« PreviousContinue »
ancient walls were certainly only of earth and wood, for a writ of 1231 says that the old stockade and the old bretasche of the old ditch of the town of Shrewsbury are to be granted to the burghers for strengthening the new ditch."
The castle of Shrewsbury was built on the neck of the peninsula on which the town stands, and on the line of the town walls. The oval motte, which still remains, stands, as usual, on the line of the castle banks, and slopes steeply down to the Severn on one side. Its nearness to the river made it liable to damage by floods. Thus we find Henry II. spending 51. on the repair of the motte, and in Edward I.'s reign the abbot's mill is accused of having caused damage to the extent of 60 marks to the motte. But the men of the hundred exonerate the mill, and from another passage the blame appears to lie on the fall of a great wooden tower. This can hardly have been other than the wooden keep on the motte, and thus we learn the interesting fact that as late as Edward I.'s reign the castle of Shrewsbury
i Mandatum est vicecomiti Salopie quod veterem palum et veterem bretaschiam de vetere fossato ville Salopie faciat habere probos homines ville Salopie ad novum fossatum ejusdem ville, quod fieri fecerant, efforci. andum et emendendum. Close Rolls, 1231, p. 508. The honest men of the city are also to have “palum et closturam” from the king's wood of Liche. wood "ad hirucones circa villam Salopie faciendas ad ipsam villam claudendam.” Ibid. Hirucones are the same as heritones or hericias, a defence of stakes on the counterscarp of the ditch.
? "In op. castelli de Salopbe in mota 5l.” Pipe Rolls, 19 Henry II.,
S“Dampnum mote castri Salopp’ad valenciam 60 marcarum, sed non recolligunt totum evenisse propter molendinum abbatis Salopp', quia 30 annis elapsis mota castri fuit fere deteriorata sicut nunc est.” Hundred Rolls, ii., 80. “Dicunt quod unus magnus turris ligneus (sic) qui ædificatur in castro Salopp'corruit in terram tempore domini Uriani de S. Petro tunc vicecomitis, et meremium ejus turris tempore suo et temporibus aliorum vicecomitum postea ita consumitur et destruitur quod nihil de illo remansit, in magnum damnum domini Regis et deteriorationem eiusdem castri.” Ibid., p. 105.
had only a wooden keep. The present tower on the motte is the work of Telford.
The bailey of Shrewsbury Castle is roughly semilunar and covers nearly an acre. The walls stand on banks, which shows that the first wall was of timber. The Norman entrance arch seems to render it probable that it was in Henry II.'s reign that stone walls were first substituted for a wooden stockade, and the Pipe Rolls contain several entries of sums spent by Henry on this castle.' But the first mention of stone in connection with the castle is in the reign of Henry III. In the reign of Edward I., a jarola or wooden wall, which had been raised above the outer ditch in the time of the Barons' War, was replaced by a stone wall. This perhaps refers to the second bailey, now destroyed, which lay to the south of the castle. In the time of Charles I. the castle still had a wooden palisade on the counterscarp of the ditch. The two large drum towers on the walls, and the building between them, now converted into a modern house, belong to a much later period than the walls. The area of the present castle, including the motte, is şof an acre.
The value of the town of Shrewsbury had risen since the Conquest.
SKIPSFA, Yorks (Fig. 31).—There is no mention of this castle in Domesday Book, but the chronicle of Meaux Abbey tells us that it was built by Drogo de
1 Pipe Rolls, 11 Henry II., p. 89; 12 Henry II., p. 59; 14 Henry II., p. 93; 15 Henry II., p. 108; 20 Henry II., p. 108.
Payment to those who dig stone for the castle of Shrewsbury, Close Rolls, i., 622b. This is in 1224. There is also a payment of sol. for works at the castle in 1223. Ibid., 533b.
3 Hundred Rolls, ii., 80. A jarola or garuillum is a stockade; apparently derived from a Gallic word for oak, and
thus correspond to an oak paling. See Ducange.
+ Owen and Blakeway's History of Shrewsbury, i., 450.
Bevrère in the reign of William 1.' This chronicle is not indeed contemporary, but its most recent editor regards it as based on some much earlier document. It was the key of the great manor of Holderness, which the Conqueror had given to Drogo, but which Drogo forfeited by murdering his wife, probably on this very site. The situation of Skipsea is remarkable, but the original plan of Kenilworth Castle presented a close parallel to it. The motte, which is 46 feet high, and
of an acre in space on top, is separated from the bailey by a level space, which was formerly the Mere of Skipsea, mentioned in documents of the 13th century, which reckon the take of eels in this mere as a source of revenue. The motte thus formed an island in
? the mere, but as an additional defence—perhaps when the mere began to get shallow-it was surrounded by a bank and ditch of its own. No masonry is to be seen on the motte now, except a portion of a wing wall going down it. It is connected with its bailey on the other side of the mere by a causeway which still exists. This bailey is of very unusual size, covering 84 acres; its banks still retain the name of the Baile Welts, and
of the entrances is called the Baile Gate. Skipsea Brough, which no doubt represents the former burgus of Skipsea, is outside this enclosure, and has no defences of its own remaining. A mandate of Henry III. in 1221, ordered the complete destruction of this castle, and it was no doubt after this that the earls of Albemarle, who had succeeded to Drogo's estates, removed their caput baronia to Burstwick.*
1 Chronicon de Melsa, R, S. See Preface, p. Ixxii. 2 Yorks Inquisitions (Yorks Rec. Ser.), i., 83. 3 Rot. Lit. Claus., i., 474b. 4 Poulson's History of Holderness, i., 457.