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In the third volume the course of church building was traced up to the twelfth century, and it was shown that Romanesque architecture is found in all parts of Western Europe. There are of course local peculiarities, but the family likeness is marked in places so far apart as Milan, the Rhine district, Durham, and Santiago de Compostella. In some countries, notably Catalonia and the south of France, the architecture may be described as static. The builders of the twelfth century, and even of the thirteenth, were content to repeat the forms, of structure and ornament, which they had inherited. Plain cylindrical vaults, massive walls and columns, round arches, small windows, were the rule; there was no restless striving after new ideas. In North Italy, however, and in Normandy and England, Romanesque architecture was dynamic. Even as early as the eleventh century it displayed the new spirit which was to culminate in the Gothic architecture of the thirteenth. Many forces were at work to produce that great result, which cannot be wholly understood by isolating any one of them. The most obvious is structural invention. Architecture is a line art, but it can do nothing if it does not obey the laws of engineering. Building on them, it achieves stability, but it need not therefore sacrifice beauty and grace. In all great periods of art, and certainly not least in the Gothic, the structural cannot be separated from the ornamental; the two form an indivisible whole.

Dealing, then, first with the development of structure, we find the vital principles which transformed Romanesque into Gothic at work in North Italy as early as 1040. The abbey of Sannazzaro Sesia was begun in that year, and Sant’ Ambrogio at Milan followed soon after. Durham was in building before the end of the century. These instances are given, as they are among the first where ribbed vaulting, in any vital manner, is found. The plain groined vault, produced by two intersecting cylindrical vaults, had been used in Roman times and before, and was common enough in the eleventh century. The ribbed form may appear to be merely a development, but it is almost a new principle. The extensive wooden centring required for an unribbed vault constituted a grave difficulty, especially in a country like Lombardy, where wood was scarce, “Ribs” are skeleton arches, built first and filled in between afterwards. The system requires much less centring than the other, especially when, as in Lomburdy and France, the vaulting cells are generally domical. Concentration of pressure was made a much easier matter by ribbed vaulting, and concentration is the vital principle, as regards the development of structure, which transformed Romanesque into Gothic.

The second principle in the transforming process many would put first: the use of the pointed arch. Much ingenuity has been wasted in accounting for its invention, and scores of theories have been put forward. We are, however, not concerned here with its origin, for it was used, even in ancient Egypt, many centuries before our period. The Saracens knew it well, and it is found in static Romanesque architecture in the south of France in the eleventh century. Early in the twelfth, vaulting had reached the stage where little progress could be made without it, and thus, as in so many other cases, common sense led to the change. The pointed arch, whether in vaulting or elsewhere, has less outward thrust than the round, and is therefore easier to deal with.

The mention of outward thrust naturally leads to the third transforming principle: the use of the flying buttress. The Middle Ages inherited from the fourth century an aisled hall as its chief church plan. For centuries this was covered by a wooden roof, but gradually the difficulties of throwing a stone vault over a wide space were overcome. Even then, however, there was no solution of the problem of supporting a high vault. For dignity and for light it was desired to have a clerestory with a row of windows high above the aisle roofs. Such windows could not be safely inserted as long as cylindrical vaults with continuous pressure were used. But, even when groined vaults had led to concentration, there was no obvious way of meeting the outward thrust. As regards the aisles, it was simple enough to build buttresses against the outer walls, but the clerestory cannot be thus dealt with without blocking up the aisles below. How then is the abutment to be provided? One of the earliest attempts we see in the choir of Durham, where the original vault was finished in 1104. Complete round arches are built under the roof of the triforium to catch the thrust of the vault and to convey it to the outer wall. In the nave, where the vault was built between 1128 and 1133, the more logical half-arch is used in the same position, as it had been at Norwich as early as 1096, though in that case the vault itself was not built. These concealed half-arches were too low to meet the thrust of the high vault properly, and it was only a step to bring them up higher and expose them over the aisle roofs. The earliest examples naturally enough are not very scientific, and it was some time before the importance of a heavy pinnacle was realised, to verticalise the outward thrust and convey it to the ground within the foot of the buttress.

By the end of the twelfth century the three transforming factors in the structure-ribbed vaulting, the pointed arch, the flying buttress had full sway in the best buildings. The resulting concentration began to show in all the parts. As early as 1040 at Jumieges there had been shafts from base to roof, even though there was no central vault. Such shafts became organic features binding the whole structure together, and going far to prove the saying that a Gothic church is designed from the vault downward and not from the base upward. The complete logic of the Gothic system was more and more perceived, especially in the Île de France, during the thirteenth century, so that finally a great church appears to rest on pillars and buttresses only, and walls become a mere screen from the weather. Even the walls themselves are largely done away by the huge windows which fill up the whole space between the vaulting pyramids. A comparison between St Sernin at Toulouse or St John’s chapel in the Tower of London on the one hand, and Amiens or St Denis on the other, will show the extraordinary contrast between the Romanesque of the eleventh century and the Gothic of the thirteenth.

