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for four weeks by Archbishop Hervey, took its name from the macerias or banks which Count Erlebald had constructed around it. It is impossible to say whether this enclosure should be called a castle or a town, but in idea it was certainly a castle, since it was an enclosure formed for private, not for public interests.
Whether these first private castles were provided with towers we have no evidence either to prove or to disprove. No instance occurs from which we can conclude that they possessed any kind of citadel, before the middle of the 10th century.' But before the century is far advanced, we hear of towers in connection with the great towns, which, whether they were originally mural towers or not, are evidently private strongholds, and may justly be called keeps. The earliest instance known to the writer is in 924, when the tower of the presidium where Herbert Count of Vermandois had imprisoned Charles the Simple was burnt accidentally.' This tower must have been restored, as nine years later it withstood a six weeks' siege from King Raoul. A possibly earlier instance is that of Nantes, where Bishop Fulcher had made a castle in 889; for when this castle was restored by Count Alan Barbetorte (937-943), we are "castellum in gyro ipsius monasterii ex ligno et lapide conficere cœpit." Ann. Bertinian, Migne, pp. 125, 1244. In 889 the Bishop of Nantes made a castrum of his church by enclosing it with a wall, and this wall appears to have had a tower. Chron. Namnetense, p. 45, in Lobineau's Bretagne, vol. ii. In 924 Archbishop Hervey made a castellum of the monastery of St Remi by enclosing it with a wall. Flodoard, p. 294 (Migne). But the fortification of monasteries was a very different thing from the fortification of private castles.
1 In 951 Duke Conrad, being angry with certain men of Lorraine, threw down the towers of some of them; these may have been the keeps of private castles. Flodoard, Annales, p. 477.
2 Presidium is one of those vague words which chroniclers love to use; it means a defence of any kind, and may be a town, a castle, or a garrison. The town in which this turris stood appears by the context to have been Chateau Thierry. Cf. Flodoard, Annales, pp. 924, with 933.
told that he restored the principal tower and made it into his own house. Count Herbert built a keep in Laon before 931; and this appears to have been a different tower to the one attached to the royal house which Louis d'Outremer had built at the gate of the city.' We hear also of towers at Amiens (950), Coucy (958), Chalons (963), and Rheims (988). All these towers, it will be observed, are connected with towns.3 The first stone keep in the country for whose date we have positive evidence, is that of Langeais, built by Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, about the year 994; its ruins still exist.
But we are concerned more particularly here with the origin of the motte-and-bailey castle. The exact place or time of its first appearance is still a matter of conjecture. Certainly there is not a word in the chronicles which is descriptive of this kind of castle before the beginning of the 11th century. The first historical mention of a castle which is clearly of the motte-and-bailey kind is in the Chronicle of St Florent
1 "Castrum muro factum circa eam [ecclesiam]." Chron. Namnetense, p. 45. "Precepit [Alanus] eis terrarium magnum in circuitu Ecclesiæ facere, sicut murus prioris castri steterat, quo facto turrem principalem reficiens, in ea domum suam constitit." Ibid.
2 Flodoard, Annales, pp. 931 and 949. This tower was heightened by Charles, the last of the Carlovingians, and furnished with a ditch and bank, in 988.
3 It is often supposed that these towers were derived from the Pretoria, or general's quarters in the Roman castra. It is far more probable that they were derived from mural towers. The Pretorium was not originally fortified, and it was placed in the centre of the Roman camp. But one great object of the feudal keep was to have communication with the open country. The keep of Laon was certainly on the line of the walls, as Bishop Ascelin escaped from it down a rope in 989, and got away on a horse which was waiting for him. Palgrave, England and Normandy, ii., 880.
4 The word motte or mota does not occur in any contemporary chronicle, as far as is known to the writer, before the 12th century; nor is the word dangio to be found in any writer earlier than Ordericus. But the thing certainly existed earlier.
le Vieil, where, at a date which the modern biographer of Fulk Nerra fixes at 1010, we learn that this same Count of Anjou built a castle on the western side of the hill Mont-Glonne, at St Florent le Vieil, on the Loire, and threw up an agger on which he built a wooden tower.1 In this case the word agger evidently means a motte. But Fulk began to reign in 987; he was a great builder of castles, and was famed for his skill in military affairs.2 One of his first castles, built between 991 and 994, was at Montbazon, not far from Tours. About 500
metres from the later castle of Montbazon is a motte and outworks, which De Salies not unreasonably supposes to be the original castle of Fulk. Montrichard, Chateaufort, Chérament, Chérament, Montboyau, and Baugé are all castles built by Fulk, and all have or had mottes. Montboyau is the clearest case of all, as it was demolished by Fulk a few years after he built it, and has never been restored, so that the immense motte and outworks which are still to be seen remain very much in their original state, except that a modern tower has been placed on the motte, which is now called Bellevue.*
1 1 [Fulk and his son Geoffrey] in occidentali parte montis castellum determinaverunt. . . . Aggerem quoque in prospectu monasterii cum turre lignea erexerunt." Chron. St Florentii, in Lobineau's Bretagne, ii., 87. Some remains of this motte are still visible. De Salies, Foulques Nerra, p. 263. 2 "Elegantissimus in rebus bellicis" is the quaint language of the Angevin chronicler, 176.
