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Dr Round regards this as one of the cases where castellum is to be interpreted as a town and not as a castle. However this may be, the existence of a Norman castle at Monmouth is rendered certain by a passage in the Book of Llandaff, in which it is said that this castle was built by William FitzOsbern, and a short history of it is given, which brings it up to the days of William Fitz Baderun. Speed speaks of
? this castle as “standing mounted round in compasse, and within her walls another mount, whereon a Towre of great height and strength is built." ; This sounds like the description of a motte and bailey; but the motte cannot be traced now. It is possible that it may have been swept away to build the present barracks; the whole castle is now on a flat-topped hill. The area is if acres.
The value of the manor before the Conquest is not given.
MONTACUTE, Somerset (Fig. 21).—This is another instance of a site for a castle obtained by exchange from the church. Count Robert of Mortain gave the manor of Candel to the priory of Athelney in exchange for the manor of Bishopstowe, “and there is his castle, which is called Montagud.”5 The English name for
1 “In castello Monemouth habet Rex in dominio 4 carucas. Willelmus filius Baderon custodit eas. Quod rex habet in hoc castello valet c solidos." D. B., 180b.
? Liber Landavensis, Evans edition, pp. 277-278. See also Round's Calendar of Documents Preserved in France, p. 406. 3 Theatre of Britain, p. 107.
Speed's map shows the curtain wall surrounding the top of the hill and also a large round tower towards the N.E. part, but not standing on any“ other mount.” The square keep is not indicated separately. It must be remembered that Speed's details are not always accurate or complete.
Ipse comes tenet in dominio Bishopstowe, et ibi est castellum ejus quod vocatur Montagud. Hoc manerium geldabat T. R. E. pro 9 hidas, et erat de abbatia de Adelingi, et pro eo dedit comes eidem ecclesiæ manerium quod Candel vocatur.” D. B., i., 93a, 1.
the village at the foot of the hill was Ludgarsburh, which does not point to any fortification on the hill itself, the spot where the wonder-working crucifix of Waltham was found in Saxon times. Robert of Mortain's son William gave the castle of Montacute, with its chapel, orchard, and other appurtenances, to a priory of Cluniac monks which he founded close to it. The gift may have had something compulsory in it, for William of Mortain was banished by Henry I. in 1104 as a partisan of Robert Curthose. Thus, as Leland says, “the notable castle partly fell to ruin, and partly was taken down to make the priory, so that many years since no building of it remained ; only a chapel was set upon the very top of the dungeon, and that yet standeth there.” 1
There is still a high oval motte, having a ditch between its base and the bailey; the latter is semilunar in shape. The hill has been much terraced on the eastern side, but this may have been the work of the monks, for purposes of cultivation. There is no masonry except a quite modern tower. According to Mr Clark, the motte is of natural rock. The French name of the castle was of course imported from Normandy, and we generally find that an English castle with a Norman-French name of this kind has a motte. S
Bishopstowe, in which the castle was placed, was not a large manor in Saxon times. Its value T. R. E. is not given in the Survey, but we are told that it is
i Itin., ii., 92.
2 From a description communicated by Mr Basil Stallybrass. The motte is shown in a drawing in Stukeley's Itinerarium Curiosum. The “immense Romano-British camp” of which Mr Clark speaks (M. M. A., i., 73) is nearly a mile west.
3 Mountjoy, Monthalt (Mold), Beaumont, Beaudesert, Egremont, are instances in point.
worth 61. to the earl, and 31. 35. to the knights who hold under him.
MORPETH, Northumberland (Fig. 21).—There is only one mention known to us of Morpeth Castle in the uth century, and that is in the poem of Geoffrey Gaimar. ' He says that William Rufus, when marching to Bamborough, to repress the rebellion of Mowbray, Earl
, of Northumberland, “took the strong castle of Morpeth, which was seated on a little mount,” and belonged to William de Morlei. Thus there can be no doubt that the Ha' Hill, about 100 yards to the N. of the present castle, was the motte of the first castle of Morpeth, though the remains of the motte, which are mentioned by Hodgson, have been destroyed. A natural ridge has been used to form a castle by cutting off its higher end to form a motte, and making a court on the lower part of the ridge. The great steepness of the slopes rendered ordinary ditches unnecessary, nor are there any traces now of banks or foundations. In the court some Norman capitals and carved stones were found in 1830. This early castle was admirably placed for commanding the river and the bridge. The present castle of Morpeth was built in 1342-1349.*
NEWCASTLE, Northumberland.—The first castle here was built by Robert, son of William I., on his return from his expedition to Scotland in 1080. It was of the
i Gaimar, 214, Wright's edition. Gaimar wrote in the first half of the 12th century ; Wright states that his work is mainly copied from the AngloSaxon Chronicle, but its chief value lies in the old historical traditions of the north and east of England which he has preserved.
2 Hodgson's History of Northumberland, Part II., ii., 384, 389.
3 This account is taken from a description kindly furnished by Mr D. H. Montgomerie.
4 Bates' Border Holds, p. II.
5 Simeon of Durham, 1080. “Castellum Novum super flumen Tyne condidit."
usual motte-and-bailey kind, the motte standing in a small bailey which was rectilinear and roughly oblong. This motte was in existence when Brand wrote his History of Newcastle, but was removed in 1811. The castle was placed outside the Roman station at Monkchester, and commanded a Roman bridge over the Tyne, "and to the north-east overlooked a ravine that under the name of The Side formed for centuries a main artery of communication between England and Scotland.”? Henry II., when he built the fine keep of this
2 castle, did not place it on the motte, but in the outer and larger ward, which was roughly triangular. The outer curtain appears to have stood on the banks of the former earthen castle, as the Parliamentary Survey of 1649 speaks of the castle as “bounded with strong works of stone and mud.” 3 The area of the whole castle was 3 acres and 1 rood.
NORHAM, Northumberland (Fig. 22).—The first castle here was built by Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham, in the reign of William Rufus. It was built to defend Northumberland against the incursions of the Scots, and we are expressly told that no castle had existed there previously. This first castle, which we may certainly assume to have been of earth and wood, was destroyed by the Scots in 1138, and there does not seem to have been any stone castle until the time of
See the map in an important paper on Newcastle by Longstaffe, Arck. Æliana, iv., 45.
2 Guide to the Castle of Newcastle, published by Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, 1901.
3 Longstaffe, as above.
4 “Condidit castellum in excelso preruptæ rupis super Twedam flumen, ut inde latronum incursus inhiberet, et Scottorum irruptiones. Ibi enim utpote in confinia regni Anglorum et Scottorum creber prædantibus ante patebat excursus, nullo enim quo hujusmodi impetus repelleretur præsidio locato.” Symeon of Durham, R, S., i., 140.