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It is presumed that such buildings, in the earliest ages of castellated architecture (as regards this country) were merely wooden fabrics; and we have not relics to prove that, even in the reigns now under consideration, they were uniformly constructed of more durable materials. Until the truly splendid style of castellation introduced by the Edwards, these additional buildings appear, indeed, to have been considered as mere excrescences of the structure; and such, unquestionably, they were, while, from the convulsed state of the country, the fortress was in continual danger of attack, and was chiefly viewed as a fortified encampment. Yet, in these extraneous erections, many grand celebrations were probably held; and here must have sojourned such retainers and affianced friends as could not possibly be accommodated within the narrow limits of the keep.
The period at which these auxiliary edifices were first constructed of stone, has not been ascertained in a manner completely satisfactory; but it has been thought, and, perhaps, with correctness, that they were first partially built in so firm a mode in the reign of Henry the First.* Although formed of stone, they were, in general, not calculated for very long duration ; and, when they were deserted, they, in most instances, sank a ready prey to the wear of seasons, and the hands of sordid spoliators. The keep, meanwhile, inteuded for defence, with a slight intermixture of stately arrangement, remained superior to all vicissitudes of weather; and has been ofter seen to deride the efforts of those who were desirous of reducing it to the ground, for the purpose of profiting by its materials,
iug appendage to castles of great extent and magnificence.-A chapel, often' of capacious dimensions, and constructed in a manner equally solid and elegaut, was now deemed necessary to the completion of a noble residence. Instances of such buildings, raised by Anglo-Norman barons, within the em. battled walls of a castle-area, or base-court, may be noticed at Oxford (Beauties for Oxfordshire, p. 74–5.) and at Ludlow (Beauties for Shropshire, p. 251.) A part of the latter chapel is still remaining, and is repre. sented in an engraving, inserted in the Beauties of England for Shropshire. Bishop Gundulph erected, in the Tower of London, "a chapel 55 feet long, with a nave and aisles; tho former 15 feet broad.”
* Vide Munimenta Antiqua, Vol. III. p. 166, and the authority there quoted. Some instances in which these buildings, intended for state and convenience, and evidently forming parts of the stractare unconnected with fortification, still remain, but in a dilapidated condition, occur in the Beau. ties of England for the following counties :-Gloucestershire, p. 719; Hampphire, p. 208; Monmouthshire, p. 143; 174; and 177.
The reign of Stephen is that most celebrated for the erection of castles, during the prevalence of what I have ventured to term the mixed Anglo-Norman style of military architecture. An example of that date is, therefore, presented, as being most likely to convey useful hints of information to the examiner into the castellated antiquities of the 12th century.
The castle of Newark, in Nottinghamshire,* is believed to have been erected by Alexander, the “ munificent bishop of Lincoln;" who, in order to expiate the seeming offence of his fondness for military architecture, built the same number of monasteries as castles, and filled them with religious societies. This castle is now in a state of confused ruin; but here, as in many other fortresses, the original and most important parts of the structure still exist, while many additions in later ages bave sunk under the inroads of time, and scarcely left a fragment to denote their character.
The remains of this building exhibit " a part of the enclosare of a large area, which was an oblong square, situated on an high bank by the side of the river Trent.” The entrance, was, probably, on a fortified line of the area which is now demolished; but the original keep, undoubtedly the chief place of residence, yet remains, and appears to have been placed near the centre of one of the ends of that oblong square which formed the boundary of
• Beauties for Nottinghamshire, p. 233, with an engraved view. The castle of Tiverton, in Devonshire, as described in the Beauties for that county (p. 287–9.) presents, in soine of its parts, an interesting specimen of the style of castellition in the reign of Henry the First.
the fortification. This building, like the defensive outworks, is of an oblong form, and consists of three stories. On the groundfloor are two rooms, neither of which is lighted either by window or loop-hole. Beneath one of these lower rooms was a well for water; and a recess, still preserved, appears to have led down to a close and dismal dungeon.
· The next apartment above, was the first principal room; and, here, “the entrance was by a covered way from the adjoining wall, similar to that of an old Norman castle, the passage being a winding one, by which admission is gained into a small vestibule, wherein still are only two narrow lights, like loop-holes; but from lience, by an arched doorway, is a passage to ihe guard. room, which has two fine arched windows.”
