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THE EVIDENCE OF TAPESTRY
always provided, as well as a perpetual spring of water, and secret passages and posterns, by which help might reach the besieged."
What the outward appearance of these motte-castles was we learn from the Bayeux Tapestry, which gives us several instructive pictures of motte-castles existing in the 11th century at Dol, Rennes, Dinan, and Bayeux.? There is considerable variety in these pictures, and something no doubt must be ascribed to fancy; but all show the main features of a stockade round the top of the motte, enclosing a wooden tower, a ditch round the foot of the motte, with a bank on the counterscarp, and a stepped wooden bridge, up which horses were evidently trained to climb, leading across the moat to the stockade of the motte. In no case is the bailey distinctly depicted, but we may assume that it has been already taken, and that the horsemen are riding over it to the gate-house which in the picture of Dinan) stands at the foot of the bridge. The towers appear to be square, but in the case of Rennes and Bayeux, are surmounted by a cupola roof. Decoration does not appear to be have been neglected, and the general appearance of the buildings, far from being of a makeshift character, must have been very picturesque.
The picture of the building of the motte at Hastings shows only a stockade on top of the motte ; this may be because the artist intended to represent the work as incomplete. What is remarkable about this picture is that the motte appears to be formed in layers of different materials. We might ascribe this to the fancy of the embroiderer, were it not that layers of this kind have occasionally been found in mottes which have been excavated or destroyed. Thus the motte at Carisbrook, which was opened in 1903, was found to be composed of alternate layers of large and small chalk rubble. In some cases, layers of stones have been found; in others (as at York and Burton) a motte formed of loose material has been cased in a sort of pie-crust of heavy clay. In the Castle Hill at Hallaton in Leicestershire layers of peat and hazel branches, as well as of clay and stone boulders, were found. But our information on this subject is too scanty to justify any generalisations as to the general construction of mottes.
1 Neckham, “De Utensilibus," in Wright's Volume of Vocabularies, pp. 103, 104. Unfortunately this work of Neckham's was not written to explain the construction of motte castles, but to furnish his pupils with the Latin names of familiar things ; a good deal of it is very obscure now.
2 See frontispiece.
The pictures shown in the Bayeux Tapestry agree very well with the description given by a 12th-century writer of the castle of Merchem, near Dixmüde, in the life of John, Bishop of Terouenne, who died in 1130. “Bishop John used to stay frequently at Merchem when he was going round his diocese. Near the churchyard was an exceedingly high fortification, which might be called a castle or municipium, built according to the fashion of that country by the lord of the manor many years before. For it is the custom of the nobles of that region, who spend their time for the most part in private war, in order to defend themselves from their enemies to make a hill of earth, as high as they can, and encircle it with a ditch as broad and deep as possible. They surround the upper edge of this hill with a very strong wall of hewn logs, placing towers on the circuit, according to their means. Inside this wall they plant their house, or keep (arcem), which overlooks the whole thing. The entrance to this fortress is only by a bridge, which rises from the counterscarp of the ditch, supported on double or even triple columns, till it reaches the upper
THE WOODEN CASTLE OF ARDRES
edge of the motte (agger).” The chronicler goes on to relate how this wooden bridge broke down under the crowd of people who were following the bishop, and all fell 35 feet into the ditch, where the water was up to their knees. There is no mention of a bailey in this account, but a bailey was so absolutely necessary to a residential castle, in order to find room for the stables, lodgings, barns, smithies and other workshops, which were necessary dependencies of a feudal household, that it can seldom have been omitted, and the comparatively rare instances which we find of mottes which appear never to have had baileys were probably outposts dependent on some more important castle.
Lambert of Ardres, the panegyrist of the counts of Guisnes, writing about 1194, gives us a minute and most interesting description of the wooden castle of Ardres, built about the year 1117. Arnold, lord of Ardres, built on the motte of Ardres a wooden house, excelling all the houses of Flanders of that period both in material and in carpenter's work. The first storey was on the surface of the ground, where were cellars and granaries, and great boxes, tuns, casks, and other domestic utensils. In the storey above were the dwelling and common living rooms of the residents, in which were the larders, the rooms of the bakers and butlers, and the great chamber in which the lord and his wife slept. Adjoining this was a private room, the dormitory of the waiting maids and children. In the inner part of the great chamber was a certain private room, where at
1 Acta Sanctorum, 27th January, Bolland, iii., 414. This biography was written only nine months after Bishop John's death, by an intimate friend, John de Collemedio.
Guisnes is now in Picardy, but in the 12th century it was in Flanders, which was a fief of the Empire.
early dawn or in the evening or during sickness or at time of blood-letting, or for warming the maids and weaned children, they used to have a fire. ... In the upper storey of the house were garret rooms, in which on the one side the sons (when they wished it) on the other side the daughters (because they were obliged) of the lord of the house used to sleep. In this storey also the watchmen and the servants appointed to keep the house took their sleep at some time or other. High up on the east side of the house, in a convenient place, was the chapel, which was made like unto the tabernacle of Solomon in its ceiling and painting. There were stairs and passages from storey to storey, from the house into the kitchen, from room to room, and again from the house into the loggia (logium), where they used to sit in conversation for recreation, and again from the loggia into the oratory'
This description proves that these wooden castles were no mere rude sheds for temporary occupation, but that they were carefully built dwellings designed for permanent residence. The description is useful for the light it throws on the stone keeps whose ruins remain to us. They probably had very similar arrangements, and though only their outside walls are now existing, they must have been divided into different rooms by wooden partitions which have now perished.”
In this account of Lambert's it is further mentioned that the kitchen was joined to the house or keep, and was a building of two floors, the lower one being occupied by live stock, while the upper one was the actual kitchen. We must remember that this account
1 This description is from the Historia Ardensium of Walter de Clusa, which is interpolated in the work of Lambert, Bouquet, pp. 13, 624
2 Yet in some of the later keeps, such as Conisburgh, where we find only one window to a storey, the room must have been undivided.
TERMS AND DETAILS
was written at the end of the 12th century. In the earlier and simpler manners of the 11th century it is probable that the cooking was more generally carried on in the open air, as it was among the Anglo-Saxons. The danger of fire would prevent the development of chimneys in wooden castles ; we have seen that there was only one in this wonderful castle of Ardres. But even after stone castles became common, we have evidence that the kitchen was often an isolated building in the courtyard. One such kitchen still exists in the monastic ruins of Glastonbury.
The word mota, which was used in the 12th century for the artificial hills on which the wooden keeps of these castles were placed, comes from an old French word motte, meaning a clod of earth, which is still used in France for a small earthen hillock. The keep itself
? appears to have been called a bretasche, though this word seems to have meant a wooden tower of any kind, and was used both for mural towers and for the movable wooden towers employed for sieges. At a much later period it was given to the wooden balconies by which walls were defended, but the writer has found no instance of this use of the word before the 14th century. On the contrary, these wooden galleries for the purpose of defending the foot of the walls by throwing missiles down are called hurdicia or hourdes in the documents, a
1 See Wright, History of Domestic Manners, p. 26.
? According to Littré, the original derivation of the word motte is unknown. I have not found any instance of the word mota in chronicles earlier than the 12th century, but the reason appears to be that mota or motte was a folk's word, and appeared undignified to an ambitious writer. Thus the author of the Gesta Consulum Andegavensium says that Geoffrey Martel, Count of Anjou, gave to a certain Fulcoius the fortified house which is still called by the vulgar Mota Fulcoii. D'Achery, Spicilegium, p. 257.
3 See Appendix G.