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Did Buckingham build Thornbury Castle, his home, as a palace or a castle for defence?

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Introduction

Thornbury Castle Coursework Thornbury Castle was built by a man called Edward Stafford the Duke of Buckingham and wasn't finished because he was be-headed in 1512 by Henry VIII. It has different features that could show that it was meant for defensive purposes or that it was built as a luxurious palace. The castle has a few arrow slits in the walls and grooves in the gateway, which show that there was intention for a portcullis's. There are also remains of soldiers barracks, which was slightly unusual, as Henry VII had made it illegal to have private armies. There is evidence that Buckingham intended to re-route a nearby stream to make a moat around the gateway to the park. This evidence is supported by John Leland's chronicle called 'Thornbury in the reign of the Tudors' where it says 'There cumithe an Armlet of severne ebbynge and flowing into this parke. Duke Edward had thought to have trenchyd there, and to have brought it up to the castle'. These features show that there may have been an intention for defence and the soldiers barracks show that he wanted an army because his tenants in Wales didn't often pay their rent so he wanted an army to make sure he got his money. ...read more.

Middle

They all have things in common with Thornbury like Deal Castle has thick walls and Thornbury has a few thick walls facing Wales. Hampton Court and Richmond Palace have low walls like a few walls at Thornbury and they have tall chimneys. Thornbury is different to all of the other palaces and castles because it has features of both types. It has a large outer court, portcullises, arrow slits, crenelations, gun ports and low walls. These are features of palaces and castles; neither a castle nor a palace has both in its design. Edward Stafford was considered to be the richest and most powerful man in England next to the King. Some historians believe he wanted to be king as he was next in line after Henry VIII. He was a big show off because of his position in society and brandished his wealth all over the place on large homes luxuries. Because he did all this I think he wanted people to see him as a great man and a sort of role model. The Lords tower and the soldiers barracks were completed fist because Buckingham lived in the Lords tower to oversee the building and the soldiers barracks may have been completed early so he could build up his army. ...read more.

Conclusion

(From Castles in England and Wales by W. Douglas) he says 'I believe it may be true to say that Thornbury was the last English castle to be built with the serious purpose of defence'. Another historian called M.W Simpson says ' the surveyor was actually uncertain whether to call it a manor or a castle.' (From the book 'The Decline of the Castle'). I think that the walls were too low and there were too many windows for it to be defended well. I think he intended to build a palace but added a few precautions incase it fell under attack. I think he built barracks and made an army because his tenants in Wales did not often pay their rent and sometimes got violent. I don't think he intended to seize the throne and kill the King because he already had a claim and it looked as though Henry VIII would not have a son but there is evidence to show he may have been plotting against him. For example Thomas Wolsey told the king that Buckingham was plotting against him. Also above the gateway leading to the inner court there were all of Buckingham's titles including the remains of a plaque, which had been hacked off and may have read 'King of England'. ...read more.

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