« PreviousContinue »
As the very name of Clitheroe is not mentioned in Domesday Book, it clearly was not an important centre in Saxon times. The value of Blackburn Hundred, in which Clitheroe is situated, had fallen between the Confessor's time and the time when Roger received it. It is quite possible that he never lived at Clitheroe, as he sub-infeoffed the manor and Hundred of Blackburn to Roger de Busli and Albert Greslet before 1086.1
COLCHESTER, Essex.—The remarkable keep of this castle has been the subject of antiquarian legend for many centuries, and Mr Clark has the merit of having proved its early Norman origin, by its plan and architecture. A charter of Henry I. is preserved in the cartulary of St John's Abbey at Colchester, which grants to Eudes the Dapifer “the city of Colchester, and the tower and the castle, and all the fortifications of the castle, just as my father had them and my brother and myself.”? This proves that the keep and castle were in existence in the Conqueror's time; the Norman character of the architecture proves that the keep was not in existence earlier. We see, then, that the reason there is no motte at Colchester is that there was a stone keep built when first the castle was founded. As far as we are aware, Colchester, the Tower of London, and the recently discovered keep of Pevensey are the only certain instances of stone keeps of the 11th century in England.
That one of the most important of the Conqueror's castles, second only to the Tower of London, and actually exceeding it in the area it covers, should be found in Colchester, is not surprising, because the Eastern counties at the time of the Conquest were not
1 See Farrer, Lancashire Pipe Rolls, i., 260.
? Printed by Mr Round in Essex Arch. Society's Transactions, vii., Part ii. The charter is dated 110r.
only the wealthiest part of the kingdom (as Domesday Book clearly shows ), but they also needed special protection from the attacks of Scandinavian enemies. Mr Round has conjectured that the castle was built at the time of the invasion of St Cnut, between 1080 and 1085.
The castle is built of Roman stones used over again, with rows of tiles introduced between the courses with much decorative effect. The original doorway was on the first floor, as in most Norman keeps; but at some after time, probably in the reign of Henry I.," the present doorway was inserted; and most likely the handsome stairway which now
now leads up from this basement entrance was added, as it shows clear marks of insertion. Henry II. was working on the walls of the castle in 1282, and it may be strongly suspected that the repairs in ashlar, and the casing of the buttresses with ashlar, were his work. One item in the accounts of Henry II. is £50 “for making the bailey round the castle.” 6 There were two baileys to the castle of Colchester—the inner one, which scarcely covered 2 acres, and the outer one, which contained about 11. The inner bailey was enclosed at first with an earthwork and stockade, the earthwork being thrown up over the remains of some
1 See Maitland, Domesday Book and Beyond, p. 22. · History of Colchester Castle, p. 141.
3 It has been much debated whether these tiles are Roman or Norman ; the conclusion seems to be that they are mixed. See Round's History of Colchester, p. 78.
* The single Pipe Roll of Henry I. shows that he spent £33, 155. on repairs of the castle and borough in 1130.
• In operatione unius Rogi (a kiln), £13, 18s. In reparatione muri castelli, £16, 35. 2d. The projection of the buttresses (averaging 1 ft. 3 ins.) is about the same as that found in castles of Henry I. or Henry II.'s time.
6 Ad faciendum Ballium circa castellum, £50. Pipe Rolls, xix., 13. This is followed by another entry of £18, 135. 7d. “in operatione castelli," which may refer to the same work.
Roman walls, whose line it does not follow. Afterwards a stone wall was built on the earthwork, the foundations of which can still be traced in the west rampart. The outer bailey, which lay to the north, extended on two sides to the Roman walls of the town; on the west side it had a rampart and stockade. If the £ 50 spent by Henry II. represents the cost of a stone wall round the inner bailey, then the palicium blown down by the wind in 1219 must have been the wooden stockade on the west side of the outer bailey. The question is difficult to decide, but at any rate the entry proves that as late as Henry III.'s reign, some part of the outer defences of Colchester Castle was still of timber.
The position of Colchester Castle is exceptional in one respect, that the castle is almost in the middle of the town. But this very unusual position is explained by Mr Round's statement that the land forming the castle baileys, as well as that afterwards given to the Grey Friars on the east, was crown demesne before the Conquest, and consequently had been cultivated land, so that we do not hear of any houses in Colchester being destroyed for the site of the castle.: But by keeping this land as the inalienable appendage of the royal castle William secured that communication between the castle and the outside country which was so essential to the invaders.
