have been quite a bit of work.
The records for Cumberland have been brought up to standard, with fuller and more clearly attributed descriptions and with mapping references checked and improved. However, as I went through these records, it became clear it was a long time since I looked at Denis Perriam and John Robinson The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria, which is a major source, and I will need to reexamine that text and review the records further sometime in the future.
Much time has been spent on adding bibliographical references. Notable are references in early Castle Studies Group Newsletters (available online in the Castle Studies Group Website) and Paul Davis's The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Logaston Press, 2011), although numerous other references have also been added, particularly for Cumberland. The general bibliographies of the site have been extended by some 10% and slightly redesigned to make the bibliographic references a little more consistent over the site. The page giving guidance on finding copies of referenced texts has been expanded to more clearly acknowledge the importance of John Kenyon's work. A slight design change to the individual page description of the general bibliography adds a link to Amazon.co.uk. A small section on palaeographic sources has been added to the page on Primary Sources although I continue to highly recommend Chris Philips's Some notes on medieval English Genealogy website for finding online copies of primary source calendars etc. and I don't intend to duplicate his work.
One reason for a need to review Perriam and Robinson is the confusion is some records between bastles and 'bastle derivates'. The term 'bastle derivative' is used by Peter Ryder to mean thin walled, non defensive, houses of C17 and later date with residential rooms on the first floor over livestock or storage space and which he considers to be derived from the bastle building tradition. However, some authors seem also to use the term to mean later houses built on the site of and incorporation parts of (or at least foundations of) actual bastles. The situation is messy and Gatehouse records of bastles need further work to properly identify bastles, bastle derivatives and even things like bastle derivatives built on the foundations of bastles! I hope, at some point, to use the Gatehouse database to get a survey of such sites and show some light on this issue.
The work on Cumberland has resulted in new records - although further changes are likely to occur.
The Historic Environment Records for Bedfordshire, Berkshire Archaeology, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire and Worcester City have come online via Heritage Gateway. Links to these online record have been added and the Gatehouse recorded for the historic counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire have all been reviewed and brought up to standard.
John Kenyon's annual Bibliography for the Castle Studies Group has been published and the relevant references for this I'd missed have been added to site bibliographies along with others gained from the HER records and elsewhere. Numerous links to online scans and transcriptions of sources have been added, notably the records for the newsletter for CBA group 9 (South Midlands Archaeology) which only rarely contains substantive articles but has many minor reports (a certain Mike Aston contributes extensively). An article by J. Bond written in 2001 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 67-8 Had an appendix: Earthwork castles with attached village enclosures which produced some potential sites (although many are dubious to my mind) (online copy)
I was most privileged to go to an excavation at King John's Palace in Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, where James Wright and Andy Gaunt are working to extended the scheduling area. James Wright pointed out to the page on Wikipedia which he authored (as of July 2012). I've not added much to the Gatehouse page except a reasonably full set of primary source and the link to this rather outstanding page. I hope James will find some way to publish this page in a format where it is safe from malicious editing, although he informs me they will be producing an extensive write up of the site in the near future.The following records have been added;
Nearly two months since the last newsletter. I've attended a couple of conferences, that of the Castle Studies Group in Durham and the Norman Castle Connections conference in Norwich.
I have managed to do some work on Gatehouse.
NEW SITES ADDED TO GATEHOUSE
The records for Warwickshire have been brought up to standard, with extended descriptions, better latitude/longitude references and some extensions to bibliographies.
A couple of very slight design changes will hopefully improve usability.
The Journals page has been updated. The Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society join the increasing number of journals with back issues fully available to freely download. Please do let me know if I'm missing anything of interest.
I've hopefully resolved a problem with broken links to scanned copies of texts available from Internet Archive, who had slightly changed their urls for some reason.
Steve Hobbs was kind enough to let me know of his historic research at Hartland in North Devon. His website www.hartlandforum.co.uk/ has a vast amount on Hartland, and is a fine example of what a local historian can do. The medieval landscape survey asks the question "So where is the castle?" Looking at this made it clear to me it is unlikely that the domum unam in terra sua de Hertiland' (one house in the land of Hartland) for which Alan "de H'tiland'" was granted licence to crenellate in 1201 (one of the first documented licences) was at or near Blegberry Farm as had been assumed by a previous local historian R.P. Chope. A much more likely location for the house was 'on the perimeter of the present settlement of Hartland' next to a deer park. See the record for Hartland Castle.
Mr Hobbs's work has convinced me Alan of Hartland was a member of the Dinham family (I'd previously dismissed this on the bases of the inaccurate genealogy available), who had a complex family structure at this time. This new (to me) information turns the 1201 licence from one which is seemingly a straightforward example of royal consent for a fortified building specifically built because of the pirate William de Marisco into a document with a hidden agenda about an ownership dispute between difference branches of the Dinham family and some complex relationship between this family of growing importance and the local magnate William Briwer (granted some licences himself the previous year). See the record for the 1201 licence.
Although the farm at Blegberry can be dismissed as the location for Hartland Castle it was a house with C17 gunloops These loops may actually be from 1606 and represent a defence against pirates and, if so, this makes this a defensible building of the same date as northern bastles, although of a somewhat different form and at the higher end of the social scale for such defensible buildings. A new record for Blegberry has been created.
