BAR 546 2011: Birmingham Archaeology Monograph Series 11 Tutbury: ‘A Castle Firmly Built’ Archaeological and historical investigations at Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire
Malcolm Hislop, Mark Kincey and Gareth Williams. ISBN 9781407308555. £55.00. xii+
293 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black and white.
A report on the archaeological and historical investigations undertaken at Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire. The town of Tutbury is situated on the eastern border of Staffordshire in central England some 15km south west of Derby and 6.5km north west of Burton upon Trent. Around 1068–69 the Normans founded a motte and bailey castle on a tactically advantageous bluff above the town with the strategic purpose of controlling important north–south and east–west routes of communication. Attacks on the castle in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries may be cited as evidence of a continuing military significance down to 1322, when, as one of Thomas earl of Lancaster’s castles, it was sacked by the forces of Edward II. As part of the duchy of Lancaster estate it became a royal property from 1399 and was extensively rebuilt during the 15th century; it is this late medieval phase that plays the most significant part in defining the architectural character of the castle today. The Civil War revived interest in the strategic and tactical advantages of the site, and ultimately led to the castle’s destruction, although an afterlife ensued in the 18th century as a farm and romantic ruin.
PUB DATE: MARCH 2011 Now Available
From coast to coast, the English landscape is still richly studded with castles both great and small. As homes or ruins, these historic buildings are today largely objects of curiosity. For centuries, however, they were at the heart of the kingdom's social and political life. "The English Castle" is a riveting architectural study that sets this legion of buildings in historical context, tracing their development from the Norman Conquest in 1066 through the civil wars of the 1640s. In this magnificent, compellingly written volume, which includes over 350 illustrations, John Goodall brings to life the history of the English castle over six centuries. In it he explores the varied architecture of these buildings and describes their changing roles in warfare, politics, domestic living, and governance.
Illustrations: 100 black-
Diane Williams & John Kenyon
Publisher: Oxbow Books
240p, 120 b/w illus, 16p of colour plates
ISBN13: 9781842173800 Pb
The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales publishes the proceedings of a conference
held in 2007 a year that marked the seventh centenary of the death of King Edward
I which set out to review recent scholarship on castles that he built in north Wales
after two wars, in 1277 and 1282-
Building upon the seminal work of Arnold Taylor, whose study of the buildings and documentary evidence has been pivotal to Edwardian castle studies for more than fifty years, the volume includes papers which call into question the role of Master James of St George as the architect of the kings new castles; the role of Richard the Engineer, the nature of royal accommodation in the thirteenth century and a detailed look at how households worked, especially in the kitchen and accounting departments. New approaches to castle studies are encouraging a more holistic understanding of the Edwardian castles and their context and to this end papers consider their impact on Welsh society and its princes in the thirteenth century, notably Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (Fawr, the Great) and his grandson, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Wales.
John. R. Kenyon
Shaun Tyas. 2008. pp. xii + 740. Price: £35.
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It is impossible to “review” a Bibliography in exactly the same way that one reviews
a book or an article: one cannot compliment or take to task its author's attitudes,
research or interpretations in the same way. Nevertheless, full attention must be
drawn to a Bibliography such as this (and other types of “compilation scholarship”)
not only because it will be so useful to so many but because it will still be so
useful long after many of the more ephemeral published products of “research” have
been superseded. In a field of study devoted to monuments, it is no exaggeration
to say that this volume is a monument in its own right – both to its subject and
to its author's industry. That it may have overlooked a few minor published notes
(as the author anticipates, though I have no evidence that it has done so significantly)
is neither here nor there – one definition of a list is something which hasn't got
something on it – for its strength rests in its 700-
Here is a publication which will be of enormous to help to many people: professional
and amateur, students of all types and at all levels, practitioners of all sorts.
For its bulk, the price represents very good value. We are first given groups of
books and articles with general coverage, occupying almost a hundred pages. The bulk
of the volume is then devoted to individual sites, arranged alphabetically within
the (historic) shires -
Bob Higham, Exeter, June 2008.
