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How and why has Lincoln Castle changed from 1068 to the present day?

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Introduction

How and why has Lincoln Castle changed from 1068 to the present day? Lincoln Castle was built by William the conqueror in 1068. William thought that it was an ideal site to build a castle on because it was previously a Roman fort and had a good view of the surrounding areas and approaches. The castle was also a previous site for a Roman fort and Fosse way was easy to see from the castle, as was the River Witham. Ermine Street ran right through the castle walls. The changes made to the castle since 1068 are extensive and they have been made for a variety of reasons. New buildings have been added and these too have changed use and purpose over the years. From the castle you could see for 25 miles and communications by road were very good. It was very difficult to attack, as you had to ascend a steep hill before you even got to the main castle gates. ...read more.

Middle

The floor of the top storey was now the roof of Cobb Hall and was used for hangings. This changed yet again in the 18th century when the roof was used for public hangings. Observatory Tower The Observatory Tower was originally built in the twelfth century as a point to be able to see from, a lookout point and a home for Ranolph of Chester. It was built as a more secure keep than the Lucy Tower, as this was just an original shell keep. The Observatory Tower and its motte is what makes Lincoln Castle so special. It is the only castle with two mottes. When the civil war ended and Ranolph felt more safe he moved back into the bailey and the Observatory Tower had little purpose other than being a lookout point. The Observatory Tower was built in a way that is different to how a similar structure would be built today. Firstly a tower was built from ground level and then a mound was added to form the motte. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the castle yet again changed use in the 17th century, the big bulky towers became impractical for the new purpose and were taken down. The new purpose, prison meant that prison vehicles had to be let in and out of the gates, and the barbican towers prevented this. As a result the towers were removed, they no longer served a great defence purpose and they were getting in the way. Remains of the towers can still be seen on the floor outside the castle, big, round brick foundations. The Bailey This would have been the main part of the castle where most of the normal life within a castle would have taken place for people. The bailey has changed extensively since the castle was built, both in structure and purpose. When the castle was first built, there would have been houses in the bailey, along with all necessary amenities to keep people living in the castle alive and healthy. Since then it changed to a prison courtyard and then the red brick building that was the actual prison changed use yet again to the home of the Magna Carta. ...read more.

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