British Television programme TimeTeam has visited several sites listed in Gatehouse this season. These programmes have shown the best and worst of this programme. A dig at Kenfig, Glamorgan, confirmed the town defences were a timber pallisade. The dig at Croft Castle, near Crewkerne, Somerset was very important and found the foundations of a late C12 great tower (probably unfinished) previously unknown. However, the dig at King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottingham, whilst having some limited content of interest, had some gross distortions (including stating they had got the site scheduled - it has been scheduled for many years although the scheduling area may have been increased) and completely failed to acknowledge the recent work by Andy Gaunt and James Wright (who's work was much more likely to be the bases for any change in scheduling than anything done by TimeTeam). The Gatehouse records for these sites have been updated (majorly so for Croft Castle) to reflect the reported findings, although we need to await the Wessex Archaeology reports for the real details of the TimeTeam evaluation digs.
There has been much discussion as to the future TimeTeam, much focused on personalities, (see the last couple of issues of British Archaeology) although I'm much more interest in the archaeology than the gender of the presenter. TimeTeam is at its best when it allows the site and excavations to tell the story. It is appalling when the producers arrive with a pre-conceived story and try to fit the excavations into that story, particularly the 'story' of TimeTeam "rescuing" a "neglected" site, when this is done in a way which dismisses the work of others to an extent amounting to plagiarism. Gatehouse again thanks James Wright who has been most generous in sharing his knowledge over the last few years and who, along with Andy Gaunt, deserved very much better treatment from TimeTeam.
In preparation for this years conference of the Castle Studies Group in Durham the records for the old county of Durham, including the North Bishoprick (Norhamshire, Islandshire and Bedlingtonshire), have been brought up to standard. The records have been reviewed, description improved, extended and more clearly attributed. Bibliographies have been extended and many more links to online scans copies of texts added and weblinks have been checked with some new additions and corrections. The extended bibliography effects many Northumberland records but full revision of these records is, at the moment, confined to Tyne and Wear. Neil Guy has, once again, provided some links and references particularly for Newcastle Castle.
The annual Heritage at Risk Register was published by English Heritage in October 2011 but slipped my mind until now. 288 Gatehouse listed sites are on the register. This is up from 279 in 2010 although this reflects changes to Gatehouse records as much as additions to (and some deletions from) from the register. Links to the online copy of the Register have been added in the 'other sources' part of site bibliographies.
A national programme of surveys of historic towns (sometimes called the extensive urban survey) has been underway since 1992 with the support of English Heritage. This is far from complete but many of the surveys have been done and published online, either by county councils or through ADS, and are often most useful. Gatehouse had given links to some of these before now but a more systemtic attempt to give references and links has now been done.
A few websites have been added to the links page under a subheading of 'General Archaeology Resources', these are mainly duplicates of links in other sections but new is Past Horizons adventures in archaeology a commerical outlet for archaeology equipment containing a good number of articles, news and opinion reports and videos of quality and interest.NEW SITES ADDED
The main news is that, because of decisions beyond my control, Gatehouse is having to change internet server and, consequently, its url.
The new url for Gatehouse is http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info.
The old http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis site will remain online until June but please change your bookmarks and links as soon as possible. If you have links to individual pages of the Gatehouse website the ends of the urls will remain the same (i.e. the url for the page for Dover Castle changes from http://homepage.mac.com/philipdavis/English%20sites/1612.html to http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/English%20sites/1612.html). With well over 6000 pages it's not possible for me to check every page of Gatehouse on the new website so if you do come across errors, or display problems, on the new site I will be most grateful if you can let me know of these.
Neil Guy has pointed out to me some developments on John Goodall's website The English Castle including online copies of articles John has written for Country Life. Links to these have been added. Neil also suggested I look at the antiquarian writings of Celia Fiennes and I was able to find an online transcription of her Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary at the Vision of Britain site. In reality she seems to have more interest in the cost of food in local markets than in architecture but for some sites, particular Wolseley Hall in Staffordshire (licensed in 1469), she does give valuable insight and evidence. Also at Neil's suggestion I've added links to some YouTube videos for some sites, although the number of online videos that meaningfully add anything is pretty limited and I didn't spend too many days looking at jerky family visits. Please do let me know of any other such resource that adds value to Gatehouse as an academic resource.
A resource that certainly has much academic value, although one nearly as difficult to use and navigate is the Greater London HER. A very simply version of this was available from the Archaeological Data Service but a fuller version, with bibliographical references and better site descriptions is now part of Heritage Gateway. The Greater London HER is pretty massive, complex and not always very well indexed so searching for records within it can be tedious and sometimes requires considerable imagination. The Oxford Urban Database has also been added to Heritage Gateway. Links to the online records to these have been added to the Gatehouse records.
The Gatehouse records for Middlesex, Essex and the City of London were reviewed some months ago but the examination of the Greater London HER made it seem worthwhile to review and bring up to standard the Gatehouse records for Surrey and Kent. All the records for these two historic counties have been reviewed, description improved, extended and more clearly attributed. Bibliographies have been extended and many more links to online scans copies or transcriptions of texts added and weblinks have been checked with some new additions and corrections.
Checking out Abinger Castle lead to the discovery that the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland hold the Brian Hope-Taylor archives. I've been aware of the Commissions excellent Canmore site for some years but hadn't expected to find an entry for Abinger Castle, Surrey in a Scottish archaeological database but there is one which indexes Hope-Taylor's excavation notes and site photographs with a number of these digitised and available to view. Further checking found Hope-Taylor's work at Old Windsor, Preston Hawe, Wakefield Low Hill and Bamburgh is also available from Canmore.
An even earlier archaeologist who's archives are being made even more accessible is Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers in the England: The Other Within site
Looking for a tiny bit more on the obscure Goseford Castle lead to the discovery that Derek Renn wrote a short piece in 1968 entitled 'The castle at Goseford' in the Bulletin of the Surrey Archaeological Society (Vol. 41 p. 3). The Surrey Archaeological Society has a fine website and has made their journal of record Surrey Archaeological Collections available via ADS. However the Bulletin is only available for recent years and is not the sort of thing I'm likely to find in any library available to me. If anyway can let me know what Derek wrote in 1968 I'd be most grateful.