The change from massiveness and gloom to delicacy and light is most prominent in the system of building, but it applies to everything else in the church. If the walls become thin the ornamental carving also becomes delicate. Deeply recessed heavy doorways, embellished with axe­cut surface designs, give way to lighter forms with undercut mouldings. The ornament, here and elsewhere, is full of life and grace. Round-headed slits give place to long lancets, and then, by gradual process, to large traceried windows of endless variety. It is true that the laws of engineering had to be obeyed, but the artist was not enslaved by them. He frankly accepted his limitations, but worked within them in such a way that a harmonious whole was produced. Science and art were combined to per­fection in the thirteenth century.

The church plan had almost been determined in the Romanesque period. Starting from the basilican form of the fourth century, it had arrived, at the end of the eleventh, at the characteristic monastic development of St Sernin at Toulouse or Norwich. The secular churches followed suit with nave and aisles, transepts, often with aisles, apsidal presbytery, with or without an ambulatory and projecting chapels. A central tower is normal, but there is usually at least one other. The early Gothic builders made no revolutionary change, but developed what they received. The round apse became the polygonal chevet or the square end. Extra aisles and chapels were added, and there may be towers to the transepts as well as to the west front and the crossing. Through all the changes, however, even when the final, result is an oblong, the Romanesque plan can generally be discovered.

So far we have been tracing the main current of the Gothic stream. Taking its rise in Lombardy, it spread all over Western Europe and reached its full breadth in the Île of France. In that district, favoured in so many ways and not least by fine building stone, there were erected between 1150 and 1250 a series of churches which have never been surpassed. No two are alike, and the logic of all is not equally complete, but at Paris, Amiens, Chartres, Rheims, Laon, Soissons, Noyon, and many another,we find the same engineering cleverness and the same beautiful clothing. At Beauvais the skill, in its soaring ambition, overtopped itself and disaster followed. It has been called a failure, but it is surely then a splendid failure.

The period with which this volume is mainly concerned is far the most important in the history of Gothic architecture, the late twelfth century and the thirteenth. Nearly all the great churches of France were created at that time. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries saw many additions and alterations but few complete wholes. The church of St Ouen at Rouen is almost the only building of the first class. Early in the sixteenth century there was a great revival of church building, which before long departed entirely from Gothic precedents. “Flamboyant” detail became richer and richer till the process was stopped by the Renaissance.

Emphasis has been laid on the Île de France, as we have there, in unique degree, the combination of logical completeness and beauty of carving. In other provinces, however, there is no lack of great building, often with strongly marked local peculiarity. To mention only one example, the cathedral church of Albi, in a district where good stone is rare, has the appearance of a great brick fortress. It is Gothic, but could not be mistaken for the Gothic of the neighbourhood of Paris.

England owes as much as France to the great principles which transformed Romanesque to Gothic, but, north of the Channel, they were not carried out with such complete consistency. English vaulting became far more elaborate than French, though there was not always a structural reason for its developments. The fan vaults, at the end of the Middle Ages, are marvels of scientific skill, and combine the continuity of surface shown in cylindrical vaults with the concentration of pressure which is the main contribution of groining. English churches run to length, and French to height. English transepts are more marked and are sometimes doubled, as at Salisbury. In that noble secular church, built on a new site in the thirteenth century, many of the chief beauties and peculiarities of English work are illustrated. Its great spire, finished a century later, gathers the whole building together and gives an external effect which contemporary Amiens, with its lofty interior, cannot rival. Salisbury, Lincoln, Worcester, Lichfield, Ely, and most other great churches in the same country, have illustrations of “Early English” architecture, with its purity, its grace, and its vigorous life. Sculpture is much less common and less noble than in France, but Wells is a standing monument to the art of the thirteenth century as well as Amiens and Chartres.

The fourteenth century is far more important, comparatively, in England than in France. As a complete scheme Exeter is the typical example, though incorporating earlier work. The nave of York and the choir of Carlisle are splendid rivals, especially in their huge traceried windows. The lantern of Ely modified the characteristic church plan more obviously than any other erection of the Middle Ages. The curving of natural leaves was a prominent feature late in the thirteenth century and early in the fourteenth. The best examples are the earliest, as in the nave of York and the chapter-house of Southwell.

