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"The castle today is a ruin, it is therefore of very little use to any historian studying castles." Discuss.

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Introduction

G.C.S.E Coursework- Kenilworth Castle Assignment 1a "The castle today is a ruin, it is therefore of very little use to any historian studying castles." Discuss. After having visited Kenilworth castle and through my general readings and investigative studies I do not agree with the hypothesis above and I will attempt to argue against this statement. Although the castle is a ruin there is a great deal of structural evidence which historians find relevant in determining the usefulness of castles and how they were used before they became a ruin. Therefore, throughout my project I'm going to explain why I don't agree with this hypothesis. In this section, I will be analysing the different buildings within the castle explaining what is left of the building, what is missing from the building and what the building was used for during the medieval period. The Keep at Kenilworth Castle was the main means of defence. It is known as the Norman keep as it was the Normans who built it. The keep contained three large floors with the top floor being a fighting gallery, which is the area that has a lot of arrow slits. The top floor was used as the fighting gallery as you could see for miles around and you could spot your enemy early. The keep is large and oblong in shape and is made out of stone. At Kenilworth you can still see the basic structure of the building. All around the keep the thickness of the walls is impressive this was another feature of its impeccable defence. The keep rises from a plinth and slopes around the back to a considerable height this was to make it difficult to attack. When at the castle I realised that there were several things missing from the keep that would have normally be present. At the castle there were several internal walls and beams missing. ...read more.

Middle

A typical day at Kenilworth castle The day would begin early in the morning for the servants, as they went around the castle making sure fires were lit and meals had begun to be prepared. As soon as the lord and his lady had awoken, chambermaids entered the chambers to sweep, empty chamber pots and wash basins. After breakfast the lord would begin his daily business. People living within the castle * The owners and his/her family ( Usually a lord) * Chambermaids- Looks after the bedrooms * Ladies-in-waiting- Looked after the lady of the house * Chamberlain- In charge of the great chamber or hall * The chaplain- In charge of the wardrobe * The butler * The cook * The chandler- Made candles * The Marshal- In charge of the stables * Spinners, weavers and embroiders * A porter- Tended the main door All these people and more made up a large community to make the life of a castle extremely busy. The lady of the castles day was catered for by her ladies-in-waiting, most of her day was spent supervising sewers and kitchen staff. It was also the lady's duty to educate young children which consisted of religion, reading, music and dance. From visiting the castle I feel that Kenilworth shows a lot about what castles were like in the past, from visiting the castle you gain a lot of knowledge and understanding about castle life. This is why reconstructionists enjoy visiting the castle, reconstructionists are people who enjoy visiting the past, they do this by dressing up as people from the middle ages. Tourists gain a lot from visiting the castle. Novels are the main reason why people are drawn to Kenilworth, a number of novelists have written great stories about the castle with Sir Walter Scott's novel named "Kenilworth" being one of the most famous. It is about a romantic affair between Sir Robert Dudley one of the owners of the castle and Elizabeth I. ...read more.

Conclusion

In this section I will try to answer this. It is clear to say that Ivan Lapper used a lot of different sources to paint his image of the castle. Here is some of the sources where artists may get information from. 1. Documentary evidence- Artists will use written evidence to help create the image in which they wish to create. They will use accounts written in the time period, this is quite a reliable source as this is hands on information from a person who would have had plenty of knowledge from that time. 2. Site evidence- Visiting the actual place the artist is trying to create is one of the best ways of painting their picture, remains of a site can show you a what could have been image. 3. Comparison with similar sites- If an artist can gain a lot more information from a similar site then it could be well worth their while to use this. 4. Maps and landscapes- These would be helpful as they would have given a rough indication of the size of the site and it would also help if you was drawing a picture from birds eye view. 5. Guess work- Finally a certain amount of guess work goes into an interpretation of a site. Ivan Lapper used trees and grass to fill out his images to make them look more convincing, these fill out the image and makes the image look less plain. When concluding Ivan Lappers work I feel that it was extremely reliable and his interpretation is probably true of the times. The present castle in it's state would have been a great help to Ivan when he was creating his images, ruins can give us a good indication of how things were like in the past as you could get a feel of how a big a room is, you can get an obvious view of the layout and where things were and you could probably even make out how well built the buildings were and what they were made out of. Daniel Brown 11G History coursework- Kenilworth castle 1 ...read more.

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