Regarding journals I've checked the Gatehouse Journals page updating links and added a couple more. As always if anyone has suggestion for other this page please do let me know.NEW SITES ADDED
Over the last few weeks I've been working on completing the updates of the records for Yorkshire, specifically the West Riding. This has included a visit to the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service, who hold the Historic Environment Records for West Yorkshire. I have to thank Jason Dodds for his help with the HER.
This has resulted in much improved records for most sites and the addition of;
I've changed the OS getamap button to link to the new version of the site which has many additional features (some only available to subscribers) and larger screen display but which does take longer to load and which needs you to click on the 'Leisure' button to get to the actual OS map.
A small design change has been made to the individual sites page which I've made a little more tidy and I've now embedded a thumbnail air photo into the page. This is mainly done to makes these pages a little more visually interesting and for real study of air photos the button links to Bing and Google remain given access to their fully features websites. However this thumbnail is included in the print page view. I tend to find myself printing out a page before a site visit and the thumbnail will be a useful visual aide memoir for the more careful air photo examination I usually do.
Unfortunately the constant upgrading of software leads to remarkable quick obsolesce. This has resulted in me no longer being able to offer the Gatehouse databases for download in Excel format. FilemakerPro and tab delimited ascii versions contain to be available from the download page.
A new website that came to my notice is Open Domesday (or Domesdaymap) which uses the Domesday data created by Professor John Palmer of the University of Hull. This is a project 'working to make a copyright-free, full-text Latin and English version of Domesday Book available to the public.' The site is a work in progress but does contain scans of the Phillimore facsimile of Great Domesday and links have been provided in Gatehouse, under the primary sources section of the bibliography, to the relevant pages for (some of?) those castles mentioned in Domesday such as Peveril Castle.
Chris Bond very helpfully corrected my record for Cayl Castle, Cornwall, a site mention by John Leland. I hadn't identified a site for this myself and speculated it might be a reference to Crane Godrevy. In fact this can be identified as Kayle Castle, an scheduled Iron Age round. I've rejected this as a medieval fortification although it may have been a medieval sub-manorial centre. Chris's place name research on this site can be seen at http://cornish-place-names.wikidot.com/kayle-phillack.
Catherine Bancroft, who has an interest in medieval houses of the northern marches, was kind enough to send me a copy of the SMR report for Bancroft House which allowed that record to be much improved and for the house to be recorded as a certain bastle. Catherine's web site http://www.scarrowhill.co.uk/ is well worth a visit as a fine example of quality of historical and building research although of a post medieval domestic house.
Dr John Jenkins, who's doctoral thesis was on Torre Abbey in Devon, has, most kindly, sent me the details of a licence to crenellate for that Abbey granted in 1348. For some reason this is not enrolled but survives in the cartulary of the Abbey. John feels the Abbey gatehouse was defensive so a Gatehouse record has been created and the LC has been added to the licences list. John's thesis is available for download via ORA (the Oxford University Research Archive) and those interested in the broader issue of monastic defences may want to look out for article John is currently writing on 'on the defensive functions of monasteries in England in the Hundred Years War' to be published in Southern History next year.
The 150 records for the historic North Riding of Yorkshire had all been reviewed, with fuller and more clearly attributed descriptions, more accurate locations and better bibliographies with an increased number of links to scanned copies of books and journals. During this review the entry for a Bolton Pele in Wycliffe within Thorpe that occurs in PastScape was incorrect. This specious record occurred because a map reference given in David King's Castellarium Anglicanum had been mistranscribed. King's reference was to a 'pile' at Bolton in Northumberland (see Bolton Hospital). PastScape informs me they will be removing their record and the Gatehouse record has been deleted.
The records for Herefordshire have been brought up to standard with manually checked lat/long map references and fuller, better attributed, site descriptions. Nothing new has been added after the additions made in June although a number of site confidence labels have been changed to better reflect the full site descriptions.
A couple of personal visits to Humber Archaeology to view the East Riding of Yorkshire and Kingston upon Hull SMR proved most interesting. My thanks go to Victoria Brown and David Evans for their help. These visits have resulted in much improved bibliographies and some improved site identification. Gatehouse records have been brought up to standard for Yorkshire (East Riding).
Two sites have been added as a result of examining the SMR. Giants Hill in Swine was called a motte by a field investigator despite it being a ditchless mound. It has been excavated but remains somewhat mysterious but seems most probably to be a medieval landscape mound associated with hunting. Rejected as a motte in Gatehouse.
More intriguing is supposedly artificially scarped mound in Bridlington. This was suggested as a moot hill in 1884 and as a possible castle site in a letter to a local free newspaper in 1986. Neither source being perhaps the most scholarly source. However the location, now called Bridlington Quay was called Castleburn in the 13th century and continued to have that name until the early 16th century. So this is a site with a castle placename and an earthwork that some people have seen as artificial (The site is now probably to built over to really be sure). Tenurially the site seems to have been granted to Bridlington Priory by King Stephen in 1135 but doesn’t seems to have been royal demense. Added as a questionable site.
Among the Humber Archaeology records I came across a 1980 paper by Edmund King 'The parish of Warter and the castle of Galchlin' (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 52 p. 55-8) with an interesting discussion on the castle of Galchlin (aka Gaultney, Galclint) mentioned by John of Hexham as existing c. 1140. An entry has been added to Gatehouse with a summary of Dr King’s paper and the several suggested sites including a new record for Dr King’s suggestion of Gildersdale.