The fifteenth century, like the fourteenth, is a more important period in England than in France. Even before the Black Death in 1348, a new style had been coming in at Gloucester which has generally been called “Perpendicular.” It was taken up elsewhere and came to fruition in the reign of Henry VI. The title refers mainly to the window tracery, which consists largely of vertical and horizontal lines, very different from the flowing tracery which preceded it and the contemporary “flamboyant'” in France. Foliage became conventional again, of a wreath-like character, especially in Devonshire. Mouldings were thinner, and, in ornament, effect was sought by reproducing structural forms in miniature. Two of the finest features are the towers, especially in Somersetshire, and the open timber roofs. A fifteenth-century spire is rare, whereas the combined tower and spire was normal in the thirteenth century in France and England. The most striking type of roof is the hammer-beam, common in. East Anglian churches, but shewing its noblest and earliest example in a secular building, Westminster Hall. No great cathedral or monastic church was wholly built in the fifteenth century, but independent works were carried out at Canterbury, Gloucester, Norwich, Winchester, York. The special glory of the period is the parish churches. No other country can rival these from 1200 to 1500, but the fifteenth century is the most prolific period, especially in Devonshire and East Norfolk, where almost every church was rebuilt at this time.

Gothic architecture is obviously an importation into Scotland, and not a native art. There are, however, some important monuments, notably Glasgow cathedral, dating mainly from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. French influence is strong, as might be expected, and the Perpendicular style never took root. The richest of the later buildings, Roslyn chapel, is an exotic and has affinities with Spain and Portugal.

The most interesting churches in Ireland are of earlier date than we are concerned with in this volume, and are in some respects unique. In the Middle Ages English influence was paramount within the Pale, as is illustrated in Christ Church and St Patrick’s at Dublin. The best Gothic work is generally found in the conventual houses, particularly those of the various orders of friars.

We have travelled far from Italy, where the Gothic movement first got its inspiration in the organic vaulting of Lombardy. The early promise, however, was not fulfilled, for the extensive remains of classical antiquity always brought back the builders to traditional forms. The round arch was quite common all through the thirteenth century, and it can almost be said that the fourteenth is the only Gothic period not dominated by Romanesque on the one hand or the Renaissance on the other. For delicacy and charm few buildings north of the Alps can rival the tower of Giotto at Florence. This delicacy is a marked feature of many a doorway, window, capital, and base, revealed to us so often by the enthusiasm and insight of Ruskin. Colour schemes add greatly to the beauty, as at Siena, especially when exquisite marbles are used. Brick, too, is a common material. When, however, we turn to the structural principles which govern the whole style, we find the Italian builders very deficient in comprehension. It is true that they built high groined vaults in huge square and oblong compartments, but they provided no proper abutments for them. The flying buttress is almost unknown and there is no efficient substitute for it. The consequence is that many Italian vaults would have fallen down if iron rods had not been added to hold the buildings together. These rods are a great disfigurement inside the churches and also ixi the porches, whose arches usually rest on pillars without buttresses. So normal did they become that they are often added in places where they are not necessary. The churches have far fewer bays than in northern work. Great churches like San Petronio at Bologna and the Frari at Venice do not really impress by their size, owing to the fewness of the parts. Ornamental screens of stone in front of a church are found in all countries with little relation to what is behind them, but the system was carried farthest in Italy. The west front at Orvieto, for example, and the north front at Cremona are architectural shams, giving little indication of the churches behind them. Milan cathedral is the largest medieval church except Seville. It is built throughout of white marble, and the elaboration of detail is excessive. The external proportions are somewhat squat, and the addition of classical detail gives a hybrid effect. The interior is impressive, but it suffers from the sham piercing of the vault and from the non-structural character of the capitals. During the fifteenth century the Renaissance became more and more pronounced, but Gothic forms lingered on, as in the Certosa at Pavia.

In Sicily there is remarkable early Gothic work at Monreale, Messina, and Palermo. Cefalu cathedral has been claimed as the cradle of the style. It was begun in 1132, and shews the pointed arch in the windows and in the ribbed vaulting over the choir and the north transept.

The coast towns of Dalmatia have Gothic as well as Romanesque churches. The most remarkable is the cathedral of Sebenico, dating from 1430, and Italian Gothic in its earlier parts.

The island of Cyprus, as we might suppose from its medieval history, shows western influence in its buildings. There are important Gothic churches of French character at Nicosia and Famagusta.

Church architecture took a different course in Spain than it did in any other country. For centuries there was the disturbing factor of the Moorish occupation, but Saracenic forms are admitted so sparingly into churches that it would appear to have been almost a point of conscience not to use the style of the hated invader. Toledo was recovered as early as 1085, and a mosque became the Capilia del Cristo de la Luz. A twelfth­century synagogue, in Moorish style, was taken from the Jews in 1405 and became the church of Santa Maria la Blanca. There are other Saracenic features in the churches, notably in the triforium of the cathedral and in the tower of Santo Tome. There are reminiscences of the Moorish style even in the north, as at San Isidoro at Leon, but it remains true that in most cases ecclesiastical architecture is unaffected by it.

The Romanesque architecture of Spain is of great interest and importance. One of the finest monuments of the style is the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which has even been claimed to be earlier than St Sernin at Toulouse. The Romanesque style went on far longer than in the north. For example, the cathedral of Lerida, built between 1203 and 1278, would be thought in France or England to be a century earlier.

