« PreviousContinue »
many royal castles, went early to ruin. Henry IV. gave the materials of the hall to the master and wardens of King's Hall for building their chapel.
The value of Cambridge T. R. W. is not given in Domesday Book.
CANTERBURY.-Domesday Book only mentions this castle incidentally in connection with an exchange of land: "The archbishop has seven houses and the abbot of St Augustine fourteen for the exchange of the castle."1 It has been too hastily hastily assumed that it was a pre-Conquest castle which was thus exchanged for twenty-one houses; but anyone who knows the kind of relations which existed chronically between the archbishop of Canterbury and the abbot of St Augustine's will perceive that it was an impossibility that these two potentates should have held a castle in common. It was the land for the castle, not the castle itself, which the king got from these ecclesiastics. This is rendered clear by a passage in the Chartulary of St Augustine's, which tells us that the king, who was mesne lord of the city of Canterbury, had lost the rent of thirty-two houses through the exchange of the castle: seven having gone to the archbishop, fourteen to the abbot, and eleven having been destroyed in making the ditch of the castle. There can scarcely be any doubt that the hillock now known by the ridiculous name of Dane John is the motte of this original castle of the Conqueror. Its proper name, the Dungeon Hill, which it bore till the 16th and
1 "Archiepiscopus habet ex eis [burgensibus] 7 et abbas S. Augustini 14 pro excambio castelli." D. B., i. a, 2.
2 "Et undecim sunt perditi infra fossatum castelli"; cited by Larking, Domesday of Kent, App. xxiv. Domesday says, "sunt vastatæ xi. in fossa civitatis." There can be no doubt that the Chartulary gives the correct
even the 18th century,' shows what its origin was; it was the hill on which stood the dungeon or donjon of a Norman castle. The name Dane John is not so much a corruption as a deliberate perversion introduced by the antiquary Somner about 1640, under the idea that the Danes threw up the hill- an idea for which there is not the slightest historical evidence. We have seen that there is no reason to think that the Danes ever constructed fortifications of this kind, and their connection with this earthwork is due to one of those guesses, too common in English archæology, which have no scientific basis whatever.
Somner makes the important statement that this earthwork was originally outside the city walls. His words are :
"I am persuaded (and so may easily, I think, anyone be that well observes the place) that the works both within and without the present wall of the city were not counterworks one against the other, as the vulgar opinion goes, but were sometimes all one entire plot containing about 3 acres of ground, of a triangular form (the outwork) with a mount or hill entrenched round within it; and that when first made or cast up it lay wholly without the city wall; and hath been (the hill or mount, and most part also of the outwork), for the city's more security, taken in and walled since; that side of the trench encompassing the mound now lying without and under the wall fitly meeting with the rest of the city ditch, after either side of the earthwork was cut through to make way for it, at the time of the city's inditching."4
It is not often we are so fortunate as to have so clear a description of an earthwork which has almost entirely disappeared; but the description is confirmed by Stukeley and Hasted, and down to the making of the Chatham and Dover railway in 1860 the earthworks of
1 The hill is called the Dungan, Dangon, or Dungeon Hill in many old local deeds. See "Canterbury in Olden Times," Arch. Journ., 1856. Stukeley and Grose both call it the Dungeon Hill.
2 See Appendix N.
3 Somner's Antiquities of Canterbury, p. 144. Published in 1640. 4 Antiquities of Canterbury, p. 75.
the part of the bailey which was left outside the city wall were still to be seen, and were noticed by Mr G. T. Clark. It is clear that Somner's description corresponds exactly, even in the detail of size, to the type of a motteand-bailey castle.
There are certain facts, which have not been put together before, which enable us to make a very probable guess as to the date at which this ancient castle was cut through by the newer city bank. The walls of Canterbury have never yet received so careful an examination as those of Rochester have had from the Rev. Greville Livett; but the researches of Mr Pilbrow about thirty years ago showed that the original Roman walls included a very small area, which would leave both the motte and the Plantagenet castle outside. Certain entries in the Close Rolls show that the fortification of the town of
1 Mr Clark thought there was another motte in the earthworks outside the walls, though he expresses himself doubtfully: "I rather think they [the mounds outside the city ditch] or one of them, looked rather like a moated mound, but I could not feel sure of it. Arch. Cantiana, xv., 344. Gostling (A Walk about Canterbury, 1825) says there were two, which is perhaps explained by a passage in Brayley's Kent (1808), in which he describes the external fortification as a lesser mount, now divided into two parts, with a ditch and embankment." P. 893. Stukeley's description (circa 1700) is as follows: "Within the walls is a very high mount, called Dungeon Hill; a ditch and high bank enclose the area before it; it seems to have been part of the old castle. Opposite to it without the walls is a hill, seeming to have been raised by the Danes when they besieged the city. The top of the Dungeon Hill is equal to the top of the castle." Itin. Curiosum, i., 122. It is of course not impossible that there may have been two mottes to this castle, as at Lewes and Lincoln, but such instances are rare, and it seems more likely that a portion of the bailey bank which happened to be in better preservation and consequently higher was mistaken for another mount. Mr Clark committed this very error at Tadcaster, and the other writers we have quoted were quite untrained as observers of earthen castles. At any rate there can be no doubt that the Dane John is the original chief citadel of this castle, as the statements of Somner, Stukeley, and we may add, Leland, are explicit. The most ancient maps of Canterbury, Hoefnagel's (1570), Smith's (Description of England, 1588), and Grose's (1785), all show the Dungeon Hill within the walls, but take no notice of the outwork outside.