My apology for the delay in this issue of the newsletter. I’m afraid finding a natural break in the work was rather difficult and this means a rather long newsletter this time.
New site records added
Licence to Crenellate.
There have been a few changes to the design and features of Gatehouse.
With the kind help of Bill Woodburn I've added a full transcription of the licence to empark and crenellate Cowdray House. This very late licence is quite perplexing. Although Cowdray was a house brought by Sir William fitzWilliam, one of the major minister of Henry VIII regime, the licence is, in fact, granted to a number of men who were his feoffees. Another perplexing aspect of the licence is the house is licenced for muros et turres illos batellare vel tinellare kernellare et marchecollare (walls and towers ... with battlements or 'tinellare' crenellations and machiolations). What was a 'tinellare' crenellation? I'm no latin scholar but the closest translation to tinellare I can get is 'cowlstaff' a pole used to carry loads between two men. Was this some form of crenellation where the battlements were supported on projecting machiolations? Has anyone come across this term before or can add any information?
I've added, as a dubious site, the scheduled moated site at Bewick in Holderness suggested as a possible site for the, probably fanciful, castle of Aldbrough. Although not a castle site Bewick is an example of a lordly moated residence although it doesn't seem to have ever have been described fortified.
The link to the MAGIC website has been revised. This now opens a map at 1:2000 scale with scheduled monuments and a few other carefully selected levels as default, simplifying use. Within the Magic window it is sometimes possible to get an extract from the scheduling report for some English monuments. I am now working at recording the scheduled monument number and directly linking to this extract. About half of 1600 or so scheduled monuments have now been done although not all these have an online scheduling report. The remainer should be complete by the end of April.
The scheduled monuments and listed buildings scheme are being revised and brough under one umbrella as the National Heritage List for England. This new online resource was launched on 4 April 2011 and has ' new unified numbering system but will also have the old listing or scheduling numbers as legacy reference numbers' (Robin Page, English Heritage). At first glimpse this is not particularly attractive and does not seem to add anything much to the English Heritage Listed Buildings Online site or the scheduling extracts from MAGIC and certainly does not replace PastScape. However, over time it is likely to develope and will ultimately replace these other resources. The new NHLE numbers will be added to Gatehouse in the next month or two.
Other recent Time Team programmes have included;
All the downloadable databases have been undated and republished.
The big visual difference regular user of Gatehouse will notice is the addition of several more links buttons.
The records for Buckinghamshire and Cheshire have been reviewed. The lat/long figures have been manually corrected on Google Maps to 5 decimal accuracy and links to online copies of older journals added. For Cheshire links to George Ormerod's History of the County Palatine and city of Chester have been added. As with Blomefield for Norfolk this is nearly 200 years old but remains a good source for tenurial histories and does have some site descriptions. For some lost sites, such as the original castle at Macclesfield, Ormerod is the sole authority.
The review clarified two licences to crenellate.
In other work
The downloadable England Databases have been undated and republished.
In anticipation of the Castle Studies Group Conference, to be held in Colchester this April, I have done a site by site review of the Gatehouse records for East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex (including the City of London), Norfolk and Suffolk. Records have been checked; the lat/long figures have been manually corrected on Google Maps to 5 decimal accuracy; Some new references have been added, notably the tenurial histories of Francis Blomefield for Norfolk which although 200 years old have not yet been superceded plus some other sources such as the poor earthworks chapter of the VCH for Essex; Hypertext links to online copies/transcriptions of these and some of the existing references have been added; Site descriptions have been extended and are more clearly attributed.
This review has resulted in the following:–
In the 'other sources' field I've added references to the 2010 Heritage at Risk Register (with links to the online copies). 281 of the sites recorded in Gatehouse are at risk but it is positive to note that Mettingham Castle has come off the Register. The Archaeology Data Service has added to its Grey literature library and I've added the relevant references and links; notably is a Birmingham Archaeology report on archaeological works at Tutbury Castle in 2005.
The downloadable England Databases have been undated and republished.
The work on bringing the Gatehouse bibliography into a standard Harvard format with book and journal titles in italics is complete (except for the numerous errors which undoubtedly exist and will need to be corrected) and the databases have been reposted and the website updated. This rather tedious task has involved a record by record examination and numerous references have been made clearer and some errors found and corrected. In particular the references to primary sources* have been expanded from abbreviated form to full Harvard standard and most of these now have a link to a scanned online copy. A great deal of work still needs to be done on references to primary sources but I have used David Cathcart King's work to add a few more such references the Welsh Marches.
I have also coded the database so that the webpages can now have hyperlinks in the description text. I've replaced most 'q.v.' with hyperlinks. As the description text get to the higher standard I'm implementing such hyperlinks should help in making comparisons between sites easier.
Three new sites have been added;
*By 'primary source' I generally mean the C19 and later transcriptions and translations published by the Rolls Society etc. These are a wonderful example of impressive scholarship but need to be used with care since both the original documents and the translations will have bias and a proper understand needs to take into account both the milieu of the medieval world and High Imperial Britain.
Seasons greetings to one and all.
