The Castles of Edward I in Wales 1277-1307 by Christopher Gravett

bookshelves: spring-2015, architecture, britain-wales, caernafon, history, published-2007, under-10-ratings, giftee, military-manoeuvres, skim-through, reference

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Mimal
Read from April 21 to 22, 2015

Description: In 1277 Edward I gathered a huge army and marched into Wales to subdue the rebel Welsh princes who continued to raid and pillage English controlled areas of Wales, and even England itself. A key part of his strategy of subjugating and colonizing the Welsh was to erect a castle at every point where his army rested, to provide permanent bases for English garrisons and a visual reminder of English power.

This title takes a detailed look at the design, development and principles of defense of the Edwardian Welsh castles, documenting daily life within their walls and the historical events that took place around them. Looking at key sites such as Cardigan, Aberystwyth and Conwy it highlights the varied castle designs ranging from fortifications based on French models to the defenses inspired by Constantinople, illustrated with eight pages of full colour illustrations and cutaway artwork. Chris Gravett provides a clear explanation of why the castles were there, who lived in them and how they were built – crucial reading for anyone interested in some of the most romantic and militarily effective buildings ever created

Opening: The castles built by Edward I in Wales rank amongst the finest military structures in Europe. As the English king determined to stamp his authority on the province that refused to yield quietly, he directed the building of enormous structures that were as much a statement of power as they were defences

Lovely addition to the reference library, especially useful for checking facts in historical fiction.

Despite their size and cost, Edward’s castles rose with commendable speed.
Flint took eight and a half years (1277-86);
Harlech took seven and a half years (1283-90);
Builth took five and a half (1277-82);
Conwy took five years (1283-87);
Rhuddlan took four and a half (1277-82);
and Caernarfon (1283-c.1330)
and Beaumaris (1295-c.1330) took longer, though by February 1296 Beaumaris had inner curtain wall; at least 6.1m (20ft) high and in some
places 8.4m (28ft).

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