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Warwick castle Coursework

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Introduction

Warwick Castle Coursework How typical of castles in general was the development of Warwick castle between 1068 and 1485 and does this development justify the guidebooks description of Warwick as "the finest Medieval castle in England"? In 1068 William the conqueror wanted to consolidate the Norman conquest here in the midlands and north of England, but first it was Ethelfreda, daughter of Alfred the Great who built the first castle at Warwick. Warwick castle was built by River Avon, this overlooks the surrounding town Warwick. The castle William built at Warwick had four stages of development. The first castle at Warwick was built in 914, this was a 'burth' or an earthen rampart to protect the small hill top settlement of Warwick. The next stage was built in 1068 and this was a Motte and Bailey castle. After finding wood had many weaknesses, by 1260 it had been replaced by stone and also had a 'shell keep'. The final stage of development was that the castle had been reinforced with everything in the castle being made with stone or things that were already made out of stone were strengthened with extra stone and also extra towers. When answering the question I will describe each stage of development in Warwick castle, and also I will compare how typical Warwick castle was compared to other castles of the same time. ...read more.

Middle

They were introduced to some castles purely as protection against any attackers. The stone square-keep was the last line of defence, this meant that the attackers had to exude most of their energy just to get to the square-keep, and then they had to take on the strongest part of the castle. The spiral staircase inside the square-keep was also designed with defensive purposes in mind, the way the stair case was set up gave advantages to the person fighting downwards. The person fighting downwards could fight easily with their right hand and the person fighting upwards would find it difficult to fight with their right hand. This was useful as most people are right handed. Warwick castle fell behind the other castles as it didn't have a square-keep castle. Many other castles had a stone square-keep castle so Warwick began to fall behind them. These are the castles that had a stone square-keep and when they were built; Rochester in 1127, Dover in 1180s and Corfe castle in 1189. The fact that other castles were improving their strength and Warwick castle wasn't means that I think that Warwick castle wasn't the finest castle at this point in time. In 1264 Simon de Monfort successfully attacked Warwick's and Rochester's castles. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rochester was severely damaged, but still managed to hold out. Dover can to the brink of falling in 1216 but it managed to hold out when it was besieged. Warwick was the only one out of the three to be successfully attacked and to have fallen. This shows that Warwick wasn't the best fortress. Throughout the time in history (1068-1485) that castles were useful as a fortress in battle Warwick castle followed many of the new ideas used to develop the castle. Warwick was both typical and untypical of castles throughout different times in history. The main change that Warwick castle never made was turning the castle into a concentric castle. The claim the guidebook makes that Warwick castle is the 'finest Medieval castle in England'. This claim would attract more tourists, whether they actually believe the statement is true or not is another matter. Warwick castle in my opinion is the most attractive looking castle in England, this is probably because they spent more money on looks rather than especially when Mauduit was in charge and done very little to prepare for the siege that was coming in the near future. The castle also spent a fair sum of money on the living conditions. I think to be the finest castle in England you have to do more than just look attractive so this is why I disagree with the statement that Warwick castle is the 'finest Medieval castle in England'. ...read more.

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