Following a most informative and helpful email from James Wright, a former Nottinghamshire County Council archaeologist, I finally got round to getting hold of his book Castles of Nottinghamshire (2008: NCC). Going through this has added three new sites to the Gatehouse database. Bilborough moat was a square moat just north of St Martins church Bilborough which was excavated in the late 1930s. The excavation plan, reproduced in James's book, suggests there may strong small tower in one corner of the moated area making the site look rather like a cross between a pele tower and barmekin and a homestead moat. Clipstone Pele (aka Beeston Lodge), built by Edward II and dismantled a few years later by Edward III, was an accessory hunting lodge to Clipstone Palace. All that now survives is a broken pile of undatable rubble and some fishponds. The rubble probably represents the gatehouse, which was later converted into a house, most of the actual original buildings being of timber. Finally and quite shockingly really, from my point of view of trying to have a comprehensive gazetteer, is Haughton Duck Decoy. This mound, with a spiral terrace in the middle of ornamental lakes, was clearly used as a shooting platform for field sports and is a very early example of such a feature and this aspect of its history seems to have dominated the recording of the site. However in the late 1970's it was scheduled as a motte and bailey and it can be fairly readily seen how the motte was adapted and how, in this low lying area, the castle bailey ditches were converted and extended into lakes. The site is now fairly isolated although the remains of the former parish church of the DMV of Haughton, about a mile NE, still survive. Despite the scheduling the NMR had it categorised only as a duck decoy although they inform me the record will be updated. As far as I'm aware only James's book has brought this possible motte and bailey castle to general attention.
All the Nottinghamshire records have been updated and most have better descriptions all properly attributed. Site locations have been checked so that the Google Map centres on site. The bibliographical references are now in the more standard Harvard format ó with book titles in italic.
Work progresses in altering all records to this new format, a task which may well produce some odd and expected results on some records and which therefore requires considerable proof-reading. The records of the individual licence to crenellate have been brought up to the new standard and house style. The small database for 'The Islands' (The Channel Isles and the Isle of Man) has also been done and the lat/long reading checked and centred. A link to the Google air photos for the Channel Isles is now given although these are lower resolution than on the mainland.
Some slight design changes to various bibliographies and individual book records will hopefully make these a little cleaner, clearer and more consistent in house style.
From now on I will also be sending emails of these updates of the website and databases to anyone who would like to receive them. See the contact page for a form to be added to the mailing list.
Some pages of statistical information have been added. Page one is table of number of sites in England, Wales and the Islands by type. Page two is tables of the accepted sites by historic counties of Wales and England. Page three is several tables of the density of castle sites by historic counties of England and Wales. Other pages will be added later.
Welcome to the new look Gatehouse.
The design changes may make the site look different but all the same features remain hopefully it a slightly clear fashion. I remain committed to site pages that have all the information on one page and which maintain stable urls.
The databases are all republished with the bibliographic references in a somewhat more standard Harvard notation. The Bing Maps air photos are now linked to for England.
Just posted today is a major revision of the database for Wales. Site archaeological description are generally extended, with much clearer attribution. Bibliographical sources have the usual updates but considerable work has been done on extending the references to primary sources with many more links to scans and transcriptions of these primary sources. For the major royal castles the very numerous primary sources mean it would be a Herculean feat to reference all primary sources but I hope the sources added (Mostly derived from the works of David Cathcart King) will extended the usefulness of Gatehouse as a starting point for research.
Multimap, which provided online access to air photos and Ordnance Survey maps, has been taken off line and has been replaced by Bing Maps. Unfortunately Bing Maps does not allow searching by OS grid reference in the way Multimap did although it does still provide the Ordnance Survey map so essential for reading landscapes. I've added a mash up for Bing Map for Wales based on the latitude/longitudes to replace the Multimap mashup. I've physical looked at all Welsh sites to ensure accuracy to a few metres. The mash up for England will follow shortly although, initially, the accuracy may not be as good.
Some site fit into more than one type description but with varying degrees of certitude so for the welsh database there are now several type fields each with corresponding 'certainty' field. This has resulted in some slight design changes to the web pages.
In an attempt to be cool I've added a favicon (the little icon in the browser bookmarks), based on the Gatehouse logo. There are brownie points for anyone who can identify the actual gatehouse I use in the logo.
With the help of Andrew Herrett, I've added fields for latitude and longitude to all records. Using this link I've been able to add a link to Google maps air photos. These means you now have a choice of two air photos, Multimap and Google, general these are much the same but are taken a different times and may show crop marks with more or less clarity.
There are some problems with conversions between OS grid references and latitude/longitude and I will be checking records but be aware there may be some slight errors in location.
The Derbyshire and East Sussex HER have gone online as part of Heritage Gateway and the North Lincolnshire HER has been added to the ADS archsearch facility. Records have been updated to reflect these online sources. All the record for the historic county of Sussex have been updated with expanded bibliographical references (with improved links) and improved descriptions.
New sites added: Castle Croft, Ninfield, East Sussex, is a rejected motte; Berwick, East Sussex, a possible small motte; Castle Bottoms, Derbyshire, a rejected site; Netherseal Old Hall, Derbyshire, is allegedly built on the foundations of a Norman castle although no real evidence supports this; North Lees Hall, Derbyshire is a C16 domestic tower house with battlements; Haxey, North Lincolnshire, might just have been a castle site, although this is probably an obscure reference to nearby Kinard Castle, Owston Ferry. Research I've done for a forthcoming paper on crenellated town houses has identified a number of these in Kingston upon Hull and these now get a page.
Databases for England republished.
I've moved the Google search engine into the sites header to easy searching.
The licences to crenellate have been revised and updated. There have been some design changes, mainly to the list, which I hope will make things a little clearer and easier to read. However, mostly the changes are expanded quotations from the sources, and links to scanned online copies of these sources. A few errors have been corrected. A few records have better detail and I am now convinced by D.R. Perriam's argument that the licences to William Strickland for a cameram suam in villa de Penreth in 1397 and 1399 were for Hutton Hall and not Penrith Castle. Licence to crenellate databases republished.
