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The Tower of London

 

English



The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror. William believed that building castles and forts everywhere was vital for his success in England. In just a couple of years, he built more than 40 castles; The Tower of London included. William took advantage of an old Roman wall to build the most magnificent edifice that England has ever seen.

The Tower of London was originally built as a means of defense against a possible Danish attack to London's trade route in the river. It was also meant to show England its own power. Even though it wasn't designed as a palace, numerous kings and queens spent a considerable amount of time in the castle; specially in times of war in which it would prove to be a formidable stronghold.

Protected by the Roman wall to the East and South, by an enormous ditch to the West, by the river and by its walls; the Tower of London is one of the strongest castles ever built. William of Normandy rebuilt his older timber castle with stone. By 1078 the construction started, making the castle up to a hundred feet high in some places. The building took more than 20 years to complete.

Originally meant as a defensive position, The Tower of London suffered many changes throughout history. It was the home of nobles, the tomb of kings, a place for celebrities; and more recently, a prison. Its dungeons were very efficient to hold inmates.

Many monarchs strengthened the tower somehow; some of them built new rooms and towers to make it even better. The old Roman wall suffered many changes as well; some notorious ones include an increase in its height and width; making the castle possess many lines of defense against a possible attack.



The castle can be seen today and millions of tourists a year see the might of the world expressed in a building; The Tower of London.

Windsor Castle

 

English

Located in England, this glorious castle was built by William the Conqueror to protect London from its enemies. Windsor castle is famous for being the longest inhabited castle ever built; from a thousand years ago, the castle has been continuously a stronghold for nobles and monarchs.

In 1170, Henry II rebuilt it. Its wooden walls and towers were re-made with stone. This castle was used a command center to control much of Britain. Even today, we can see its magnificence; not only because of its size, but of the way it's built. It isn't only a very strong castle, it is a very luxurious one as well.



British Castles - Castles of England

English castles were very strongly built. Their origins date back to William the Conqueror when he built the first castles. The most remarkable one is the Tower of London which embraces might to whoever glances at the magnificently built stronghold.

Of course hundreds of British castles exist and most of them can be visited today. Unfortunately, not all as many have been subject to devastating attacks which have left them in ruins.

For more information about British castles, look at these two amazing resources:

http://www.medieval-castles.org/castles/British_castles.htm

http://medieval-castles.org/blog/index.php?cat=22

British castles were built not only to defend England against foreign invasions - but also to inspire power among the peasants who inhabited that place.

Castles in England were firstly built to prevent Viking invasions - and later on to prevent the French from invading a given part of England.

Scotland also possessed a threat against the British instability, and it wasn't until the Scottish independence when this took a very noticeable effect.

The Battle of Bannockburn ir of course a great way to see this as the Scottish stole many English castles and proclaimed them their own - winning many dicisive victories - and in the case of the Battle of Bannockburn, expanding its own power.

This all shows us what castles were really used for - to control land, show power and defend a given country. In the case of British castles, this was no exception as so many were built that England proved to be undefeatable even after the Middle Ages and even later! In times of Hitler when mighty castles were once again used as defensive posts to make military tactics beneath the castles' tunnels.

Avignon - Vaucluse - Castle, France

This medieval castle was built in France because the pope was exiled to France.

Avignon Castle

Avignon Castle was very luxurious. It also features an assymetrical style in which buildings were arranged in an ordered way.

Many gargoyles can be seen in the exterior of the castle's walls. Additionally, Avignon castle is a combination of French and Italian style which made it a very strong fortification.

Lindisfarne, Northumberland

This medieval castle is located in the Holy Island. It can be seen from many kilometers around and it was mainly built to inspire power - and against Viking invasions.

At first, monks built an abbey in the Holy Island. Nevertheless, continous Viking invasions forced the monks to flee the abbey. Years later, builders used the stone from the abbey to build the castle that we can now see today.

This castle is in ruins at the moment. Nevertheless, it is now owned by the National Trust.

A picture of the lindisfarne castle:



Two things are conspicuous:

1) The castle can be only accessed during low tide as it has water all around it.

2) The castle was built in a very strategic position next to the sea from which defending against the Vikings was a seemingly easy task.

Many people consider this castle to be very romantic - but it is too damaged to even have an objective comparison.

Dover Kent

This ancient fortification is located in Dover. This castle used a concentric style in which many walls protected each other as you can see in the Medieval Timeline.

This castle was a real fortress as it was made over many centuries. You can view where it is located in the following map:



As you can see, it featured an strategic position in England. At first, it worked against French invasions, but later on; during World War Two, it was used as a command post for the allies.

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