See De Salies, Histoire de Foulques Nerra, which indirectly throws considerable light on the archæological question.
4 Salies, Histoire de Foulques Nerra, p. 170. M. Enlart, in his Manuel d'Archæologie Française, ii., 495, has been misled about this castle by the Chronicon Andegavense, which says: “Odo... . Fulconem expugnare speravit, et totis nisibus adorsus est. Annoque presenti (1025) Montis Budelli castellum, quod circiter annos decem retro abhinc contra civitatem Turonicam firmaverat Fulco, obsedit, et turrim ligneam miræ altitudinis super domgionem ipsius castri erexit." Bouquet, x., 176. M. Enlart takes this to be the first recorded instance of a motte. But the passage is evidently corrupt, as the other accounts of this affair show that Count Odo's wooden
It was a tempting theory at one time to the writer to see in Fulk Nerra the inventor of the motte type of castle, for independently of his fame in military architecture, he is the first medieval chieftain who is known to have employed mercenary troops. Now as we have already suggested in Chapter I., the plan of the motteand-bailey castle strongly suggests that there may be a connection between its adoption and the use of mercenaries. For the plan of this kind of castle seems to hint that the owner does not only mistrust his enemies, he also does not completely trust his garrison. The keep in which he and his family live is placed on the top of the motte, which is ditched round so as to separate it from the bailey; the provisions on which all are dependent are stored in the cellar of the keep, so that they are under his own hand; and the keys of the outer ward are brought to him every night, and placed under his pillow.'
But unfortunately for this theory, there is some evidence of the raising of mottes at an earlier period in the 10th century than the accession of Fulk Nerra. Thibault-le-Tricheur, who was Count of Blois and Chartres from 932 to 962, was also a great builder, and it is recorded of him that he built the keeps of Chartres,
tower was a siege engine, employed to attack Fulk's castle, and afterwards burnt by the besieged. See the Gesta Ambasiens. Dom., ibid., p. 257, and the Chron. St Florentii. Probably we should read contra domgionem instead of super. The Chronicon Andegavense was written in the reign of Henry II.
1 When Fulk invaded Bretagne in or about 992, he collected an army "tam de suis quam conductitiis." Richerius, edition Guadet. The editor remarks that this is perhaps the first example of the use of mercenaries since the time of the Romans (ii., 266). Spannagel, citing Peter Damian, says that mercenaries were already common at the end of the 10th century. Zur Geschichte des Deutschen Heerwesens, pp. 72, 73.
2 This was always the custom in medieval castles. See Cohausen, Befestigungen der Vorzeit, p. 282.
USE OF THE MOTTE
Chateaudun,1 Blois, and Chinon, and the castle of Saumur; these must have been finished before 962. Now there was anciently a motte at Blois, for in the 12th century, Fulk V. of Anjou burnt the whole fortress, except the house on the motte." There was also a motte at Saumur; and the plan of the castle of Chinon is not inconsistent with the existence of a former motte." These instances seem to put back the existence of the motte castle to the middle of the 10th century.
We know of no earlier claim than this, unless we were to accept the statement of Lambert of Ardres that Sigfrid the Dane, who occupied the county of Guisnes about the year 928, fortified the town, and enclosed his own dunio with a double ditch. If this were true, we have a clear instance of a motte built in the first half of the 10th century. But Lambert's work was written at the end of the 12th century, with the object of glorifying
1 "Qui vivens turres altas construxit et ædes, Unam Carnotum, sed apud Dunense reatum." Chron. St Florentii.
2 Chron. Namnetense, Lobineau, ii., 47.
3 Gesta Ambasiensium Dominorum, in Spicilegium, p. 273.
4 Guide Joanne, p. 234.
The furthest point of the headland on which the castle is placed is a small circular court, with a fosse on all sides but the precipices. From personal visitation.
• Dunio is subsequently explained by Lambert as motte: "Motam altissimam sive dunionem eminentem in munitionis signum firmavit." Lamberti Ardensis, p. 613. It is the same word as the Saxon dun, a hill (preserved in our South Downs), and has no connection with the Irish and Gaelic dun, which is cognate with the German zaun, a hedge, A.-S. tun, and means a hedged or fortified place. The form dange appears in Northern France, and this seems to be the origin of the word domgio or dangio which we find in the chroniclers, the modern form of which is donjon. If we accept this etymology, we must believe that the word dunio or domgio was originally applied to the hill, and not to the tower on the hill, to which it was afterwards transferred. It is against this view that Ordericus, writing some fifty years before Lambert, uses the form dangio in the sense of a tower. Professor Skeat and the New English Dictionary derive the word donjon or dungeon from Low Lat. domnionem, acc. of domnio, thus connecting it with dominus, as the seignorial residence.