A bonus for visitors to Rochester Castle is the cathedral across the street. At Pevensey, where he first landed, an existing but run-down fortification built by the Romans was quickly strengthened to provide a secure first base. The huge motte with its timber tower on top gave the defenders an advantage. There, he built a motte and bailey castle within the ruins of an old Roman fort, giving Pevensey bragging rights as the first Norman castle on English soil.
The good news for castle questors B particularly those who, like us, prefer to base themselves in London and venture out from there B is that there are plethora of them, many of them in remarkable condition, that are within easy reach of the city.
What were the first castles like? William ordered many more built as the Norman conquerors moved to suppress and control more and more areas of the country.
The castle you see there today, however, is primarily a product of a building program by William's descendant Henry II. Another impressive survivor of the Conqueror's castle ring is Rochester.
This was once the tower of the castle church.
Sadly, the building is just a shell, the roofs and floors of the three floors that once divided the keep are gone, although a central wall that split the building in half remains. In the early years the Normans heavy handedly cleared whatever was in their way to build where they wanted, knocking down housing and striping local areas of building materials. Newer Post Older Post Home. Eventually, stone structures replaced the first buildings and the defenses were greatly expanded and strengthened in the 13th century, making Pevensey virtually impregnable.
London History. Siege Engines. Castles of William the Conqueror. Fire was a major problem for castles built from wood. Opening hours and rates: Please note that the TimeRef website is currently being redesigned.
At the foot of the motte was built a normally oval-shaped enclosure known as a bailey that had a palisade and a ditch of its own. The motte was usually placed to one side of the bailey rather than in the centre. Google Play Store.