« PreviousContinue »
tower” on the line of the walls, which is sometimes called Reginald's Tower, is certainly a round mural tower of the 13th century; there are others of similar masonry on the walls. [B. T. S.]
*WEXFORD (Gir., v., 314). — Probably built by Maurice Prendergast; first mentioned when taken from his sons in 1176. Mr Orpen writes: “The site of Wexford
: Castle is an artificial mound. Two of the scarped sides still remain, and the other two are built
above streets. When recently laying some drainpipes, the workmen came upon no rock, but only made earth.”
Wicklow (Gir., i., 298).—Existing when Henry II. left Ireland in 1173; he gave it to Strongbow. The Black Castle at Wicklow is a headland castle; it preserves the motte-and-bailey plan, though there is no motte, as there is a small triangular inner ward (about thirty paces each side) several feet higher than the outer bailey, from which it is separated by a very deep ditch cut through the rock. [B. T. S.]
We have here a list of seventy-two castles mentioned in the contemporary history of the Norman invasion. If the list is reduced by omitting Aq'i, Kilmehal, Loske, Rokerel, and Incheleder, which are not yet identified, and five castles of which the identification may be considered doubtful, Caherconlish, Croom, Clahull's Castle, Lagelachan, and Typermesan, sixty-two castles are left, and out of these sixty-two, fifty-two have or had mottes. In five cases the place of the motte is taken by a natural rock, helped by art; but as the idea and plan are the same it is legitimately classed as the same type.
This list might easily have been enlarged by the addition of many castles mentioned in the various Irish annals as having been built by the Normans. But this
i In five cases the mottes are now destroyed.
LATE USE OF MOTTES
would have involved the identification of a number of difficult names, a labour to which the writer's limited knowledge of Irish topography was not equal. The greater number of these sites have now been identified by Mr Orpen, and to his papers, so frequently cited above, we must refer the reader who wishes to study the fullest form of the argument sketched in these pages.
One can easily sympathise with the feelings of those who, having always looked upon these mottes as monuments of ancient Ireland, are loath to part with them to the Norman robber. Many of us have had similar feelings about the mottes of England, some of which we had been taught to regard as the work of that heroic pair, Edward the Elder and Ethelfleda. But these feelings evaporated when we came to realise that it would have been highly unpatriotic in these founders of the British empire to have built little castles for their own personal safety, instead of building cities which were “to shelter all the folk,” in the words of Ethelfleda's charter to Worcester. In like manner, wretched as were the intertribal wars of Ireland, it would have been a disgrace to the Irish chieftains if they had consulted solely their own defence by building these little strongholds for their personal use.
The Irish motte-castles furnish us with interesting proof that this type of castle was commonly used, not only as late as the reign of Henry II., but also in the reigns of his sons, Richard I. and John ;' that is to say, at a time when castle-building in stone was receiving remarkable developments at the hands of Richard I. and Philip Augustus of France. This, however, need not surprise us, since we know that as late as 1242, Henry III. was building a motte and wooden castle in the Isle of Rhé, at the mouth of the Garonne. But those who imagine that the Normans built stone castles everywhere in England, Wales, and Ireland, will have to reconsider their views.
| The dates of the building of numbers of these castles are given in the Annals of Ulster and the Annals of Loch Cè.
Note.—Mr Orpen's work on Ireland under the Normans did not appear until too late for use in this chapter. The reader is referred to it for a more careful tracing of the history and archæology of the Norman settlements in Ireland.
i Cal. of Pat. Rolls, 1232-1247.
STONE CASTLES OF THE NORMAN PERIOD
It may be a surprise to some of our readers to learn how very few stone castles there are in England which can certainly be ascribed to the first period of the Norman Conquest, that is to the 11th century. When we have named the Tower of London, Colchester, the recently excavated foundations of the remarkable keep at Pevensey, and perhaps the ruined keep of Bramber, we have completed the list, as far as our present knowledge goes, though possibly future excavations may add a few others. 1
It is obvious that so small a number of instances furnishes a very slender basis for generalisations as to the characteristics of early Norman keeps, if we ask in what respect they differed from those of the 12th century. But it is the object of this chapter to suggest research, rather than to lay down conclusions. The four early instances mentioned should be compared with the earliest keeps of France, the country where the pattern was developed. This has not yet been done in any serious way, nor does the present writer pretend to the knowledge which would be necessary for such a comparison. But data exist, which, if they were used in the right way, would greatly add to our knowledge.
1 The tower at Malling was supposed to be an early Norman keep by Mr G. T. Clark (M. M. A., ii., 251), but it has recently been shown that it is purely an ecclesiastical building.
In the first place, we have a list of the castles built by Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, at the end of the roth and the beginning of the 11th century, during his lifelong struggle with the Counts of Blois for the possession of Touraine. This list may be regarded as authentic, as it is given by his grandson, Fulk Rechin, in the remarkable historical fragment which he has bequeathed to us. The list is as follows :-In Touraine : Langeais, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Montrésor, St Maure. In Poitou : Mirabeau (N.W. of Poitiers), Montcontour, Faye-laVineuse, Musterolum (Montreuil-Bonnin), Passavent, Maulevrier. In Anjou: Baugé, Chateau-Gontier, Durtal. “Et multa alia,” adds Fulk's grandson. Nine of these others are mentioned by the chroniclers : Montbazon, Semblançay, Montboyau, St Florent-leVieil, Chateaufort near Langeais, Chérament, Montrevault, Montfaucon, and Mateflon. Many of these were undoubtedly wooden castles, with wooden keeps on mottes. In many other cases the ancient fabric has been replaced by a building of the Renaissance period. Whether any remains of stone donjons built by Fulk Nerra exist at any of these places except at Langeais, the writer has been unable to find out; probably Langeais is the only one; but French archæologists
1 The only stone castles of early date in France which the writer has been able to visit are those of Langeais, Plessis Grimoult, Breteuil, and Le Mans. The two latter are too ruinous to furnish data.
Given in D'Achery's Spicilegium, iii., 232. 3 This can be positively stated of Baugé, Montrichard, Montboyau, St Florent-le-Vieil, Chateaufort, and Chérament. M. de Salies thinks the motte of Bazonneau, about 500 metres from the ruins of the castle of Montbazon, is the original castle of Fulk Nerra. Histoire de Fulk Nerra, 57. About the other castles the writer has not been able to obtain any information.