Page images

mercenaries instead of tribesmen, and had to maintain his settlement by force.

But why should not the invader be Saxon or Dane? The author answers this in Chapter II., showing that the Anglo-Saxon did not build castles. Their fortification were burhs, protective enclosures, fortified towns, designed for the community, not for the individual, corresponding to, but something more (as belonging to a more advanced state of society) than the prehistoric or British camp of refuge. They were towns where the people lived permanently or for daily work, and a fostering seat for trade and manufactures. The Danish camps, again, were without citadels, enclosures of large area, much resembling the larger Roman Castra, and like these frequently grew into towns, and they were emphatically the fortified places of the community.

In Chapter V., the origin of "private castles," the castle of the lord, not of the people, is discussed, the first instance on record belonging to the middle of the 10th century, coinciding in point of time with the introduction of the Feudal System. Chapter VI. treats of the distribution and characteristics of Motte-Castles (motte and bailey). Their position is different from that of prehistoric fortresses. They were almost invariably placed in arable country, not in isolated situations, but in the immediate neighbourhood of towns or villages. One rare instance to the contrary is that on the top of Hereford Beacon, probably constructed there by the Bishop of Hereford in the 13th century to protect his game from the Earl of Gloucester. They are found either on or near Roman or other ancient roads, or on navigable rivers. They were not dependent on a spring or stream of water, but had wells excavated in the mottes.

An interesting description (written c. 1194) of a castle in Flanders built in 1117 is quoted to show that these wooden castles were no mere rude sheds for temporary occupation, but were carefully built dwellings designed for permanent residence. "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 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."

Chapter VII. contains an excellent and compact description of the 84 castles built in England in the reigns of William I. and II. Of these 71 have or had mottes; 43 were attached to towns; less than one-third were placed inside Roman walls or Saxon or Danish earthworks of towns, and two-thirds wholly or partly outside these enclosures. The position outside the town indicates, according to the writer, the mistrust of the invader, not the confidence of a native prince. The early Norman castles were very small in area, suitable only for the personal defence of the chieftain with a small force, absolutely unsuitable for a people in the tribal state of development like the ancient Britons, or for a scheme of national defence inaugurated by Alfred and Edward. In this chapter are included descriptions of Abergavenny, Caerleon, Chepstow, Monmouth and Oswestry.

The Motte-castles in N. and S. Wales are described in Chapters VIII. and IX. This type of castle is as common in Wales as in England; in certain districts more so. They were not built, in the first instance, by native inhabitants, because they do not correspond to the state of society in Wales during the Anglo-Saxon period. They were built in furtherance of Norman William's policy of conquering Wales, of which castle-building was an essential feature. Later the Welsh themselves built castles in imitation of the Normans. They are of the Motte-and-bailey type, and prove the adoption by the Welsh of Norman customs. Out of 71 castles built by the Normans 53, or nearly three-fourths, still have mottes, while in the remaining eighteen, either the sites have been so altered as to destroy the original plan, or there is a probability that a motte has formerly existed. In the remaining chapters, instances in Scotland and Ireland are adduced, and an account is given of Keeps of the eleventh century, and those of Henry I. and Henry II.

This review (already lengthy) of a most interesting and suggestive work, admirably illustrated, must be brought to a close. We will only add that Hawarden had undoubtedly a very early castle— Holywell (Haliwell) Castle was certainly not at Basingwerk, but on Castle Hill, if not on Pen y Ball (a suggestive name) just above the town. Dyserth Castle (on the old site) and Castleton, a motte in the grounds of Wentloog Castle, may be added to the list of those not mentioned.

The ditch of Remmi or Remni Castle (p.297) is to be seen in the

grounds of Tredelerch House, on the left bank of the Rumney River, the passage of which it was probably built to guard. Lee (Isca Silurum) gives a sketch of some remains of the two towers of the Norman gateway at the base of the castle mound, Caerleon.

In page 19, Butan porte is not "outside the town" but "outside the gate" foris; p. 37 n., read mansuras; p. 86, Clwyd not Clwydd; p. 260, Aberlleiniog; p. 279, Trefdraeth.


THE HEART OF NORTHERN WALES, AS IT WAS AND AS IT IS By W. BEZANT LOWE, M.A., F.C.S. Pp. 512. (Llanfairfechan : Printed for the Author, 1912.)

WE Congratulate Mr. Bezant Lowe most heartily on the excellent work which he has published on the Archæological and Historical features of the district between Aber and Abergele. He has wisely, in our opinion, resolved to abandon his earlier intention of re-editing Canon Williams' Aberconwy, and to bring out a new work, embodying in it the most important matter already given in the History of Aberconwy, but adding a large amount of fresh information and considerably enlarging the area of the country described.

One result is the valuable account, entirely new, well and fully illustrated, of the Pre-Roman Remains of the Uplands surrounding the heights of Tal y fan (hut circles, tumuli, cists, and encampments), which it is most important to have placed on permanent record.

In this portion of the volume, as well as in the other chapters, there is abundant evidence of most industrious and persevering research. There is, withal, a truly generous acknowledgment of the assistance received from a large body of voluntary workers. Amongst these, special mention should be made of Messrs. G. A. Humphreys, Roger Dawson, and Meredith J. Hughes, each most capable in their several departments. To the first-named we are indebted for several plans of hill fortresses, an account of the Old Architecture of Aberconwy, and the Decorative Plaster work of Plas Mawr, the Bronze Celts and Spearheads found in the district, and the early fonts of Llanrhychwyn, Llanelian, Llangelynin, St. Tudno.