The Gothic movement, however, so overwhelming in the north, conquered Spain as well as Italy. Its spread was no doubt hastened by the Cistercians, whose abbots met once a year in general chapter at Citeaux and would, bring back to outlying places knowledge of the pointed arch and other new forms. The great cathedrals of the thirteenth century are closely copied from those of France. Toledo corresponds with Bourges; and Burgos, as far as its thirteenth-century work is concerned, is very French. Leon is most remarkable of all. For concentration of vault­pressure, scientific abutment, extent of window space, height in proportion to width, it is the rival of Amiens and Beauvais.

It can scarcely be claimed, however, that this Franco-Spanish style was a complete success. In particular, the huge windows, so characteristic of the complete Gothic of the Île de France, are quite unsuited to the Spanish climate. The three great cathedrals, therefore, were scarcely finished when a new movement of quite a different character took its rise in Catalonia, where regionalism has always been a powerful force. The cathedral of Barcelona was begun in 1298. Santa Maria del Mar followed in 1328 and Santa Maria del Pino in 1329. The last-named is aisleless, but even where aisles are built, as in the other two cases, they have not the external prominence we find in the north. This is due to the fact that small chapels are built all along the north and south sides, and that the buttresses are largely internal, dividing one chapel from another. Flying buttresses are not necessary, for the clerestory is low, with small windows, and the aisles are high. In one respect the cathedral of Gerona is still more remarkable. It was Romanesque at first, and in the first half of the fourteenth century an aisled choir, of normal French character, was built. When it was desired to rebuild the nave early in the fifteenth century, aisles were actually discarded and a great vaulted hall was built seventy-three feet in width, the greatest span of any Gothic church. The abutment of the vault is perfectly managed by internal buttresses forming divisions between the chapels. The remarkable plan corresponds with that of Albi, Perpignan, and other churches in the south of France, but it is most marked in this Catalonian style.

It will therefore be seen that Spain is an exception to the medieval rule that, in most countries, there was one great national style, followed inevitably and unconsciously by the builders. Late in the thirteenth century we have three styles, quite apart from the Moorish work in the south: Romanesque surviving, almost pure French Gothic, and the new Spanish Gothic, especially in Catalonia.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the close copying of French churches ceased, though of course French influence was still felt. Important works were carried out at Burgos, Saragossa, Segovia, Toledo. In the south no great Christian churches could be built during the Moorish domination. The cathedral of Seville, begun in 1401, is of enormous size. It is almost a parallelogram, with five aisles and side chapels as well. Each aisle, in height and width, is the same as the nave of Westminster Abbey. Cloisters are more numerous in Spain than anywhere else. They are sometimes added to a church evidently with the main object of protecting it from the sun.

The ritual arrangements of Spanish churches are very different from those elsewhere. The most prominent is the position of the choir, nearly always in the nave, and often connected with the presbytery by a long railed corridor. Choir stalls, “retables” over the altars, screens, and other medieval fittings have been far less disturbed than in most countries. Extreme richness, not to say florid exuberance, is their main characteristic, which is even more pronounced in the tombs, such as those in the Constable’s chapel at Burgos and in the Charterhouse of Miraflores.

In Portugal we find of course the influence of France and Spain, but also of England, which is most marked in the great church and monastery of Batalha. Belem has a late and richly adorned monastic church with an elaborate cloister. At the end of the Gothic period a purely national style springs up called Manoelino, which has affinities with Moorish and Indian originals.

The Golden Age of architecture in Germany was the Romanesque period, which lasted till the middle of the thirteenth century. Mayence, Spires, Treves, and Worms are the best examples, and the church of the Apostles at Cologne. The Gothic of Germany is copied from France and was a reluctant importation of the thirteenth century. It is lacking in poetry and charm, but is often of great technical excellence. The most famous monument is the cathedral of Cologne, but only the choir and part of the west front are medieval: the rest was completed in recent times, between 1842 and 1880. Freiburg has the earliest fine Gothic tower in Germany, completed in 1288: it has the characteristic open-work spire, which was copied at Burgos. Ulm has the loftiest tower and spire in existence, 529 feet high. The “hall church” is a prominent German feature, as illustrated at St Elizabeth’s at Marburg. The most important church in Austria is St Stephen’s at Vienna, with a lofty spire and a great steep roof which covers nave and aisles in one span. The French Gothic style was imported into Bohemia. The fine cathedral of St Vitus at Prague was designed by Matthew of Arras in the latter part of the fourteenth century. St Barbara’s at Kuttenberg is more national, with ornate but rather unscientific flying buttresses.

