Castles
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09-04-2016, 09:40 AM
Castles
I've always had a fascination with castle ruins. I can't very well miss them in Wales, having more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Evidence of the 200 or so years of near constant fighting between the Welsh and the Normans.

This is the nearest castle to me, Caergwrle, also known as "Queen's Hope". It was the last castle to be built by the Welsh princes before Edward I invaded in 1282. Dafydd ap Gryffydd built it in about 1279... The distinctive feature of Welsh castles being the D shaped towers.

As the Anglo-Norman forces advanced, the garrison chose to burn the castle, and fill in its well, before retreating to the mountains where they could practice guerrilla warfare. Edward I arrived here shortly after, and had the castle's timber structures repaired. But it was again gutted by fire a few years later.

There's a local legend of a giant called Gwrle Gawr who was said to live in its ruins.

[Image: caergwrle.jpg]

[Image: AP_2009_2795]

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09-04-2016, 09:41 AM
RE: Castles
I love old castles. Theres so much mystery to them.
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09-04-2016, 09:45 AM (This post was last modified: 09-04-2016 10:27 AM by unfogged.)
RE: Castles
Ruins always bring up a touch of wistfulness along with the curiosity for me

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Shelly, "Ozymandius"

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09-04-2016, 09:51 AM
RE: Castles
Old castles are beautiful. They always seem so romantic to me. And of course, rich in history.
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09-04-2016, 09:51 AM
Castles
(09-04-2016 09:45 AM)unfogged Wrote:  Ruins always bring up a touch of wistfulness along with the curiosity for me

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Shelly, "Oymandius"


There's another one near me which I'll post up later called Dinas Bran...

The poet Wordsworth described it as...

"Relic of kings, wreck of wars forgot... To the winds abandoned, and the prying stars."

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09-04-2016, 10:04 AM
RE: Castles
I've always liked reading about the ideas and development of castles.

How the laying of the stones got better... and worse... and better again.

How different things developed in response to the different things people worked out in trying to knock the things down etc.

Is an interesting history thing. Smile
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09-04-2016, 10:18 AM
Castles
(09-04-2016 10:04 AM)Peebothuhul Wrote:  I've always liked reading about the ideas and development of castles.

How the laying of the stones got better... and worse... and better again.

How different things developed in response to the different things people worked out in trying to knock the things down etc.

Is an interesting history thing. Smile


In Wales you have an interesting overlap of architecture. Where different sides copied each other's designs.

Early Norman stone castles tend to have square towers, and later ones have round towers. Welsh builders combined both to create apsidal towers. With the stronger rounded side projecting out from the curtain wall, and the weaker square side behind the wall.

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09-04-2016, 12:06 PM
RE: Castles
This is Dinas Bran... About 4 miles south of me. Probably one of my favourites, despite there being very little of it left. The place is heavily associated with the Fisher King story. The Fisher King himself is probably derived from an ancient Celtic deity called Bran the Blessed. It also features in the Fulk Fitzwarine as "Chastile Bran", where it was said to be cursed, and home to a giant named Gogmagog.

The castle was actually built by a chap called Gryffydd Maelor, who was ruler of the ancient kingdom of Powys Fadog, on the site of an Iron Age hillfort. Like Caergwrle, it too was burnt by its own garrison as the Normans advanced into the area. Ornate carvings have been found at the site, which is rare for a Welsh castle, suggesting it was Maelor's royal home.

[Image: tumblr_mby9cwxwg51r0z02ho1_1280.jpg]

A CGI reconstruction.

[Image: 1941743229-Dinas_Bran-6.jpg]

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09-04-2016, 12:26 PM
RE: Castles
This one is quite an interesting one historically. This is about 7 miles north east from me. Its nestled deep within Wepre Woods, quite an odd spot for castle... Its purpose was to defend the river route through the wooded valley. In about 1160 a very bloody battle occurred in the woods between Owain Gwynedd and Henry II. Henry was attempting to outflank the Welsh in order to reach the motte and bailey castle at Twthill, further north. Gwynedd's forces ambushed the king's army in the woods, roughly below where the castle now stands. Henry was apparently very nearly killed, but was dragged away from the battle by one of his knights.

The apsidal keep and upper ward was erected after the battle, to guard the pass through the woods, possibly by Owain Gwynedd, or perhaps later by Llywelyn the Great. The lower ward and round tower seems to have been added at a much later date, probably by his grandson Llywelyn the Last. The curtain walls of the upper and lower wards are notably not keyed together, suggesting they were built at different times. Beyond that, very little is known about the castle... Its only mentioned in historical documents once, in the Chester Plea Rolls from 1311, stating that Llywelyn had built the castle in the woods.

[Image: wp01bffa07_05_06.jpg]

[Image: united_kingdom_050920120717_1.jpg]

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09-04-2016, 12:28 PM
RE: Castles
(09-04-2016 12:06 PM)Sam Wrote:  This is Dinas Bran... About 4 miles south of me. Probably one of my favourites, despite there being very little of it left. The place is heavily associated with the Fisher King story. The Fisher King himself is probably derived from an ancient Celtic deity called Bran the Blessed. It also features in the Fulk Fitzwarine as "Chastile Bran", where it was said to be cursed, and home to a giant named Gogmagog.

The castle was actually built by a chap called Gryffydd Maelor, who was ruler of the ancient kingdom of Powys Fadog, on the site of an Iron Age hillfort. Like Caergwrle, it too was burnt by its own garrison as the Normans advanced into the area. Ornate carvings have been found at the site, which is rare for a Welsh castle, suggesting it was Maelor's royal home.

[Image: tumblr_mby9cwxwg51r0z02ho1_1280.jpg]

A CGI reconstruction.

[Image: 1941743229-Dinas_Bran-6.jpg]


I shall rebuild and I shall call it Edoras!
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