Usk Castle, Priory and Town.
by Jeremy K. Knight and Andy Johnson (Editors)
Hardcover: 216 pages
Publisher: Logaston Press (Nov 2008)
‘The Norman borough (or town) of Usk was established around its castle and priory and these are at the heart of this book. Through a series of chapters, the contributors explore the life of the town through the history of its inhabitants, and what can be learned about them from the buildings which still make up the town, as well as the archaeology of former times. Whilst it was the Normans who founded the castle, priory and borough, the Romans preceded them, although the evidence of their presence is now largely below ground. Before them, prehistoric people and then the Celts lived in the surrounding area, and the first chapters of this book book at these phases of Usk’s history, the period under Roman rule in some detail.
Subsequent chapters then look at the development of the Norman town and its hospitals and almshouses; the building and life of the priory, with its community of nuns and its shrine to St Radegund; the long history of the construction of the castle and its gradual expansion and strengthening; relations between the Norman incomers and the Welsh over the centuries, and the effect on the region of Owain Glyndŵr’s uprising, seen through the eyes of one of Usk’s most famous sons, Adam Usk, first from a distance and then at firsthand, as he became embroiled in the events that surrounded him.
Later chapters reflect on life in Usk during the period of religious upheaval in the 16th and 17th centuries, telling the story of the town’s own martyr, St David Lewis; and chart the development of the medieval town through the Georgian period, as well as the more recent transformation of the castle wards into a remarkable garden. Coming to more recent times, a chapter is devoted to Usk’s secret Auxiliary Unit and its operational base, established in preparation for a German invasion in the early 1940s; whilst a final chapter considers current problems and highlights issues on which decisions need to be made to help ensure that Usk has a thriving future.
The contributors include John and Jan Barrow, Madeleine Gray, Rosemary and Henry
Humphreys, Jeremy K. Knight, Professor W. Manning, Geoffrey Mein, Frank Olding, Sian
Rees, Peter Rennie, Keith Underwood and Professor Chris Given Wilson. The book forms
a mini series with other Logaston Press publications: Ludlow Castle: its HIstory
Tewkesbury Abbey: History, Art and Architecture; and Chepstow Castle: its History and Buildings. 216 pages, with over 120 black and white and 20 colour illustrations’.
A History of the Early Medieval Siege, c. 450-
Author: Peter Purton
32 b/w, 14 line illustrations.
Pages: 496. Size: 23.4 x 15.6
To be published: 18/Mar/2010
Price: 115.00 USD / 60.00 GBP
Imprint: Boydell Press.
Medieval warfare was dominated by the attack and defence of fortified places, and siege methods and technology developed alongside improvements in defences. This book uses both original historical sources and evidence from archaeology to analyse this relationship as part of a comprehensive view of the whole subject, tracing links across three continents. It considers the most important questions raised by siege warfare: who designed, built and operated siege equipment? How did medieval commanders gain their knowledge? What were the roles of theoretical texts and the developing science of siege warfare? How did nomadic peoples learn to conduct sieges? How far did castles and town walls serve a military purpose, and how far did they act as symbols of lordship?
The volume begins with the replacement of the western Roman empire by barbarian successor states, but also examines the development of the Byzantine Empire, the Muslim Caliphate and its successors, and the links with China, through to the early thirteenth century.
A History of the Late Medieval Siege, 1200-
Author: Peter Purton
32 b/w, 15 line illustrations
Pages: 528, Size: 23.4 x 15.6
ISBN13: 9781843834496, HB
To be published: 18/Mar/2010
Price: 115.00 USD / 60.00 GBP
Imprint: Boydell Press
The siege dominated warfare during the medieval period. Contemporary evidence -
The book begins with the Mongol conquests in Asia and Europe and the thirteenth-
The Medieval Castles of Wales
Author: John R Kenyon
Pp. 192, 234 x 156mm,
14 Figures, 16 colour plates
Publisher: University of Wales Press (Pocket Guide series)
Publication date: October 2010.
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