« PreviousContinue »
The author feels that some apology is necessary for the enormous length of Chapter VII., containing the catalogue of Early English castles. It may be urged in extenuation that much of the information it contains has never before appeared in print, seeing that it has been taken from unpublished portions of the Pipe Rolls; further, that contemporary authorities have in all cases been used, and that the chapter contains a mass of material, previously scattered and almost inaccessible, which is here for the first time collated, and placed, as the author thinks, in its right setting. It is hoped that the chapter will prove a useful storehouse to those who are working at the history of any particular castle mentioned in the list.
To many it may seem a waste of labour to devote a whole book to the establishment of a proposition which is now generally adopted by the best English archæologists; but the subject is an important one, and there is no book which deals with it in detail, and in the light of the evidence which has recently been accumulated. The writer hopes that such fuller statement of the case as is here attempted may help not only to a right ascription of British castle-mounds, and of the stone castles built upon many of them, but may also furnish material to the historian who seeks to trace the progress of the Norman occupation.
Students of the architecture of castles are aware that this subject presents much more difficult questions than does the architecture of churches. Those who are seriously working on castle architecture are very few in number, and are as yet little known to the world at
large. From time to time, books on castles are issued from the press, which show that the writers have not even an idea of the preliminary studies without which their work has no value at all. It is hoped that the sketch of castle architecture from the 10th century to the 13th, which is given in the last chapter, may prove a useful contribution to the subject, at any rate in its lists of dated castles. The Pipe Rolls have been too little used hitherto for the general history of castle architecture, and no list has ever been published before of the keeps built by Henry II. But without the evidence of the Pipe Rolls we are in the land of guesswork, unsupported, as a rule, by the decorative details which render it easy to read the structural history of most churches.
My warmest thanks are due to Mr Duncan H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., for his generous labour on the plans and illustrations of this book, and for effective assistance in the course of the work, especially in many toilsome pilgrimages for the purpose of comparing the Ordnance Survey with the actual remains. I also owe grateful thanks to Mr Goddard H. Orpen, R.I.A., for most kindly revising the chapter on Irish mottes; to Mr W. St John Hope (late Assistant Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries), for information on many difficult points; to Mr Harold Sands, F.S.A., whose readiness to lay his great stores of knowledge at my disposal has been always unfailing; to Mr George Neilson, F.S.A.Scot., for most valuable help towards my chapter on Scottish mottes; to Mr Charles Dawson, F.S.A., for granting the use of his admirable photographs from the Bayeux Tapestry; to Mr Cooper, author of the
History of York Castle, for important facts and documents relating to his subject; to the Rev. Herbert White, M.A., and to Mr Basil Stallybrass, for reports of visits to castles; and to correspondents too numerous to mention who have kindly, and often very fully, answered my inquiries.
ELLA S. ARMITAGE.
WESTHOLM, RAWDON, LEEDS.