Castles in context: power, symbolism and landscape, 1066 to 1500

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Windgather Press, 2005 - Architecture - 178 pages
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This last decade has seen a revolution in our understanding of the castle. Previous scholars have viewed it as essentially a military structure. Castle scholars now paint a more complex picture, emphasizing the castle's symbolic projection of power, its position in the wider landscape and even its aesthetic role. This wide-ranging book makes this re-evaluation available to a new generation of castle enthusiasts. Focusing on the rich heritage of castle archaeology in England and Wales, Robert Liddiard offers a fresh and holistic perspective on these enigmatic medieval buildings. He examines not just the architecture but its wider social and landscape context. As well as offering new insights into familiar themes such as the Norman Conquest and siege warfare, he also covers in detail more original areas of study: the designed, ornamental landscapes that have been found at castle sites; the depiction of castles in literature; and the symbolic values that found expression in castle architecture. His aim is to understand how people experienced castles in the Middle Ages, and therefore to explain why they were such potent icons of lordship. Richly illustrated in color and black and white, this book will make the reader see afresh the great stone keeps that still dominate the English and Welsh countryside--often more than seven hundred years after they were built.

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From Functionalism to Symbolism
Tattershall Castle Lincolnshire
Bodiam Castle Sussex

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About the author (2005)

Robert Liddiard is Lecturer in Landscape History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.