The value of the city of Colchester had risen enormously at the date of the Survey.*
· Round's History of Colchester.
2 Close Rolls, i., 389. Mandamus to the bishop of London to choose two lawful and discreet men of Colchester, "et per visum eorum erigi faceatis palicium castri nostri Colecestrie, quod nuper prostratum fuit per tempestatem."
3 Round's History of Colchester, pp. 135, 136.
4 Tota civitas ex omnibus debitis reddebat T. R. E., £15, 5s. 4d., in unoquoque anno. Modo reddit £160. D. B., ii., 107.
CORFE, Dorset (Fig. 13).—Mr Eyton has shown that for the castellum Warham of Domesday Book we ought to read Corfe, because the castle was built in the manor of Kingston, four miles from Wareham. And this is made clear by the Testa de Nevill, which says that the church of Gillingham was given to the nunnery of Shaftesbury in exchange for the land on which the castle of Corfe is placed. Because King Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe, at some place where his stepmother Elfrida was residing, it has been inferred that there was a Saxon castle at Corfe; and because there is a building with some herring-bone work among the present ruins, it has been assumed that this building is the remains of that castle or palace. But the AngloSaxon Chronicle, the only contemporary authority for the event, says nothing of any castle at Corfe, but simply tells us that Edward was slain at Corfe Geat, a name which evidently alludes to a gap or passage through the chalk hills, such as there is at Corfe. Nor is there any mention of Corfe as a fortress in Anglo-Saxon times; it is not named in the Burghal Hidage, and we do not hear of any sieges of it by the Danes. Nor is it likely that the Saxons would have had a fortress at Corfe, when they had a fortified town so near as Wareham.* Kingston, the manor in which Corfe is situated, was not an important place, as it had no dependent soke. The language of Domesday absolutely upsets the idea of any Saxon castle or palace at Corfe, as it tells us that William obtained the land for his castle from the nuns of Shaftesbury, and we may be quite sure they had no castle there.
| Eyton, Key to Domesday, p. 43. This passage was kindly pointed out to me by Dr Round. The castle is not mentioned in Domesday under Wareham, but under Kingston. “De manerio Chingestone habet rex unam hidam, in qua fecit castellum Warham, et pro ea dedit S. Mariæ [of Shaftesbury] ecclesiam de Gelingeham cum appendiciis suis.” D. B., 1., 78b, 2.
2 "Advocatio ecclesie de Gillingeham data fuit abbati [sic] de S. Edwardo in escambium pro terra ubi castellum de Corf positum est.” Testa de Nevill, 164b.
3 It is by no means certain that Corfe was the scene of Edward's murder, as we learn from a charter of Cnut (Mon. Ang., iii., 55) that there was a Corfe Geat not far from Portisham, probably the place now called Coryates.
• Called by Asser a castellum; but it has already been pointed out that castellum in early writers means a walled town and not a castle. (See p. 25.) Wareham is a town fortified by an earthen vallum and ditch, and is one of the boroughs of the Burghal Hidage. (See Ch. II., p. 28.) A Norman castle was built there after the Conquest, and its motte still remains. D. B. says seventy-three houses were utterly destroyed from the time of Hugh the Sheriff. 1., 75.
Corfe Castle stands on a natural hill, which has been so scarped artificially that the highest part now forms a large motte.
Three wards exist-the eastern or motte ward, the western, and the southern. The two former probably formed the original castle. On the motte
. (which possibly is not artificial, but formed by scarping) stands the lofty keep, of splendid workmanship, probably of the time of Henry I. In the ward pertaining to it are buildings of the time of John and Henry III. The western ward has towers of the 13th century, but it also contains the interesting remains of an early Norman building, probably a hall or chapel, built largely of herring-bone work; this is the building which has been so positively asserted to be a Saxon palace. But herring-bone masonry, which used to be thought an infallible sign of Saxon work, is now found to be more often Norman. The building is certainly
| Edred granted "to the religious woman, Elfthryth,” supposed to be the Abbess of Shaftesbury, “pars telluris Purbeckinga," which would include Corfe. Mon. Ang., ii., 478.
2 Both these kings spent large sums on Corfe Castle. See the citations from the Pipe Rolls in Hutchins' Dorset, vol. i., and in Mr Bond's History of Corfe Castle.
3 See Professor Baldwin Brown's paper in the Journal of the Institute of British Architects, Third Series, ii., 488, and Mr Micklethwaite's in Arch.