The Cornwall and Scilly HER and Devon and Dartmoor HER have been added to the Heritage Gateway Database. Records have been updated to reflect this new information and the following possible sites have been added to the Gatehouse gazetteer; Fort Picklecombe(The site of an Elizabethan battery); Lamerton motte and bailey (A possible motte and bailey); Hurlstone Point gun battery and Gun battery on other side of bay from Hurlstone Point (a pair of planned and possibly built Henrician batteries protecting the beach at Porlock); Frampton Castle, St Ervan (a lost possible castle mentioned by William Worcester); Weston Underwood moated site (suggested as a denuded motte). A number of other rather more doubtful site also added including a supposed motte at Castle Floor in Cornwall, which the county archaeologist supports as a motte, although I'm rather more doubtful.
The records for Warwickshire and Somerset have also been updated with better attribution and improved links to books. Some slight changes made to the infomation on the bottom of site web pages. English databases republished.
A recent trip to the newly opened Hull History Centre allowed me to view the original patent letter of Edward III confirming a licence to crenellate the walls of Kingston upon Hull with a further grant to crenellate the burgesses houses. I have been most kindly granted permission to photograph this and use the images in Gatehouse. The image has been added to the essay on licences to crenellate and the entry in the list of licences has been expanded with a full, if somewhat flowery, translation from Boyle, J.R., 1905, Charters and Letters Patent granted to Kingston upon Hull (Hull Corporation).
Happy New Year.
A couple more books added to the general bibliography; Peter Rex's 1066: A New History of the Norman Conquest and the excellent collection of conference papers The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales edited by Diane William and John Kenyon. In the later a paper by Rick Turner drew my attention to the lost Pareas Hall, in Chester, a rare fortified town house. I had previous noted that this was an area where little study had been done and since Rick had only identified one other fortified town house himself it was clear that this really was an area where data was lacking. I was aware of about 20 such houses but had previously recorded these as fortified manor houses and they were rather lost in that large group of buildings. Therefore, I've introduced a new 'type' of fortified building the fortified town house and I hope a seperate listing will draw better attention to a rare and mostly lost medieval building. As always I do welcome further help and contributions with this list and any other part of Gatehouse.
The relavant bibliographic references to The Impact have been added to the site bibliographies as have the references from the latest Castles Studies Group Journal - including the excellent paper from Pamela Marshall on the donjon of Colchester Castle.
I've done some slight design changes, the most obvious is a new, cleaner and clearer logo. I hope a more useful feature is a small page with comments and links for obtaining online and hard copies of the books, serial articles, theses etc.
The slow steady review of records continues and the records for Derbyshire, Devon and Suffolk have all been reviewed and edited. The Suffolk HER has been added to Heritage Gateway. Heritage Gateway is now becoming an extremely useful archaeological resource and I do hope all English authorities will add their HERs to it. Increasing numbers of C19 and early C20 books and journals are being scanned and put online and I am gradually adding direct links to some of these older papers to the site bibliographies.
New sites – the online Suffolk HER has added Pismere Castle, Barrow Hall, Necton Old Hall, Wadgell's Farm, Helmingham Hall, Melford Hall, Braiseworth Hall, Wattisham Hall and the Castello of Hamo Petit at Brantham, mainly fortified manor houses plus a few 'reject sites'. Also added Kingsholm Palace, a Saxon palace near Gloucester that may have some use by William the Conquerer. An old paper by George Clark, the prime Victorian castellologist, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' (1889, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 pp. 197-217) added a couple of dozen sites most one which can be rejected but Horsbury Castle Hill near Wakefield, levelled before 1816, may well have been a motte. Chasing down his reference to 'The Yoder' lead to the particularly sad account of the treatment of the deserted medieval village of Yoden in Peterlee. Here, in the early 1970s, attempts were made to preserve the site 'as a park of archaeological interest with easy access for the public'. This involved destroying the archaeology by using a tractor drawn rotovator prior to (unsuccessful) grass seeding!
A busy summer out in the field, visiting sites and taking photos, as well as my ongoing research into murage, has slowed down my more generally reading but I have final caught up with reading Colin Platt's paper Revisionism in Castle Studies: A Caution and the response by Oliver Crieghton and Robert Liddiard Fighting Yesterdays Battle: Beyond War or Status in Castle Studies. Whilst caution is worthwhile I do feel that the call made by most modern castellologists to view castle as complex and diverse and not in simplistic militaristic ways is compelling. Two texts show this; Osprey publications latest text by Christopher Gravett English Castles 1200-1300, clearly written for a military minded target audience is narrow and has nothing of value in it; it could have been written by Sidney Toy eighty years ago. One ends up feeling that Gravett, who was a custodian of the Royal Armouries, sees castles as little more than large, immobile suits of armour. The 'revisionist call for a wider study of high status buildings and Naomi Payne's 2003 PhD thesis, available via EThOS, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury is, for a PhD thesis, very readable and full of much valuable stuff. The difference between the two is most clear in the way the landscape is dealt with. Gravett ignores landscape entirely, picturing Bedford castle as isolated in open country rather than as part of an urban landscape, whilst Payne gives much detail of the deer parks, fishponds etc.
Payne includes, as an appendix, a gazetteer of all medieval episcopal residences in England and Wales and this has added much bibliographical detail to the databases and two possible sites; Congresbury Bishop's Court and Yatton both in Somerset. She also listed Burstow, although I have rejected this as an episcopal residence and Chartham, mis-located by her as at Chatham but was a at small village west of Canterbury where a manor house of Chirstchurch Priory seems to have been used by Archbishop Winchelsea in the early 14th century when he was excluded by the king from the usual palaces of the see of Canterbury.
These new details and several other small additions and updates to site records make it worthwhile republished the databases.