The ecclesiastical architecture of the Netherlands is of less interest than the civic. The finest church is at Tournai, whose Romanesque transepts influenced the form of Noy on and Soissons; the choir is fully-developed Gothic. The cathedrals of Brussels and Antwerp are notable, and the latter is unique in having no less than seven aisles. The church of St Jacques at Liege is one of the finest examples of Flamboyant Gothic to be found anywhere. The great churches of Bruges, St Sauveur and Notre Dame, are of brick. The same material was commonly used along the Baltic and in Holland, where the churches are of less interest than those of Belgium. They are often barn-like structures, and most of their medieval fittings have been destroyed.

In Scandinavia, Gothic architecture is an exotic, even more than in Germany. The most important church in Sweden is the cathedral of Upsala, designed by a Frenchman at the end of the thirteenth century. The cathedral of Trondheim in Norway dates from the eleventh century onwards; there is much work of the thirteenth and early fourteenth, with excellent details. The most remarkable church in Denmark is at Kallundborg, with no less than five towers and spires. Gotland is of greater interest, owing to its position on a prosperous trade route in early medieval times. Most of the churches are Romanesque, but in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries a curious type of Gothic was used. Several of the naves are divided into two equal parts by pointed arcades.

There is of course no special connexion between Gothic architecture and the Goths or with Gotland, and we do not know that the people originally came from the island. The adjective was used as a term of reproach at a time when medieval architecture was regarded as barbarian. It may have this suitability that the new style might never have arisen if the Roman Empire had gone on its way untroubled by northern invasions. The term is a difficult one to define, but is generally held to include most of the buildings in Western Europe during the century mainly dealt with in this volume, and the succeeding centuries till the Renaissance. A narrower definition would confine it to those churches where the vital principles of the style are fully carried out, and therefore mainly to the tie de France. However the term is regarded, the most prominent feature of Gothic architecture is the frequent use of the arch rather than the lintel, and especially of the pointed arch.

The connexion of architecture with history is a close one, but one must admit that it is not always obvious. In the period under review we may well suppose that the activity of the thirteenth century in France was partly due to the piety and enthusiasm of St Louis, that the decay of production in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was the result of the English wars and the economic distress which accompanied them. Similar remarks may be made about England, though we are surprised that the Black Death gave so little pause to the building activity of Edward Ill’s reign, and that the Wars of the Roses synchronised with the erection of so many fine parish churches. The truth is, as indicated at the beginning of this chapter, that the forces which go to produce great architecture are many in number, and the pressure of external events is only one of them. The main fact in medieval church archi­tecture is the need that was felt for fine buildings, combined with the power, partly inherited and partly developed, to carry them out. The need was there from the fourth century onwards, but the power was often lacking. At a particular epoch, the twelfth century, the principles of arcuated construction, so long groped after, became understood. One experiment after another was made, and, in an incredibly short space of time, the heavy and gloomy Romanesque was transformed into the light and graceful Gothic.

Without the power, then, the need alone would not have produced fine architecture; but it is surely equally true that, without the need, the achievement would have been lacking. Gothic architecture, in its many forms, was a national style, applied even to the humblest barn; but its greatest glories are found in its houses of religion. Religious fervour was a chief reason for it, especially in the earlier part of its period. Hayino, abbot of St Pierre-sur-Dives, tells us that, when Chartres was built in the middle of the twelfth century, men and women of noble birth were bound by straps to carts and dragged the stones and wood in silence, broken only by confession and prayer. The Cult of Carts may have been short-lived, but the spirit behind it came out in many forms. Much of the best work of the eleventh and twelfth centuries was due to the monks, whether working with their own hands or not. Even the Cistercians, whose rule did not allow high towers or painted glass or rich ornament, produced a virile style and spread the knowledge, of it all over Western Europe. In the thirteenth century, the influence of the layman was more pronounced, but religion and expert knowledge may go together. The sketch book of Wilars de Honecort has come down to us from this period. The drawings are mixed quite naturally with a request to all who labour to pray for his soul and to hold him in remembrance. The form of the church all through the Middle Ages, and much of its decoration, are dictated by the use to which it was put, and could not have been produced outside the Christian faith.

We cannot contemplate the achievements of Gothic architecture without a feeling of awe. They were the work of men of like passions with ourselves, whose motives were as mixed as ours, but the combination of great qualities had never been found before and may never be found again. Gothic architecture cannot be revived, but its spirit need never die. It will remain an inspiration to all who think seriously of art and of religion.





The history of medieval fortification in Europe is that, of the general appropriation of methods which, brought to a high state of efficiency under the Roman Empire, had survived without interruption in the Byzantine east. With the invasion of the west of Europe by the barbarians, these methods had fallen into disuse. Here and there, during the Merovingian and Carolingian epochs, a bishop or lay lord repaired the walls of a city to resist attack from some foe on the frontiers. Where Roman walls remained, they could be utilised as barriers against such enemies as the Saracens on the borders of Spain and on the Mediterranean seaboard; behind them an un warlike population could find refuge when driven from their farms and fields. During this period, however, scientific methods of defence were in abeyance, and consequently progress in military architecture was at a standstill. It was not until the invasions of the Northmen that signs of forward movement began to appear. In their penetration of Europe, the Northmen came into contac t with the traditional usages of Roman warfare and adopted for their own use engines of war which, to be adequately resisted, needed a corresponding strength of defence. If their actual plan of attack, as at the siege of Paris in 885-6, was somewhat deficient in science, they used the ballista and battering-ram with formidable effect; and the inevitable result of an offensive conducted with such energy was to stimulate the employment of means by which it might be successfully repelled.

