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was delved for the Ship Canal, discovery was made of "a remarkable series of submerged piles, 9 feet long, arranged in two parallel ranks which were 30 feet apart. The intervals between the piles varied, but seem to have averaged 5 to 6 feet. Between the ranks were diagonal rows of upright stakes, each stake about 5 feet long, extending from either rank chevronwise to the middle and there overlapping, so that the groundplan of them makes a kind of herring-bone pattern. By this plan, anyone passing through would have to make a zigzag
In some places sticks and sedges were found interwoven horizontally with the stakes, a condition of things which probably obtained throughout the whole series. The tops of the tallest piles were 10 feet below the present surface of the ground, which fact goes far toward precluding the possibility that this elaborate work may have been a fish-weir. The disposition of the stakes points to a military origin. So arranged, the advantage they offered to defending forces was enormous.” I think it worth while to reproduce this account, especially because of the place-names, but those who are learned in the construction of fish-weirs may perhaps think that the description will apply to a work of that kind.
THE WORD “BRETASCHE”
This word, which also appears as bretagium, britagium, or bristega, evidently means a tower, as is clear from the following passages : Order from King John to erect a mota et bretagium at Roscrea, in Ireland (Sweetman's Calendar, i., 412); Order by Henry III. to the dwellers in the Valley of Montgomery "quod sine dilatione motas suas bonis bretaschiis firmari faciant" (Close Rolls, ii., 42); Order that the timber and bretasche of Nafferton Castle be carried to Newcastle, and the bretasche to be placed at the gate of the drawbridge in place of the little tower which fell through defect in its foundations (Close Rolls, i, 549b).
The word is also expressly defined by William the Breton as a wooden castle : “ Circuibat castrum ex omni parte, et fabricavit brestachias duplices per septem loca, castella videlicet lignea munitissima." (Bouquet, xvii., 78.)
See also Wright, “ Illustrations of Domestic Architecture,” Arch. Journ., i., 212 and 301. In these papers it is clear that “ breteske" means a tower, as there are several pictures of it. At a later period it seems to have been used for a wooden balcony made for the purpose of shooting, in the same sense as the word “hurdicium”; but I have not met with any instance of this before the 14th century.
THE WORDS "HURDICIUM" AND "HORDIARI”
THESE words refer to the wooden galleries carried round the tops of walls, to enable the defenders to throw down big stones or other missiles on those who were attempting to attack the foot of the walls. “Hurdicia quæ muros tutos reddebant." (Philippidos, vii., 201; Bouquet, xvii.) The word “alures" is sometimes used in the same sense. See a mandamus of Henry III., cited by Turner, History of Domestic Architecture, i., 198: "To make on the same tower [of London] on the south side, at the top, deep alures of good and strong timber, entirely and well covered with lead, through which people can look even to the foot of the tower, and better defend it, if need may be.” The alures of the castle of Norwich are spoken of as early as 1187, but this mention, and one of the alures round the castle of Winchester in 1193, are the only ones I find in the 12th century in England.
“HERICIO, ERICIO, HERITO, HERISSON”
This is derived from the French word hérisson, a hedgehog, and should mean something bristling, perhaps with thorns or osiers. Several passages show that it was a defence on the counterscarp of the ditch, and it may sometimes have been a hedge. Cohausen, Befestigungen der Vorzeit, shows that hedges were frequently used in early fortifications (pp. 8-13). The following passages seem to show clearly that it was on the counterscarp of the ditch : "[Montreuil] il a bien clos, esforce e ferme de pel e hericon." (Wace, 107.) “Reparato exterioris Ardensis munitionis valli fossato et amplificato, et sepibus et ericiis consepto et constipato.” (Lambert of Ardres, 623, circa 1117.) The French poem of Jordan Fantosme, describing the siege of Wark by the Scots in 1174, says the Scots attacked and carried the hericon, and got into the ditch, but they could not take the bayle, i.e., they could not get over the palicium.
THE CASTLE OF YALE
In the year 1693, the antiquary Edward Llwyd was sitting on the motte of Tomen y Rhoddwy engaged in making a very bad plan of the castle [published in Arch. Camb., N.S., ii., 57). His guide told him that he had heard his grandfather say that two earls used to live there. Llwyd called the guide an ignorant fellow. Modern traditions are generally the work of some antiquary who has succeeded in planting his theories locally; but here we have a tradition of much earlier date than the time when antiquaries began to sow tares, and such traditions have usually a shred of truth in them. Is
it possible that this castle of Tomen y Rhoddwy and the neighbouring one of Llanarmon were built by the earls of Chester and Shrewsbury, who certainly went on expeditions together against Wales, and appear to have divided their conquests? It is to be noted that the township is called Bodigre yr Yarll, the township of the earls.
THE CASTLE OF TULLOW OR “COLLACHT," p. 335
This information is kindly supplied by Mr Goddard H. Orpen, who writes to me: “I visited Tullow lately, and asked myself where would a Norman erect a mote, and I had no difficulty in answering: on the high ground near where the Protestant church stands. When I got up there the first thing that I noticed was that the church stood on a platform of earth 10 to 14 feet higher than the road, and that this platform was held in position by a strong retaining wall, well battered towards the bottom on one side. I then found on enquiry that the hill on which it stood and the place to the N.W. of it was called the Castle Hill. On going round to the N.W. of the church I found a horseshoe-shaped space, scarped all round to a height of 6 to 10 feet, and rising to about 16 feet above the adjoining fields. There is no doubt that this was the site of the castle, and that it was artificially raised. To my mind there was further little doubt that it represented an earlier mote. In a field adjoining on the W. I could detect a platform of about 50 to 70 paces, with traces of a fosse round the three outer sides. . . . This was certainly the Castellum de Tulach mentioned in the deeds concerning Raymond le Gros' grant to the Abbey of St Thomas.—Dublin Reg. St Thomas, pp. III, 113."
THE CASTLE OF SLANE
MR WESTROPP says that the “great earthworks and fosses' on the Hill of Slane are mentioned in the “Life of St Patrick" (Journ. R. S. A. I., 1904, p. 313). What the Life really says is : “They came to Ferta Fer Fiecc," which is translated “the graves of Fiacc's men”; and the notes of Muirchu Maccu-Machtheni add, "which, as fables say, were dug by the slaves of Feccol Ferchertni, one of the nine Wizards” (Tripartite Life, p. 278). It does not mention any fort, or even a hill, and though Ferta Fer Fiecc is identified with Slane, there is nothing to show what part of Slane it was.
THE WORD “DONJON”
PROFESSOR SKEAT and The New English Dictionary derive this word from the Low Latin, dominionem, acc. of dominio, lordship. Leland frequently speaks of the keep as the dungeon, which of course is the same word. Its modern use for a subterranean prison seems to have arisen when the keeps were abandoned for more spacious and comfortable habitations by the noble owners, and were chiefly used as prisons. The word dunio, which, as we have seen, Lambert of Ardres used for a motte, probably comes from a different root, cognate with the Anglo-Saxon dun, a hill, and used in Flanders for the numerous sandhills of that coast.