Château-Gaillard, the “Saucy Castle” of Cœur-de-Lion, the work of one year of his brief reign, and the enduring monument of his skill as a military engineer, is in its position and details one of the most remarkable, and in its history one of the most interesting of the castles of Normandy. Although a ruin, enough remains to enable the antiquary to recover all its leading particulars. These particulars, both in plan and elevation, are so peculiar that experience derived from other buildings throws but an uncertain light upon their age; but of this guide, usually so important, they are independent, from the somewhat uncommon fact that the fortress is wholly of one date, and that date is on record. Moreover, within a few years of its construction, whilst its defences were new and perfect, with a numerous garrison and a castellan, one of the best soldiers of the Anglo-Norman baronage, it was besieged by the whole disposable force of the most powerful monarch of his day; and the particulars of the siege have been recorded by a contemporary historian with a minuteness which leaves little for the imagination to supply, and which, by the help of the place and works, but little changed, enables us to obtain a very clear comprehension of the manner in which great fortresses were attacked and defended at the commencement of the thirteenth century.
- Mediæval Military Architecture in England
By George Thomas Clark
Available from gutenberg.org
- Posted on
- Tuesday 12 January 2021
- architecture, france, Middle Ages