The walled city, the defended habitation of the community, necessarily takes a prominent place in medieval warfare. The typical fortress of the Middle Ages, however, in which the most characteristic features of defence were initiated and brought to perfection, was the private fortress, the castle of an individual lord. The castle was the direct offspring of feudalism; it was the obvious symbol of the dominion of the feudal lord, the stronghold from which he exercised his authority and within which he entrenched himself against his superiors or rivals. This significance of the word castellum was gradually acquired, and the use of that word in documents of the Carolingian period is somewhat ambiguous. In 864 the capitulary of Pistes, in ordering the destruction of certain fortresses raised without royal licence, mentions castella et firmitates et haias. Probably walls and wooden stockades raised round private dwelling-houses were included in these categories; but the phrase may equally well refer to similar defences constructed by land-owners round the villages in which they dwelt. No actual example of a private fortress can be found until a few years later; and though it may definitely be said that such strongholds took their origin in Neustria and Austrasia as a natural result of the decline of the Empire of Charlemagne and the growth of feudal lawlessness, they were not common until the tenth century was well advanced. The general prevalence of the castle was a consequence of the recognition of the feudal principle.

This fact is illustrated by the late appearance of the castle in England. The early English burh, which comes into great prominence during the wars of Alfred and Edward the Elder, was intended for communal defence. It was a garrisoned centre of population,surrounded by timber fortifications with an outer ditch. If it had stone walls, these, as at London in the time of Alfred, survived from the Roman period and were repaired to meet Danish attacks. The Danes, on their side, when they had gained a permanent footing in England, made the burh the centre of their operations. Their first fortresses, during the period of invasion, were those temporary camps by the side of rivers to which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle gives the name geweorclarge enclosures of earthwork within which they docked their ships and sheltered their army. These, as their conquests proceeded, were naturally abandoned for the conquered towns, like the five burhs of the Danelaw. On neither side is there a hint of any private fortress. The burb handed on its name to the borough of later times; and if, in Germany, the name burg acquired a less distinctive sense and was applied, as time went on, to the private castle as well as to the town, the burgs by which the Saxon Emperors defended their eastern frontier were, like the English burhs, the fortified settlements of communities. Until a few years before the Norman Conquest, it is doubtful whether there was such a thing as a castle in England. Meanwhile the Northmen had established their principality in Normandy, and, towards the close of the tenth century, had organised it on feudal lines. As a consequence, the castle, already familiar in the feudalised districts of inland France, made its way into Normandy. During the minority of the Conqueror, his subjects took the opportunity of turning dwelling-houses into fortresses. William himself was able to keep his vassals in check, and to turn castle-building into a powerful weapon of his own sovereignty. The view, however, that the castles of his realm were the monarch’s property, held in trust for him by their tenants, could be maintained in practice only under a strong rider; and the castle itself, in its origin, is a sign of the anarchy which it was the hardest task of a feudal monarch to suppress. The first English castles seem to have been raised, entirely on their own account, by Norman favourites of Edward the Confessor, to overawe their English neighbours. We know with certainty of two only; and it is clear at any rate that the systematic castle-building by which William I consolidated his gains in England and repressed rebellion was a novelty in a country which, if economically ripe for feudalism, now found itself for the first time bound to feudalism as a political system. Domesday supplies more than one in­stance of the supersession of the English burh by the Norman castle. At York and Lincoln sections of the cities were laid waste to make room for castles. At Tutbury we read of the burgum circa castellum, the burh of earlier times lying round about the new castle, which was built less to protect it than to keep it in subjection. The two castles which the Conqueror founded on either side of the Ouse at York still remain; it is a false analogy which hastily compares them to the double burhs with which, at Hertford, Bedford, and other places, Edward the Elder protected the crossings of rivers, for these burhs were towns, while the castles at York were royal fortresses thrown up within the town, and were quite distinct in character.