The site by site review of the databases, correcting some errors and expanding the site descriptions and giving clearer attributions continues with Cornwall, Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (now seperately listed). This review has resulted in me reconsidering Botelet Castle, Cornwall and Loweswater Pele, Cumberland.
John Kenyon's annual bibliography for the Castle Studies Group has been published and the bibliographical details that I've not previously spotted have been added to the various site pages; this brought to my notice Burghill 'Castle' in Herefordshire, (re)identifed by T. Wardle.
Added to the bibliography are Julian Humphrey's account of 'English castles under siege' Enemies at the Gate, part of the classic and over emphasised military view of the castle. A more modern revisionist account is Oliver Creighton's Designs Upon the Land which demonstrates the importance of castle as centrepieces of designed landscapes. One of the most important parts of these designed landscape and a major reason for the siting of many castles was hunting; Richard Almond's Medieval Hunting is a very readable account of this pursuit. The passage on poaching (a practice carried out by all levels of society inculding lords and senior clergy men) shows some of the reason why hunting lodges would need to be strongly built and defended and dressed up with the martial symbols of lordship and the power to prosecute.
Added to links is Andrew Herrett's CastleFacts website. Based on the databases collated by me. Andrew's well designed site makes use of the developments in broadband access to provided high resolution photographs. Not yet as extensive in coverage as the older photo catalogue sites but usually provides many more photographs, of higher resolution, allowing a much better chance to understand the castle. I certainly hope users of this site will be willing to share their own photographs of castles with Andrew.
Some slight changes to pages (mainly picking up on spelling mistakes). I am slowly doing a site by site review of the databases, correcting some errors and expanding the site descriptions and giving clearer attributions. I've done this for Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Berwick, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Cheshire. The other counties will slowly follow.
I've been informed a several new potential sites;
The web pages have undergone some changes. Clicking on the National Monument Record number will now open the PastScape or Coflein record page in a new window. Clicking on the County Historic Environment Record number will either open the online record page, where this exists, or the contact details for the specific HER. The pages for the Islands site now have a mash up with an air photo from Google Maps.
A few more county HERs have gone online (details of all online HERs on the links page) and this, and a general run through the other online HERs, has produced the following new entries on the database.
Databases will all be republished in the next couple of days.
Databases all republished in the last couple of days. There have been some slight changes–mainly removing dead web links and the following significant changes and additions:
The Staffordshire HER has gone online as part of the HeritageGateway database. This has added a few sites;
My current research is looking at murage, using a working definition of royal and quasi-royal support for the building of urban communal 'defences'. This is still in a relatively early stage, although I have added some of the primary source references to the relevant towns pages. One thing of note was the issue of a grant, in 1310, 'for a term of two years, to the bailiffs and good men of the town of Ravensere, of murage for the repair of their quay, overthrown by the violence of the sea.' (CPR 1307-1313 p281). Whilst clearly not a fortification in the usual sense I've added a page for Ravenser Odd, a port near Spurn Point, long lost to coastal erosion.
A Happy New Year to everyone.
The Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record has gone online as Oxfordshire Heritage Search and this has added a few sites. Most of these are doubtful or lost sites but Leafield Barrow, previous considered as a barrow, has been rescheduled as a motte. The lost Jews Mount, a mound outside Oxford Castle now has a separate page. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record is part of the ArchSearch database and from this a couple of doubtful sites have been added including a possible lost tower at Hotbank, Northumberland. I've checked through other HERs and this also has added a few more sites; A hunting lodge at Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, a tower at Tower Brae and a moated site at Gale Bay, both in Cumberland. After careful consideration and examination of some of the primary sources I've now rejected Derek Renn's identification of a moated site at Storwood as the site of the historically recorded Wheldrake castle, which now gets its own page. Site pages and databases will be republished over the next day or two.
The site pages have been reposted to reflect some slight changes and latest updates in bibliographical details.
The list of licences to crenellate has been repost to reflect the slight changes my ongoing research has made to the previous version. The details page for each licence now includes some biographical details of the individuals granted such a licence. Hours and hours of work produced not a lot in many cases I'm afraid but what little was found I've made available.
A new, cleaner, look to the site will, hopefully make using the site a little easier for people with poorer sight. The margin is a picture of herringbone masonry at Tamworth Castle. The 'mash up' with the MultiMap air photo has been changed to their newer, higher resolution site with bigger pictures and a better interface, although slightly less precise location. Location is now at six figure OS -100m accuracy rather than eight figure 10m accuracy. The OS reference should be the south west corner of the square area containing the site so usually the site will be in the upper right part of the air photo. These MultiMap air photos can be very useful, although castles in woodland remain difficult to see. Some areas, mainly in the south of England, also have 'birds eye' oblique aerial views which are particularly nice.
The databases have been reposted although alteration are slight (other than the creation of a new field 'sixfigOS' needed for the link to MultiMap.
Some additions to the site bibliographies justify updating and reposting the databases and I've added a few texts to the bibliography. I've added to the welsh database the medieval tower and manorial site at Harold's House, Portskewett, Monmouthshire, where the tower was described as 'fortified' in the TimeTeam programme of the evaluation excavation done in June 2007, where it was nice to see Jeremy Knight.
Research has identified another site given a licence to crenellate. This is 'Brugewaltii' (Bridgwater castle, Somerset) licence granted to William Briwere in June 1200. The statistic on the analysis of licences and the distribution map have been updated.
A new essay "Crenellating the Ego " has been added. This essay explores the psychological factors influencing castle forms and the psychological origin of the distorting bias towards military views of the castle.
I've spent the last month catching up with the online developments that I missed over the summer.
Several Historic Environment Records (or Sites and Monuments Records) have come online in various forms. The records held by the Clwyd and Powys Archaeological Trust are now part of the ADS database. This has added over a 100 new records to the Welsh database, although almost all of these a dubious mounds or placenames which can actually be rejected as castle sites.