Three chapters are given to the history of Deganwy and its castle, of Conway, the Abbey in its earlier and later situation, the notable persons connected with the old town (John Williams, Archbishop of York, Sir John Owen of Clenennau, Gibson the Sculptor), the Pearling industry, the Holland family.

Some of our readers will be much interested in the description of the Cerrig Saethau (Arrow-Stones) in the Anafon Valley. They are stones marked with grooves, varying from 3 to 10 in. in length, and corresponding with the size of an arrow-head. The length, in many cases, is sufficient for the play of a man's hand, while rubbing

an arrow backwards and forwards. The markings oc cur in groups. One is at Waen y Gors, near a circular encampment. The finest arrow-stone, perhaps, is about 4-mile to the south-west of Camarmaint (Llanfairfechan) on the 800-ft. contour line. On this the grooves are very numerous, about 124, and in the centre, in the direction of the length of the stone, are two exceptionally large grooves, one measuring 2 ft. 11 in. by 1 in. wide. This stone, like the others, is of a very fine grain.

In the Appendices is a useful series of Charters, copied and "extended with unusual correctness, together with pedigrees of the Hollands of Conway and of Denbighshire.

A word of criticism may be allowed of a volume, so admirable and instructive and comprehensive in scope. The glossary of medieval words might well have been omitted. In three or four instances justice is hardly done to the excellent photographic illustrations. That of the effigies in Yspytty Church is disappointing. The volume, with its wealth of material and the 230 illustrations, is worthy of a better binding, and the author might safely have asked twice the price for his creditable venture.


THIS is a new venture, in which it is proposed to publish papers at greater length and less disjointed than has hitherto been possible in the Transactions. The first place in Yr Encilion is given to the Presidential Address, 1911, by Lieut.-General Sir James HillsJohnes, V.C., who takes as his subject "Carmarthen Castle." This is followed by a useful record of "Local Events, 1547-1836," compiled by Rev. G. Eyre Evans from the Corporation Order Books, and a Kalendar of Mayors and Sheriffs. They refer to the several Fraternities in the town: Tanners, Weavers, Tuckers, Cordiners, etc.; the behaviour of Attorneys; provision of Fire-buckets and hooks; punishment in Stocks and Ducking-stool; Salmon killed by the Great Frost of 1683; Troubles about the Town Charter (James II); Master's Salary, 1723, "for teaching poor children to wright, and to teach 'em Arithmetick and Navigation"; Forestalling and Regrating.


THIS excellent little work deals in trustworthy style with Early
Wales; the extent of the Marches; the Policy of Edward I; Ancient
Shires; Origin of the President and Council of Wales; Wales of the
Tudors, Stuarts, and under the Hanoverians.

There are valuable Appendices on the Flemish Colony, the Cantreds of Wales, and brief summaries of the most important unpublished MSS. in private collections.

ROMAN RELICS AT CHESTER. Further discoveries have been made near the Infirmary field during the excavations in connection with the erection of the new hospital buildings. The Chester Courant reports: " By excavations on the site of Bedward Row, adjacent to the Infirmary field, a number of human skeletons have been discovered, and although the orientation was practically east and west, the positions of the bones indicated that the bodies had been very carelessly buried, as in many instances they were partly superimposed. All the evidence pointed to the fact that the remains were of Roman origin, as they were associated especially with the fragments of Roman pottery of some rare and unusual types. Associated with these also was an extensive stratum of charcoal, indicating in all probability the remains of a funeral pyre. On the same site there was also discovered a large clay furnace with a domed cover, the whole measuring 3 ft. 6 in. by 4 ft. The feed-hole had been roughly paved with sandstone slabs, and in the interstices were found the calcined bones of the ox and goat and numerous fragments of pottery. The walls of the furnace had been considerably hardened by the action of the heat. This furnace is of similar type to those which were found Warrington, and which were excavated some few years ago by Mr. Thomas May. It may be interesting to note that these burials, though undoubtedly of Roman origin, were of a slightly different type from those which were found in the Infirmary field, where a greater care had been exercised in the interment."


SECRETARY FOR SOUTH WALES.-At the Annual Meeting held at Cardiff, July 25, Mr. Alfred E. Bowen was unanimously elected Secretary for South Wales, in succession to the Rev. Charles Chidlow (resigned). Subscriptions from all members residing in South Wales and Monmouthshire should henceforward be sent to Alfred E. Bowen, Esq., F.S.A., Castle Vale, Usk, Monmouthshire.

At the same meeting, it was resolved to accept the invitation to hold the Annual Meeting in 1913, in Wiltshire, at Devizes.

MAUMBURY RINGS.--The following notice from The Times will be interesting in view of C.A.A. members' recent visit, in July last, to the Amphitheatre at Caerleon :


"The excavations at Maumbury Rings, the reputed amphitheatre of Roman Dorchester, which were begun in 1908, and continued in 1909 and 1910, but suspended last year, are to be resumed this autumn under the direction of Mr. H. St. George Gray, of Taunton, in connection with the Dorset Field Club.

"It is proposed to continue the examination of the curve of the circular arena along the western side until the excavators reach the rectangular enclosure, supposed to have been a den for the confinement of beasts, which was discovered in the rising ground inside the southern entrance. It will then be seen whether the double

« PreviousContinue »