« PreviousContinue »
double bend of the river Wensum, partly in a district lying south-west of this peninsula, and defended by a ridge of rising ground running in a north-easterly direction. The castle was placed on the edge of this ridge, and all the oldest part of the town, including the most ancient churches, lies to the east of it. In the conjectural map of Norwich in 1100, given in Woodward's History of Norwich Castle, the street called Burg Street divides the Old Burg on the east from the New Burg on the west ; this street runs along a ridge which traverses the neck of the peninsula from southwest to north-east, and on the northern end of this ridge the castle stands. There can be little doubt that this street marks the line of the burh or enclosing bank by which the primitive town of Norwich was defended.* A clear proof of this lies in the fact that the castle of Norwich was anciently not in the jurisdiction of the city, but in that of the county; the citizens had no authority over the houses lying beyond the castle ditches until it was expressly granted to them by Edward III. The mediæval walls of Norwich, vastly extending the borders of the city, were not built till Henry III.'s reign.
The motte of Norwich Castle, according to recent 1 Harrod's Gleanings among Castles, p. 142. 2 The authorities from which this map is compiled are not given.
3 The “new borough” at Norwich was the quarter inhabited by the Normans. D. B., ii., 118. “Franci de Norwich: in novo burgo 36 burgenses et 6 Anglici.” Mr Hudson says that Mancroft Leet corresponds to the new burgh added to Norwich at the Conquest. See his map in Arch. Journ., xlvi.
- Norwich was not a Roman town ; see Haverfield, Vict. Hist. of Norfolk, i., 320. But the Roman road from Caistor passed exactly underneath the castle motte. Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ., xlvi., Rev. H. Dukinfield Astley.
5 Harrod's Gleanings among Castles, p. 137.
6 Mon. Ang., iv., 13. In 37 Henry III. the monks of Norwich Priory received "licentiam includendi eandem villam cum fossis," and by doing this they enclosed the lands of other fees.
investigations, is entirely artificial;' it was originally square, and had “a prodigious large and deep ditch around it."? The fancy of the antiquary Wilkins that the motte was the centre of two concentric outworks was completely disproved by Mr Harrod, who showed that the original castle was a motte with one of the ordinary half-moon baileys attached. Another ward, called the Castle Meadow, was probably added at a later date. The magnificent keep which now stands on the motte is undoubtedly a work of the 12th century. The castle which Emma, wife of Earl Ralf Guader, defended against the Conqueror after the celebrated bride-ale of Norwich was almost certainly a wooden structure. As late as the year 1172 the bailey was still defended by a wooden stockade and wooden bretasches ;' and even in 1225 the stockade had not been replaced by a stone wall.®
Norwich was a royal castle, and consequently always in the hands of the sheriff; it was never the property of the Bigods. As the fable that extensive lands belonging to the monastery of Ely were held on the tenure of castle guard at Norwich before the Conquest is repeated by all the local historians, it is worth while
1 Arch. Journ., xlvi., 445.
Kirkpatrick's Notes of Norwich Castle, written about 1725. He states that the angles of the motte had been spoilt, and much of it fallen away.
3 Archeologia, vol. xii.
4 Mr Hartshorne thought it was built between 1120 and 1125. Arch. Journ., xlvi., 260. It is certainly not as late as Henry II.'s reign, or the accounts for it would appear in the Pipe Rolls. 6 Pipe Rolls, 19 Henry 11., p. 117. In reparatione pontis lapidei et
II. palicii et 3 bretascharum in eodem castello, 20l. 45. 8d.
6 Close Rolls, ii., 22. Order that the palicium of Norwich Castle, which has fallen down and is threatened with ruin, be repaired.
? Kirkpatrick, Notes on Norwich Castle.
8 Except Kirkpatrick, who shows a judicious scepticism on the subject. Ibid., p. 248.
to note that the charters of Henry I. setting the convent free from this service, make no allusion to any such ancient date for it,' and that the tenure of castle guard is completely unknown to the Anglo-Saxon laws. The area of the inner bailey is 34 acres, and that of the outer, 43 acres. The value of Norwich had greatly risen since the Conquest.?
NOTTINGHAM (Fig. 22).—This important castle is not mentioned in Domesday Book, but the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that William I. built the castle at Nottingham in 1067, on his way to repress the first insurrection in Yorkshire. Ordericus, repeating this statement, adds that he committed it to the keeping of William Peverel. The castle was placed on a lofty headland at some distance from the Danish borough, and between the two arose the Norman borough which is mentioned in Domesday Book as the novus burgus. The two upper wards of the present castle probably represent William's plan. The upper ward forms a natural motte of rock, as it is 15 feet higher than the bailey attached to it, and has been separated from it by a ditch cut across the rocky headland, which can still be traced below the modern house which now stands on the motte. Such a site was only treated as a motte, but was actually called by that name, as we read of the mota of Nottingham Castle in the Pipe Rolls of both John's and Richard I.'s reigns.
Mr Clark published a bird's-eye view of Nottingham Castle in his Mediæval Military Architecture, about which he only stated that it was taken from the Illustrated London News. It does not agree with the
D. B., ii., 117.
i Mon. Ang., i., 482. 3 Ordericus, ii., 184.