A major new site is Heritage Gateway which is a database combining the National Monument Record (PastScape), the Listed buildings index (Images of England), the NMR Excavation Index and the HER's of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk. Clearly this intended to expand to include all HER's although searching such a vast database may well prove near impossible - even at the moment it seems to be pushing the boundaries of the server with some very erratic behaviour.
New county databases are;
Searches of these sites have added a few new additions to the databases.
British History Online has had a change of looks and has added several more Victoria County History volumes and other texts to which I've added links in the relevant building bibliographies.
I've also updated the Journals links page. A notably site is that for the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society which not only has an index of its Transactions but actually has pdf copies online of the full contents of the journals from 1876-1995.
See my links page for more details and sites.
The online records and downloadable databases have all been updated.
Samuel Lewis's 1849 4th edition of A Topographical Dictionary of Wales added to the monument bibliographies with links to the online edition provided by British History Online. Whilst not an authorative archaeological resource this is useful for descriptions of sites and parishes in the early 19th century generally before industrialisation. A few dubious sites added on the bases of local traditions reported by Lewis; notable is a castle site at Llangynidr.
The link to Old Maps, which has been broken for a while because of their change to their site, is repaired for Welsh sites. The English sites web pages will be updated to repair this link in the next week or so.
My health having improved somewhat over the summer I shall continue with this project for the meanwhile, although at a reduce level of activity. For the time being this means just some small additions to the individual monument bibliographies.
Charles Taylor of ecastle.co.uk has kindly offered to host this web site. No more work is being done on the site and it will stop being available at the homepage.mac.com domain in mid October 2007 but will be available at http://www.ecastles.co.uk/philipdavis/index.html. I express my sincere gratitude to Charles for his very kind offer to keep this site online.
Ill health has forced me to end this project. The databases and web site have undergone a final revision. The site will go offline at the end of October 2007. Please feel free to download the databases and any parts of the web site., including pictures and maps, for your own use.
A new essay "Defining the Castle" has been added. This essay attempts to debunk the castle as a military building, arguing the main function was administrative. It also looks at the gatehouse as a symbol of lordship, acknowledging that this aspect of the castle is a pre-Conquest, saxon, tradition. It calls for a greater appreciation of the psychology factors that effect the choice to fortify a building and to describe a building as military.
English and Welsh site pages and indexes again reposted because of more small additions to the bibliographies and the addition of a couple more dubious sites. A slight change to the site page design template should make the site pages a little easier to read.
English and Welsh site pages and indexes reposted mainly because of widespread but relatively small additions to the bibliographies. I'm starting to go through Leland's itinerary and this is producing some interesting results (I suspect that there may have been a medieval castle on the site now occupied by Lullingstone Castle) including a few new possible sites, such as Glasney College. A few other possible English sites entered.
A new updated and more detailed distribution map of artillery fortifications posted.
Some slight additions to the licences to crenellate listing, most notably Moigne Court which was licenced to be fortified with an uncrenellated wall. This is not a licence to crenellate but an important document if licences to crenellate are to be truly understood as recognition of nobility rather than as some permission to fortify.
I've added a link from the page of sites issued licences to crenellate to the details of the licence. I've also reposted the databases and added an excel version of the databases to the downloadable formats. See the download page.
The individual site pages and the indexes are being reposted because of;
A distribution map has been added to the article on licences to crenellate.
Three weeks of intense research has updated the list of licences to crenellate. These now have much more information and detail, licences have been added and reference are now given to the PRO translations of the original Patent and Charter Rolls. Some analysis of the details of these licences is added.
This research has identified another 18 or so possible fortified manor houses which have been added to the database, the pages have been added and the indexes updated.
A direct link to the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service has been added on the individual site pages. This gives a direct look at the 1:25,000 scale map, which is useful for understanding the landscape form.
A reorganisation of site has introduced an 'Other Information' section. I've gradually been adding extra bits to the site such as distribution maps and a list of Licences to Crenellate and these now have their own section and menu link. The latest addition to this section is some contemporary late medieval list of castles and towers in Northumberland.
A slight reorganisation of the bibliography into three sections should make this feature more usable by reducing the length of lists to scroll down. The Bibliography is now split into General Texts, for background information; Gazetteers, my main sources; and Journal web sites.
The major part of my work continues to be expanding the bibliographical references for sites. (Sitting in libraries trawling through books is much less enjoyable than going around the countryside taking photographs. There are quite a few web sites with collections of castle photographs, there are very few with proper bibliographical references.). I've recently moved to Manchester where I have better access to quality libraries so this major part of the project continues with somewhat renewed vigour.
A provisional list of Licences to Crenellate is now included and available for download. A short essay on minor Norman earthwork and timber castles has been added under the help section. A section with distribution maps derived from the databases has been added, this is, as yet, in it's early stages and I intend to add many more distribution maps in the future. (The latest addition is a map of early castles, mottes and ringworks. Many sources are still using Renn's map of 1959, and King's map of 1966 so an update of this probably due).
Also added to the help section is a short piece on some of the difficulties in classifying medieval fortifications with details of the currently used classification schemes as they apply to medieval fortifications. Click here to view.
I'm doing some work on the the various forms of castle mounds and this may result in something. If you have suggestions for what you would like see added to the site please contact me.
They tab delimited ASCII files of the databases from which these listing are derived are available in the file sharing part of the web site (Use the Downloads link). Please feel free to download this listing to use for your own studies. Remember the site and the database are being continually being updated so please update your own files as often as you want. The databases were last updated on 15 June 2006.