Page images
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]


king wore his crown once a year, William built, besides the usual wooden keep on the motte, a stone hall in the bailey, of size and dignity corresponding to the new royalty.' In fact, the hall so magnificently transformed by Henry III., and known to be the old hall of the castle, can be seen on careful examination to have still its original Norman walls and other traces of early Norman work. The palace of the Saxon kings stood, where we might expect to find the palace of native princes, in the middle of the city; according to Milner it was on the site of the present Square.3 William may have repaired this palace, but that he constructed two royal houses, a palace and a castle, is highly improbable. The castle became the residence of the Norman kings, and the Saxon palace appears to have been neglected. We see with what caution the Conqueror placed his castle at the royal city of Wessex without the walls. Milner tells us that there was no access to it from the city without passing through the west gate. The motte of the castle appears to have been standing in his time, as he speaks of "the artificial mount on which the keep stands." It is frequently


[ocr errors]

1 It should also be said that the word domus is frequently used for a keep in chronicles and ancient documents of the 11th and 12th centuries.

2 The line of the more ancient roof gable can be traced in the north wall, and there is a vestige of a Norman doorway in the east wall. 3 History of Winchester, ii., 210.

4 Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester and brother of King Stephen, pulled down the royal palace close to the cathedral, which presumably was the old Saxon palace, and used the materials to build Wolvesey Castle. See Malmesbury, "De Vitis Sex Episcoporum," Anglia Sacra, ii., 421. could hardly have dared to do this if the palace had still been used by the Norman kings.

"History of Winchester, ii., 210. See Fig. 37.

6 Ibid., p. 195. It is difficult, now that the area has been levelled, to say exactly where this motte stood. Woodward says that the keep stood in the N.E. corner; but he probably alludes to a mural tower whose foundations can still be seen, near the County Hall. History of Hampshire, i., 295-304.

mentioned in mediæval documents as the beumont or beau mont. It was surrounded by its own ditch.1 The bailey, if Speed's map is correct, was triangular in shape. With its ditches and banks the castle covered 6 acres, according to the commissioners who reported on it in Elizabeth's reign; but the inner area cannot have been more than 4 acres. We may infer from the sums spent on this castle by Henry II., that he was the first to give it walls and towers of stone; the Pipe Rolls show entries to the amount of 1150/. during the course of his reign; the work of the walls is frequently specified, and stone is mentioned.

Domesday Book does not inform us whether the value of Winchester had risen or fallen since the Conquest.

WINDSOR (Fig. 38).-Here we have another of the interesting cases in which the geld due from the tenant. of a manor is lessened on account of a castle having occupied a portion of the land." The Survey tells us that the castle of Windsor sits in half a hide belonging to the manor of Clewer, which had become William's property as part of the spoils of Harold. It was now held of the king by a Norman tenant-in-chief, but whereas it was formerly rated as five hides it was now (that is, probably, since the castle was built) rated as four and a half hides. Of course we are not to suppose

1 Turner, History of Domestic Architecture. He cites from the Liberate Roll, 35 Henry II., an order for the repair of the ditch between the great tower and the bailey.

Heraldus comes tenuit. hidis, et castellum de The Abingdon History

2 "Radulfus filius Seifrid tenet de rege Clivor. Tunc se defendebat pro 5 hidis, modo pro 4 Windesores est in dimidia hida." D. B., i., 62b. also mentions the foundation of Windsor Castle and gives some interesting details about castle guard. "Tunc Walingaforde et Oxenforde et Wildesore, cæterisque locis, castella pro regno servando compacta. Unde huic abbatiæ militum excubias apud ipsum Wildesore oppidum habendas regis imperio jussum." II., 3, R. S.

[graphic][merged small][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small][subsumed]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »