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been a shell wall, from the descriptions given by Nicholls and Leland. It was situated in the manor of Bottesdene, a manor of no great importance, but which had risen in value at the date of the Survey.?
BERKELEY, or NesS.—The identity of Berkeley Castle with the Ness castle of Domesday may be regarded as certain. All that the Survey says about it is : Ness there are five hides belonging to Berkeley, which Earl William put out to make a little castle.” 3 Earl William is William FitzOsbern, the trusty friend and counsellor of the Conqueror, who had made him Earl of Herefordshire. He had also authority over the north and west of England during William's first absence in Normandy, and part of the commission he received from William was to build castles where they were needed.“ Berkeley was a royal manor with a large number of berewicks, and the probable meaning of the passage in Domesday is that Earl William removed the geldabilily of the five hides occupying the peninsula or ness which stretches from Berkeley to the Severn, bounded on the south by the Little Avon, and appropriated these lands to the upkeep of a small castle. This castle can hardly have been placed anywhere but at Berkeley, for there is no trace of any other castle in the district. Earl Godwin had sometimes resided at Berkeley, but probably his residence there was the monastery which by
1 Nicholls, History of Leicester, i., 110. 2 D. B., i., 233b.
3 “In Ness sunt 5 hidæ pertinentes ad Berchelai, quas comes Willielmus misit extra ad faciendum unum castellulum." D, B., 1., 163a, 2.
4 “Castella per loca firmari præcepit.” Flor. Wig., 1067. See Freeman, N. C., iv., 72. Domesday tells us that FitzOsbern built Ness, Clifford, Chepstow, and Wigmore, and rebuilt Ewias.
6 Robert Fitzhardinge, in his charter to St Austin's Abbey at Bristol, says that King Henry (11.) gave him the manor of Berchall, and all Bercheleiernesse. Mon. Ang., vi., 365.
evil means had come into his hands ;for we never hear of any castle in connection with Godwin. .
But a Norman motte exists at Berkeley, though buried in the stone shell built by Henry II. Mr Clark remarks: “If the masonry of Berkeley Castle were removed, its remains would show a mound of earth, and attached to three sides of it a platform, the whole encircled with a ditch or scarp.
The motte raised by Earl William has, in fact, been revetted with a stone shell of the 12th century, whose bold chevron ornament over the entrance gives evidence of its epoch. What is still more remarkable is that documentary evidence exists to fix the date of this transformation. A charter of Henry II. is preserved at Berkeley Castle, in which he grants the manor to Robert Fitzhardinge, pledging himself at the same time to fortify a castle there, according to Robert's wish. Robert's wish probably was to possess a stone keep, like those which had been rising in so many places during the 12th century. But there had been a Norman lord at Berkeley before Fitzhardinge, Roger de Berkeley, whose representatives only lost the manor through having taken sides with Stephen in the civil war. This Roger no doubt occupied the wooden castle on the motte built by William FitzOsbern. Henry II.'s shell was probably the first masonry connected with
It is not necessary to discuss the authenticity of the story preserved by Walter Map; it is enough that Gytha, the wife of Godwin, held in horror the means by which her husband got possession of Berkeley Nunnery. D. B., i., 164.
2 Mediæval Military Architecture, i., 236.
3 The gift of the manor was made before Henry became king, and was confirmed by charter on the death of Stephen in 1154. Fitzhardinge
an Englishman, son of an alderman of Bristol, who had greatly helped Henry in his wars against Stephen. See Fosbroke's History of Gloucester.
4 He held Berkeley under the crown at the time of the Survey. D. B., i., 163a.
the castle. This remarkable keep is nearly circular, and has three round turrets and one oblong. As the latter, Thorpe's Tower, was rebuilt in Edward III.'s reign, it probably took the place of a round tower. The keep is built of rubble, and its Norman buttresses (it has several later ones) project about a foot. The cross loopholes in the walls are undoubtedly insertions of the time of Edward III. The buildings in the bailey are chiefly of the time of Edward III., but the bailey walls have some Norman buttresses, and are probably of the same date as the keep. This bailey is nearly square, and the motte, which is in one corner, encroaches upon about a quarter of it.
The small size of the area which it encloses, not much more than half an acre, corresponds to the statement of Domesday Book that it was “a little castle.” There is no trace of the usual ditch surrounding the motte, and the smallness of the bailey makes it unlikely that there
A second bailey has been added to the first, and the whole is surrounded on three sides by a moat, the fourth side having formerly had a steep descent into swamps, which formed sufficient protection.
There is no statement in the Survey of the value of Ness, but the whole manor of Berkeley had risen since the Conquest.
BERKHAMPSTEAD, Herts (Fig. 9). — Mr D. H. Montgomerie rightly calls this a magnificent example of
a 1 From information received from Mr Duncan Montgomerie.
2 Fosbroke's History of Gloucester attributes this bailey to Maurice, son of Robert Fitzhardinge. One of the most interesting features in this highly interesting castle is the wooden pentice leading from the main stairway of the keep to the chamber called Edward Il.'s. Though a late addition, it is a good instance of the way in which masonry was eked out by timber in mediæval times. 3 Clark, M.M. A., i., 229.
4 D. B., i., 163.
an earthwork fortress. It is first mentioned in a charter of Richard I., which recapitulates the original charter of William, son of Robert, Count of Mortain, in which he gives the chapel of this castle to the Abbey of Grestein in Normandy. We may, therefore, with all probability look upon this as one of the castles built by the Conqueror's half-brother. And this will account for the exceptional strength of the work, which comprises a motte 40 feet high, ditched round (formerly), and a bailey of 2; acres, surrounded not only with the usual ditch and banks, but with a second ditch outside the counterscarp bank, which encircles both motte and bailey. At two important points in its line, this counterscarp bank is enlarged into mounds which have evidently once carried wooden towers;& if this arrangement belonged to the original plan, as it most probably did, it confirms a remark which we have made elsewhere as to the early use of wooden mural towers. Works in masonry were added to the motte and the bailey banks in the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. There are traces of a semicircular earthwork outside the second ditch on the west, which appears to have formed a barbican. But the most exceptional thing about this castle is the series of earthen platforms on the north and east, connected by a bank, and closely investing the external ditch, which were formerly supposed to form part of the castle works. Mr W. St John Hope has suggested the far more plausible theory that they were the siege platforms erected by Louis, the Dauphin of France, in 1216. We are
1 Victoria County History of Herts, from which the description of these earthworks is entirely taken.
2 Mon. Ang., vii., 1090.
3 They were excavated by Mr Montgomerie in 1905, and no trace of masonry was found.