England's Top 10 Castles (Part 1) - Ucan.vn

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England's Top 10 Castles (Part 1)

Đăng vào lúc 12:03 16/05/2013 bởi Đỗ Thị Hải Yến

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When people think of England, people think castles. And the first thing a lot of people think about England is castles and medieval fortresses. Not only being historic sites, they are also attractive to visitors from all over the world.

1. Warwick Castle, Warwick

Warwick Castle is a medieval castle in Warwick, the county town of Warwickshire, England. It sits on a cliff overlooking a bend in the River Avon. Warwick Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068 within or adjacent to Anglo-Saxon burh of Warwick. It was used as a fortification until the early 17th century, when Sir Fulke Greville converted it to a country house. It was owned by the Greville family, who became earls of Warwick in 1759, until 1978.

From 1088, the castle traditionally belonged to the Earl of Warwick, and it served as a symbol of his power. The castle was taken in 1153 by Henry of Anjou, later Henry II. It has been used to hold prisoners, including some from the Battle of Poitiers in the 14th century. Under the ownership of Richard Neville – also known as “Warwick the Kingmaker” – Warwick Castle was used in the 15th century to imprison the English king, Edward IV. Warwick Castle has been compared with Windsor Castle in terms of scale, cost, and status.

Since its construction in the 11th century, the castle has undergone structural changes with additions of towers and redesigned residential buildings. Originally a wooden motte-and-bailey, it was rebuilt in stone in the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the facade opposite the town was refortified, resulting in one of the most recognisable examples of 14th century military architecture.

In the 17th century the grounds were turned into a garden. Warwick Castle was purchased by The Tussauds Group in 1978 and opened as a tourist attraction. It is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building.

 

2. The tower of London, London

Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London (and historically as The Tower), is a historic monument in central London, England, on the north bank of the River Thames. It is located within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and is separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill.

The Tower of London is often identified with the White Tower, the original stark square fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1078. However, the tower as a whole is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.

The tower’s primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particularly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower” (meaning “imprisoned”). It has also served as a place of execution and torture, an armoury, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

3. Bodiam Castle, East Sussex

Bodiam Castle is a quadrangular castle located near Robertsbridge in East Sussex, England. It is said to be a perfect example of a late medieval moated castle. While not large enough to garrison many soldiers, the castle was ideally suited for defense against a militant rural populace after the English Peasants’ Revolt and for the entertainment of foreign merchants or dignitaries.

It was built in 1385 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge, a former knight of Edward III, supposedly at the request of Richard II in order to defend the surrounding area from French invasion. By 1434 Sir Edward Dalyngrigge’s nephew Richard was living in the castle.[1] Recent research suggests that the castle was built more for show than as an effective defence. There is evidence supporting that research, as the walls of Bodiam Castle are only a couple of feet thick.

4. Leeds Castle, Kent

Leeds Castle is four miles south east of Maidstone, Kent, England, dates back to 1119, though a manor house stood on the same site from the ninth century. The castle and grounds lie to the east of the village of Leeds, Kent, which should not be confused with the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire.

At 900 years old, Leeds Castle sits 30 miles from central London. It was the home of Henry the VIII. Despite its British location, Leeds Castle has many American connections. Two families who owned the castle also owned large tracts of land in Culpepper and Fairfax, VA. Today, the castle's connection to the United States continues.

William Randolph Hearst (Hearst Corporation) almost purchased Leeds Castle, until he discovered the missing bathrooms, lack of electricity and that the servants' quarters had served as dungeons. Another American, however, did acquire the castle. After purchasing it in 1926, Lady Olive Baillie set about refurbishing the castle and installing all the necessary items.

5. Arundel Castle in West Sussex, England

Arundel Castle is a restored medieval castle. The castle dates from the reign of Edward the Confessor (r. 1042-1066) and was completed by Roger de Montgomery, who became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror. The castle was damaged in the English Civil War and then restored in the 18th and 19th centuries.

From the 11th century onward, the castle has served as a hereditary stately home to several families (with a few and brief reversions to the Crown) and is currently the principal seat of the Duke of Norfolk and his family. It is a Grade I listed building.

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