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SOME portions of this book have already appeared in print. Of these, the most important is the catalogue raisonné of early Norman castles in England which will be found in Chapter VII., and which was originally published in the English Historical Review (vol. xix., 1904). It has, however, been enlarged by the inclusion of five fresh castles, and by notes upon thirty-four others, of which the article in the Review gave only the names; the historical notes in that essay being confined to the castles mentioned in Domesday Book.
The chapter on Irish mottes appeared in the Antiquary (vol. xlii., 1906), but it has been revised, corrected, and added to. Portions of a still earlier paper, read before the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in March 1900, are incorporated in various parts of the book, but these have been recast in the fuller treatment of the subject which is aimed at here.
The rest of the work is entirely new. No serious attempt had been made to ascertain the exact nature of Saxon and Danish fortifications by a comparison of the existing remains with the historical records which have come down to us, until the publication of Mr Allcroft's valuable book on Earthwork of England.
The chapters on Saxon and Danish earthworks in the present volume were written before the appearance of his book, though the results arrived at are only slightly different.
In Chapter V. an effort is made to trace the first appearance of the private castle in European history. The private castle is an institution which is often carelessly supposed to have existed from time immemorial. The writer contends that it only appears after the establishment of the feudal system.
The favourable reception given by archæologists to the paper read before the Scottish Society led the writer to follow up this interesting subject, and to make a closer study of the motte-castles of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The book now offered is the fruit of eleven years of further research. The result of the inquiry is
to establish the theory advanced in that earlier paper, that these castles, in the British Islands, are in every case of Norman origin.
The writer does not claim to have originated this theory. Dr Round was the first to attack (in the Quarterly Review, 1894) the assertion of the late Mr G. T. Clark that the moated mound was a Saxon castle. Mr George Neilson continued the same line of argument in his illuminating paper on 'The Motes in Norman Scotland" (Scottish Review, vol. xxxii., 1898).1 All that the writer claims is to have carried the contention a stage further, and to have shown that the private castle did not exist at all in Britain until it was brought here by the Normans.
1 Mr W. H. St John Hope arrived independently at similar conclusions.
The author feels that some apology is necessary for the enormous length of Chapter VII., containing the catalogue of Early English castles. It may be urged in extenuation that much of the information it contains has never before appeared in print, seeing that it has been taken from unpublished portions of the Pipe Rolls; further, that contemporary authorities have in all cases been used, and that the chapter contains a mass of material, previously scattered and almost inaccessible, which is here for the first time collated, and placed, as the author thinks, in its right setting. It is hoped that the chapter will prove a useful storehouse to those who are working at the history of any particular castle mentioned in the list.
To many it may seem a waste of labour to devote a whole book to the establishment of a proposition which is now generally adopted by the best English archæologists; but the subject is an important one, and there is no book which deals with it in detail, and in the light of the evidence which has recently been accumulated. The writer hopes that such fuller statement of the case as is here attempted may help not only to a right ascription of British castle-mounds, and of the stone castles built upon many of them, but may also furnish material to the historian who seeks to trace the progress of the Norman occupation.
Students of the architecture of castles are aware that this subject presents much more difficult questions than does the architecture of churches. Those who are seriously working on castle architecture are very few in number, and are as yet little known to the world at
large. From time to time, books on castles are issued from the press, which show that the writers have not even an idea of the preliminary studies without which their work has no value at all. It is hoped that the sketch of castle architecture from the 10th century to the 13th, which is given in the last chapter, may prove a useful contribution to the subject, at any rate in its lists of dated castles. The Pipe Rolls have been too little used hitherto for the general history of castle architecture, and no list has ever been published before of the keeps built by Henry II. But without the evidence of the Pipe Rolls we are in the land of guesswork, unsupported, as a rule, by the decorative details which render it easy to read the structural history of most churches.
My warmest thanks are due to Mr Duncan H. Montgomerie, F.S.A., for his generous labour on the plans and illustrations of this book, and for effective. assistance in the course of the work, especially in many toilsome pilgrimages for the purpose of comparing the Ordnance Survey with the actual remains. I also owe grateful thanks to Mr Goddard H. Orpen, R.I.A., for most kindly revising the chapter on Irish mottes; to Mr W. St John Hope (late Assistant Secretary of the Society of Antiquaries), for information on many difficult points; to Mr Harold Sands, F.S.A., whose readiness to lay his great stores of knowledge at my disposal has been always unfailing; to Mr George Neilson, F.S.A.Scot., for most valuable help towards my chapter on Scottish mottes; to Mr Charles Dawson, F.S.A., for granting the use of his admirable photographs from the Bayeux Tapestry; to Mr Cooper, author of the
History of York Castle, for important facts and documents relating to his subject; to the Rev. Herbert White, M.A., and to Mr Basil Stally brass, for reports of visits to castles; and to correspondents too numerous to mention who have kindly, and often very fully, answered my inquiries.
ELLA S. ARMITAGE.
WESTHOLM, RAWDON, LEEDS.