The burh and the early castle have this so far in common, that their defences, save in exceptional cases, were of timber and earthwork; and it may also be conceded that in all probability the earliest castles were, like burhs, simply stockaded enclosures, but surrounding a single house instead of a collection of dwelling-houses. The castle, however, by the time of the Conquest, had assumed a stereotyped form of which the Bayeux tapestry provides several examples, all taken from Normandy and Brittany except the castle built by William on his landing at Hastings. The dwelling-house, a wooden structure in the form of a tower, stood upon an artificial mount of earth, composed of the material dug from the ditch surrounding its base. A second ditch, starting from and returning to the first, enclosed a platform, roughly oval in shape, which formed the bailey or courtyard of the castle in front of the mount. Wooden stockades encircled the upper edge of the mount and the inner bank of earth cast up from the ditch round the bailey. The entrance to the castle was at the end of the bailey opposite the mount, while access from the bailey to the tower was provided by a steeply inclined bridge of timber with ladder­like footholds, crossing the intermediate ditch. The mount was known as mota or motte, from the sods which composed it; the ballium or bailey probably received its name from the upright stakes which formed the principal feature of its surrounding fence, though the precise derivation of the word is obscure. This type of fortress is now usually known as the motte-and-bailey castle. Its outstanding characteristic was the dwelling­house on the mount, which sometimes, as the description of the house built early in the twelfth century for the lord of Ardres shews us, was large and roomy. The numerous mounts which remain, though generally high and steep, vary much in size; the adjacent baileys, which contained stables and other offices, together with some accommodation for the garrison, are sometimes very diminutive. But in all, large or small, the mount, crowned by its wooden tower, was the symbol of the lord’s feudal dominion. By transference of the thing signified to the object itself, it became the dominio, corrupted into dunw; and thus the French donjon and English dungeon took their origin, as names for the stone tower that superseded the earthen mount.

The strategic value of the Conqueror’s system of castles is shown by the permanent survival of the principal castles which he founded. In these the motte-and-bailey plan, generally speaking, formed the nucleus of the stone fortresses which, as time went on, took the place of timber defences. In some of his greater castles, as at Windsor, a plan was followed in which the mount stood at a re-entrant angle between an outer and an inner bailey. This type was adopted by the builders of Alnwick, the greatest castle in the north of England. On the other hand, Warkworth, the other great Northumbrian stronghold which eventually came into the possession of the Percies, is a large motte-and-bailey castle of the normal plan, which was gradually converted into a fortress of stone. But, while the motte and bailey can be frequently traced as the origin of permanent castles, there are numerous examples of earthwork castles which have no history and can be referred to no special date. Some of these may be early castles which were abandoned for more convenient sites; but probably many of them are fortresses hastily raised in a period of feudal rebellion without the sovereign's licence, and destroyed upon the restoration of order. It is difficult to credit the traditional estimates of the number of adulterine castles fortified during the reign of Stephen; but it is certain that these unauthorised strongholds were thickly spread over tlie country, and that their earthworks, where they were of any size or strength, must have left some traces behind them. <

While the ordinary castle of the eleventh and twelfth centuries was a structure of earthwork and timber, stone was also employed where necessary, as in castles built on rocky sites and promontories, where defences of earthwork were impracticable. But a defensive wall of stone offered less resistance to the battering-ram than a stout fence of timber with planks set horizontally between the uprights. The strength of the wooden wall had been proved in Roman warfare, and, so long as its main object was to present an inert barrier to an enemy, it served its purpose well. Its chief danger, the risk of fire, could be minimised by stretching wet hides over its outer surface. Nevertheless, the stone donjon appears at an early date as an alternative for the earthen mount and its wooden tower. The remains of the tower at Langeais in Touraine, which present several points of contrast to the ordinary donjon of the twelfth century, are generally agreed to belong to the castle begun by Fulk the Black in 994. In three at any rate of the English castles founded by William the Conqueror, at London, Colchester, and Pevensey, towers of stone took the place of the motte. No artificial mound could have borne such masses of masonry, and it was very seldom in later days that a motte was used as a foundation for a stone tower. Outer defences of earthwork were combined with these early towers; and wdiere, as at Richmond in Yorkshire, the castle was surrounded from the first with a stone wall, the dwelling-house within was simply a hall built against one side of the bailey. The donjons of the stone castles of Richmond, Ludlow, and Bamburgh are later additions to the plan; and at Richmond and Ludlow they were formed by the transformation and heightening of early gatehouses.