2 Archeologia Cantiana, xxxiii., 152.
Canterbury was going on in the years 1215-1225.1 But it is too often forgotten that where a wall stands on an earthen bank it is a clear proof that before the wall was built there was a wooden stockade in its place. Now the portion of the city wall which encloses the Dane John stands on an earthen bank; so, indeed, does the whole wall from the Northgate to the castle. It is clear that this piece of bank cannot have been made till the first Norman castle, represented by the earthwork, was abandoned; and fortunately we have some evidence which suggests a date for the change. In the Pipe Rolls of Henry II.'s reign there are yearly entries, beginning in 1168, of 5s. paid to Adeliza Fitzsimon "for the exchange of her land which is in the castle of Canterbury." There can be little doubt that this land was purchased to build the great Plantagenet castle whose splendid keep was keep was once one of the finest in England. The portion of the castle wall which can still be seen does not stand on an earthen bank, an indication (though not a proof) that the castle was on a new site. Henry II. was a great builder of stone keeps, but he seldom placed them on artificial mottes. It is no uncommon thing to find an old motte-and-bailey castle abandoned for a better or larger site close at hand.
The bailey of the second castle, according to Hasted, extended almost to the Dane John, which is about 800 feet from the present keep. The part of the older castle which lay outside the new city bank was possessed by a family of the name of Chiche from the time of Henry II. to that of Edward IV., while the
1 Close Rolls, i., 234b, ii., 7b, 89.
2 Now, to the disgrace of the city of Canterbury, converted into gasworks.
3 For instance, at Middleham, Rochester, Rhuddlan, and Morpeth.
Dungeon Hill itself remained royal property.' That the new bank was Henry II.'s work we may conjecture from the passages in the Pipe Rolls, which show that between the years 1166 and 1173 he spent about £30 in enclosing the city of Canterbury and making a gate. We are therefore not without grounds for concluding that Henry II. was the first to enlarge the city by taking in the Dane John, cutting through the ancient bailey, and at the same time enclosing a piece of land for a new stone castle.2 The very small sum paid for the city gate (11s., equal to about 11 of our money) suggests that the gate put up by Henry II. was a wooden gateway in the new stockaded bank. The stone walls and towers which were afterwards placed on the bank are of much later date than his reign.3
1 Beauties of England and Wales, Kent, p. 893.
"The passages from the Pipe Roll bearing on this subject (which have not been noticed by any previous historian of Canterbury) are as follows :—
1166-7. In operatione civitatis Cantuar. claudendæ
Ad claudendam civitatem Cantuar.
1168-9. In terris datis Adelizæ filie Simonis 15 solidos de tribus annis pro escambio terræ suæ quæ est in Castello de Cantuar.
Summa denariorum quos vicecomes misit in operatione turris 1173-4. In operatione turris et Castelli Chant.
24 6 O 5 II
1172-3. In operatione turris ejusdem civitatis
1174-5. Et in warnisione ejusdem turris
5 8 O
The latter extract, which refers to the provisioning of the keep, seems to show that it was then finished. The sums put down to the castle, amounting to about £4000 of our money, are not sufficient to defray the cost of so fine a keep. But the entries in the Pipe Rolls relate only to the Sheriff's accounts, and it is probable that the cost of the keep was largely paid out of the revenues of the archbishopric, which Henry seized into his own hands during the Becket quarrel.
3 The portion of the wall of Canterbury, which rests on an earthen bank, extends from Northgate to the Castle, and is roughly semicircular in plan. In the middle of it was St George's Gate, which was anciently called Newingate (Gostling, p. 53) and may possibly have been Henry II.'s new