England's Top 10 Castles (Part 2) - Ucan.vn

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England's Top 10 Castles (Part 2)

Đăng vào lúc 05:34 16/05/2013 bởi Đỗ Thị Hải Yến

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6. Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle is located in Northumberland, built immediately following the Norman conquest, and renovated and remodelled a number of times. It is a Grade I listed building.

Since the Second World War, parts of the castle have been used by various educational establishments: Firstly, by the Newcastle Church High School for Girls then, from 1945 to 1975, as a teacher training college and, since 1981, by St. Cloud State University as a branch campus forming part of their International Study Programme.

The castle is used as a stand in for the exterior and interior of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter (film)|Harry Potter films (though the wide angle images are computer generated). It has previously been a location used in Becket, Blackadder; Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and many others listed in the Location section of the Alnwick Castle website.

7. Rochester Castle, Rochester, Kent.

Rochester Castle stands on the east bank of the River Medway, in Rochester, Kent.

It is one of the best-preserved castles of its kind in the UK. There has been a fortification on this site since Roman times (c AD43), though it is the keep of 1127 and the Norman castle which can be seen today. With the invention of gunpowder other types of defence became more appropriate, and the military centre of the Medway Towns moved to Chatham.

The castle is now maintained by English Heritage and is open to the public. The wooden flooring in the centre of the keep is gone, but many of the passageways and spiral staircases within the thickness of the walls are still usable. Decorative chevrons ornament the archways and the water well in the cross-wall is clearly visible. Visitors with a head for heights can climb 111 ft (34 m) to the battlements and enjoy a commanding view of the river and surrounding area.

Since Victorian times, Rochester Castle Gardens have been an important leisure area for Rochester. They were a popular promenade, they have hosted a bandstand, and have become a centre point for festivals and summer concerts.

8. Dover Castle, Dover, Kent

Dover Castle has been described as the “Key to England” due to its defensive significance throughout history.

The castle, secret tunnels and surrounding land are now owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is officially head of the castle, in his conjoint position of Constable of Dover Castle, and the Deputy Constable has his residence in Constable’s Gate.

9. Lincoln Castle, Lincoln

Lincoln Castle was built during the late 11th century by William the Conqueror on the site of a pre-existing Roman fortress. It remained in use as a prison and law court into modern times, and is one of the better preserved castles in England; the Crown Courts continue to this day. It is open to the public as a museum.

Lincoln Castle remains one of the most impressive Norman castles in the United Kingdom. It is still possible to walk around the immense 12th century walls with its ramparts providing a magnificent view of the Castle complex, together with panoramic views of the Cathedral, the City of Lincoln and the surrounding countryside.

Another attraction is the opportunity to see one of the four surviving originals of the Magna Carta, sealed by King John after his meeting with the Barons at Runnymede in 1215, a document which is now housed within Lincoln Castle. There is also an accompanying exhibition, explaining the origin of the Magna Carta and its far reaching effects. Parts of the prison are also open as a museum, including the 19th century chapel, which is the only original chapel designed for the ‘Separate System’ (every seat is enclosed) left in the world today. The women’s wing of the prison opened to visitors in 2005.

10. Windsor Castle, Berkshire

Winsor Castle is located in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror, is the oldest in continuous occupation. The castle’s floor area is approximately 484,000 square feet (44,965 square metres).

Together with Buckingham Palace in London and Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, it is one of the principal official residences of the British monarch. Queen Elizabeth II spends many weekends of the year at the castle, using it for both state and private entertaining. Her other two residences, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle, are the Royal Family’s private homes.

Most of the Kings and Queens of England, later Kings and Queens of Great Britain, and later still kings and queens of the Commonwealth realms, have had a direct influence on the construction and evolution of the castle, which has been their garrison fortress, home, official palace, and sometimes their prison. The castle’s history and that of the British monarchy are inextricably linked. Chronologically the history of the castle can be traced through the reigns of the monarchs who have occupied it. When the country has been at peace, the castle has been expanded by the additions of large and grand apartments; when the country has been at war, the castle has been more heavily fortified. This pattern has continued to the present day.

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