The grand staircase of the keep commences on this floor, and leads to the state-apartments, which are situated immediately above. These were not of extensive dimensions, and were of a chill aspect. The principal room, however, was lighted by a Jarge window, now in ruins, but which appears to have been of a very splendid character.-An outer staircase proceeded from the base of the inner court, straight to the battlements and top of the building, having no communication with the apartments of the keep
At one angle of the oblong outline of fortification, is still remaining a tower, of smaller proportions than the keep, with extremely thick walls, pierced for loops; and it is probable that a similar tower was originally situated at each corner of the for," tress.
In regard to the arts of fortification here practised, it appears that mock arches were constructed on the exterior, for the purpose of deception, as in several castles already noticed; while, in other respects, the buildings exhibit a mixture of the style introduced by the early Normans, with that of the more scientific mode carried to so great a degree of perfection by Bishop Gundulph. Still, the whole fortress would appear to be ill-designed, if compared with prominent examples either of the one style or
the other; and such is often the character of castles erected in King Stephen's reign; many of which were built in haste, and with little evidence of refined skill.
The purpose of such structures being chiefly that of defence in the prosecution of party-quarrels, they may almost be considered as mere fortified camps; and we, consequently, see little attention paid to splendour, or even commodiousness, of internal arrangement, except, in the latter instance, for the accommodation of the military. In succeeding ages, when the times, although still of a troubled complexion, allowed longer intervals of peace, and more rational hopes of security, large additions were frequently made to those castellated structures which became fixed seats of baronial residence. Vestiges of such additional buildings must be discriminated with a careful eye from the plan of the origioal fortress. Such an augmentation is evident here at Newark, in the relics of a great hall, constructed at one of the angles of the outward fortification, and extending far iuto the base-court; baving, beneath, a curious arched vault, supported by a row of pillars in the middle, with loops and embrasares on the side towards the river which flows at the base of these ruins.
The three following may be uoticed anongst the strongest castles erected in the reign of Stephen; Norham, in Northumberland ;* Sheriff-Hutton, in Yorkshire ;t and Brancepeth, in the county palatine of Durham ;which latter fortress is believed to have been built in the early part of Stephen's reign.
The persons most distinguished in history, for the erection of castellated structures, in the reigns of Heory the First, and Stephen, like the illustrious architect of the ages immediately preceding, were ecclesiastics, and of mitred dignity. These were Roger, Bishop of Sarum, and his nephew, Alexander, Bishop of Lincoln. The works ju inilitary architecture of the
• Beauties for Northumberland, p. 225.
- Yorksbire, p. 249.
Durham, p. 200.
former celebrated prelate are conmemorated by several historians, and particularly by William of Malmsbury, a contemporary writer. Unlike Bishop Gundulph, his great predecessor in architectural renown, the structures which he erected were intended for the residence of himself; for the aggrandisement of political strength, and the gratification of personal ambition. He is said to have built, or to have much enlarged, the castles of Malmsbury, De. vizes, Sherborne, and Sarum. The above historian describes these buildings as being “ erected at vast cost, and with surpassing beauty; the courses of stone being so correctly laid, that the joint deceives the eye, and leads it to imagine that the whole wall is composed of a single block.”
In a comment on this passage, presented in Mr. Britton's Architectural Antiquities, it is observed, “ that as such a peculiarity of construction was, at that time, an object of admiration and surprise, we may infer that the mechanical art of masonry was then advanced to a state of excellence which was before un. known. In an age of almost perpetual warfare, strength in buildings is the first object of consideration; and this appears to bave been the chief characteristic of the early Norman structures ; but, during the reign of Henry the First, something like beauty and decoration was aimed at; and the notice which William of Malmsbury takes of the buildings erected by Bishop Poor, clearly ius dicates that some novelty, or extraordinary improvement, was manifested in the architecture of that age.”*
The structures on which is founded the fame of Bishop Roger, as a builder of military edifices, are (with an exception of Sherborne, of which a ruined part remains) so utterly destroyed, that we are unable to appreciate justly the commendation bestowed by William of Malmsbury, his contemporary. But, according to Dr. Maton, as quoted in the Beanties for Dorsetshire, “ the castle of Sherborne was, in every respect, correspondent to the description,” given by that ancient historian; "as we may per
• Architectural Antiquities, Vol, 'II. p. 4