British Fortifications Through the Reign of Richard III

An Illustrated History


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About the Book

From the time the Romans first set foot on England’s shore in 55 B.C., the British Isles have faced a constant threat of foreign invasion. As a result, the landscapes of England, Scotland, and Ireland are dotted with ancient defensive fortifications as varied as their makers. Iron Age Celtic “hill forts,” Roman castra and Hadrian’s Wall, Anglo-Saxon dykes and Alfredian burhs, Norman mottes and stone-keeps, Edwardian castles, Irish tower houses—they all served to repel ancient intruders and many still stand as tangible relics of a remarkable past.
This study chronicles the development of British fortifications from prehistoric times through the end of Richard III’s reign in 1485, providing the history of each type of structure, relevant examples, and information on weapons and siege warfare. More than 250 illustrations vividly detail each ediface’s construction and configuration.

About the Author(s)

Historian, writer and illustrator Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage is the author of numerous books. His interests include World War II and medieval and French history. He lives in Groningen, Netherlands.

Bibliographic Details

Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 318
Bibliographic Info: 280 illustrations, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5918-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6254-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

Part 1. Prehistoric Fortifications

The Celts      5

Hill Forts and Oppida      8

Hill Forts in England and Wales      25

Hill Forts in Scotland      25

Hill Forts in Ireland       33

Other Forms of Fortifications      38

Aftermath      51

Part 2. Roman Fortifications in Britain A.D. 43–409BR>
The Roman Empire and Its Army      53

Roman Engineering Corps       55

Britannia      62

Camps and Forts      64

Roman Urban Fortifications       89

Part 3. Early Medieval Fortifications A.D. 409–1066

Anglo- Saxon Invasion      99

Danish Invasions      102

Dikes       104

Burhs       108

Siege Warfare      115

Aftermath      116

Part 4. Norman Castles 1066–1154

The Normans and England      117

Norman Military Architecture      122

Motte- and- Bailey Castles      124

Shell- Keeps      129

Stone Keeps      133

Aftermath      158

Part 5. Early Plantagenet Fortifications 1154–1327

Historical Background      161

Siege Warfare      173

Evolution of Castles in the 12th and 13th Centuries      178

Edwardian Castles      202

Aftermath      230

Part 6. Late Plantagenet Fortifications 1327–1485

Historical Background      231

Development of Castles in the 14th and 15th Centuries      238

Urban Fortifications      252

Tower Houses in the North      281

Conclusion       291

Appendix 1: Maps of the Main Castles in the British Isles      295

Appendix 2: Conservation Organizations      301

Appendix 3: Kings and Queens (from A.D. 802 to 1485)      304

Bibliography      305

Index      307

Book Reviews & Awards

“provides a detailed look at historical compounds and castles from the prehistoric era through the fifteenth century”—SciTech Book News.