« PreviousContinue »
an ancient one, and may possibly have been contemporary with the first Norman castle; its details are unmistakably Norman. But very likely it was the only Norman masonry of the 11th century at Corfe Castle.1 It is clear that the stone wall which at present surrounds the western bailey did not exist when the hall (or chapel) was built, as it blocks up its southern windows. Probably there was a palisade at first on the edge of Palisades still formed part of the defences of the castle in the time of Henry III., when 62. was paid "for making two good walls in place of the palisades at Corfe between the old bailey of the said castle and the middle bailey towards the west, and between the keep of the said castle and the outer bailey towards the south."2 This shows that the present wing-walls down from the motte were previously represented by stockades. The ditch between the keep and the southern bailey has been attributed to King John, on the strength of an entry in the Close Rolls which orders fifteen miners and stone-masons to work on the banks of the ditch in 1214. But we may be quite certain that this ditch below the motte belonged to the original plan of the castle; John's work would be either to line it with masonry, or to enlarge it. It is not without significance for the early history of the castle that Durandus the carpenter held the manor of Mouldham near Corfe, by the service of finding a carpenter to work at the keep whenever required."
The area of Corfe Castle, if we include the large
Journ., liii., 338; also Professor Baldwin Brown's remarks on Corfe Castle in The Arts in Early England, ii., 71.
1 There are other instances in which the chapel is the oldest piece of mason-work about the castle, as, for example, at Pontefract.
2 Cited in Hutchins' Dorset, i., 488, from the Close Rolls.
3 Close Rolls, i., 178b.
+ Hutchins' Dorset, i., 488.
southern bailey, is 3 acres; without it, 1 acres. This bailey was certainly in existence in the reign of Henry III. (as the extract from the Close Rolls proves) before the towers of superb masonry were added to it by Edward I.
The value of Kingston Manor had considerably increased at the date of the Survey. After the Count of Mortain forfeited his lands (in 1105), the castle of Corfe was kept in the hands of the crown, and this increases the probability that the keep was built by Henry I.
About 400 yards S.W. of Corfe Castle is an earthwork which might be called a "Ring and Bailey." Instead of the usual motte there is a circular enclosure, defended by a bank and ditch of about the same height as those of its bailey, but having in addition an interior platform or berm. This work is probably the remains of a camp thrown up by Stephen during his unsuccessful siege of Corfe Castle in 1139.
DOVER, Kent (Fig. 14).-The Norman historian, William of Poitiers, tells us that the castrum of Dover was built by Harold at his own expense.' This comes from the celebrated story of the oath of Harold to William, a story of which Mr Freeman says that there is no portion of our history more entangled in the mazes of contradictory and often impossible statements. But let us assume the statement about the castrum to be true; the question then to be answered is this: of what nature was that castrum? We never are told by English chroniclers that Harold built any castles, though we do hear of his fortifying towns.
1 Castrum Doveram, studio atque sumptu suo communitum. P. 108. Eadmer makes Harold promise to William "Castellum Dofris cum puteo aquæ ad opus meum te facturum." Hist. Novorum, i., d. The castle is not mentioned in Domesday Book. 2 Norman Conquest, iii., 217.
writer would answer this question, tentatively indeed, and under correction, by the theory that the castrum constructed or repaired by Harold was the present outer rampart of Dover Castle, which encloses an area of about 34 acres, and may have enclosed more, if it was formerly complete on the side towards the sea.1 The evidence in support of this theory is as follows:
1. There certainly was a burh on the top of the cliff at Dover in Saxon times, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells us that in 1048 Eustace of Boulogne, after coming to Dover, and slaying householders there, went up to the burh, and slew people both within and without, but was repulsed by the burh-men. There was then a burh, and valiant burh-men on the cliff at Dover in Edward the Confessor's reign. But the whole analogy of the word burh makes it certain that by the time of Edward it meant a fortified town.3
2. That the burh at Dover was of the nature of a town, with houses in it, is confirmed by the poem of Guy of Amiens, who says that when King William entered the castrum, he ordered the English to evacuate their houses. William of Poitiers also states that there was an
1 In 1580 an earthquake threw down a portion of the cliff on which the castle stands, and part of the walls. Statham's History of Dover, p. 287. 2 "Wendon him tha up to thære burge-weard, and ofslogen ægther ge withinnan ge withutan, ma thanne 20 manna." Another MS. adds "tha burh-menn ofslogen 19 men on othre healfe, and ma gewundode, and Eustatius atbærst mid feawum mannum." 3 See ante, pp. 17-19.
• His description is worth quoting:
Est ibi mons altus, strictum mare, litus opacum,
Clavibus acceptis, rex intrans moenia castri
Præcepit Angligenis evacuare domos ;
Hos introduxit per quos sibi regna subegit,
Unumquemque suum misit ad hospitium.
"Carmen de Bello Hastingensi," in Monumenta Britannica, p. 603.