Stone walls, again, rose in certain instances upon earthen banks shortly after the foundation of castles; and, as the ordinary motte-and-bailey castle became the seat of its lord’s authority, its wooden defences were gradually removed to make way for defences of stone round the bailey and the upper edge of the mount. The building of a stone gatehouse to protect the entrance was probably the point at which such alterations started. In large enceintes the change went forward slowly: portions of the city wall of York were still of timber in the early part of the fourteenth century. While the stone wall, with its parapet-walk and occasional towers, provided a line of active defence which was to become all-important, the dwelling-house still for a time remained the essential point to be considered by the engineer. The primary idea of a castle was that of a strong house; and the stone wall at first was merely the outer line of fortification which protected the great tower or, to use its modern name, the keep. In many instances, as at Windsor, the mount was simply fortified by a ring-wall, forming what has been called a shell-keep. Sometimes, as at Guildford, a square tower was built upon the summit. As a rule, however, the building of a stone tower meant the abandonment of the mottefor a more secure foundation; and, though here and there the motto was partially utilised or even included within the new work, the tower, as at Newcastle-on-Tyne, rose on a new site. At Rochester and Middleham old motte-and-bailey fortresses were deserted for new castles, each dominated by its great tower. In France and Normandy the stone tower made progress during the first half of the twelfth century. Advance in England was slower; and, after the Conqueror’s towers, already mentioned, the only authentic example of a rectangular stone keep until the reign of Henry II is the huge tower built at Rochester by Archbishop William of Corbeil. Henry II, however, as part of his measures for restoring order, inaugurated an epoch of castle­building of which the characteristic feature is the great tower or donjon. Two varieties are found, one in which there is a single room on each floor, and the other in which the tower is divided from top to bottom by a cross-wall, the top of which formed a gutter between the gabled roofs of the two compartments. The second type is sometimes oblong in plan and sacrifices height to the large area which it covers. Both types, however, have the same characteristic arrangements. They are usually entered by a doorway on the first or second floor, approached by a flight of stairs which is enclosed in a forebuilding or barbican set against a side of the tower. This steep and narrow passage, crossed on its way by one or more doors and protected at its head by a guard-room, was the only means of access from without. The room, entered from it at right-angles, was the great hall or main apartment. Winding stairs in one or more of the corner-turrets led to the lower and upper floors and to the battlements, which rose above and hid the roof and were provided with a parapet-walk. The vaulted basement was the store-room of the building; while additional accommodation was furnished by chambers, large and small, contrived in the thickness of the walls. The tower had its chapel, which was generally situated in the forebuilding: it also had its well, in the basement or with a long shaft from a well-chamber on one of the upper floors. At Rochester the well-pipe is in the cross­wall, with an opening on each floor. No two towers are exactly alike, and their planning shews remarkable variety and ingenuity. As dwelling­houses, even the most spacious must have been dark and uncomfortable: for considerations of safety, the lower stages were lighted with narrow loops, widely splayed on the inner side; and, though light could be introduced more freely higher up, the thickness of the stonework and the employment of the walls for chambers and passages left the main rooms in twilight. The keep is often represented as intended only for a last resource in time of siege, and it is possible that in some castles a hall in the courtyard was normally used as a more convenient residence. But the general appearance of the dwelling-house in the bailey belongs to a later date; and while there arc one or two instances in which the tower seems to have served purely military purposes, the domestic aspect of such towers as those of Falaise, Hedingham, Castle Rising, and Bamburgh is obvious. They are not only the culminating points of fortresses, but they are residences whose impregnable strength is the safety of their tenants.

With its massive walls and dangerous entrance, the rectangular donjon could defy attack with success. It was designed to resist the stones cast from the great catapults which were the most formidable siege-engines of the day; its wider openings were beyond the roach of arrows and javelins. Against an enemy at close quarters, using the ram or attempting to undermine the masonry with bores and picks, the faces of the tower could be protected by wooden galleries or hoardings fixed outside the battlements, with holes in the floor through which missiles could be used. On the other hand, the sharp angles offered the foe a sector in which he could work with security at points where the masonry was most vulnerable. As a precaution against this the north-west turret of the great tower at Newcastle, standing at a point which was liable to attack, was built as a polygon with blunt angles between 1172 and 1177. In 1215 one of the square angle-turrets at Rochester succumbed to stone-throwing machines, and was rebuilt on a curved plan. These devices reduced the dangerous sector to a minimum and substituted a surface whose radiating joints withstood the impact of the ram and neutralised the labours of sappers and miners.

Growing familiarity with the fortifications of the East, acquired during the crusades, aided such improvements. Before the end of tfee twelfth century, the cylindrical donjon began to supersede the older form. The finest examples are to be found in France, and, until its recent destruction, the early thirteenth-century castle of Coney, in which the enormous donjon, with its own ditch and curtain-wall, took its place as the principal feature of a perfectly-planned enceinte, was the most imposing feudal monument in Europe. In England the circular donjon was never more than a passing phase, but it formed a prominent feature in the thirteenth-century castles of Wales. The round keep at Conisborough in Yorkshire, standing at the highest corner of the bailey, with immensely thick walls and a steeply battering base, is an ingenious attempt to combine a curved surface with a system of flanking formed by a series of projecting buttress turrets, left solid through most of their height. Here, however, some flanking has also been given to the wall of the bailey, which has been reinforced at intervals by smaller circular turrets added to its face. Hitherto, towers breaking the line of the curtain-wall had been built, but without any definite idea of systematic flanking. The outer wall, defended by its ditch, had been left to take its chance; the filling-up of the ditch was necessary before a breach could be made or the gatehouse stormed, and the defenders concentrated their efforts on the ultimate resistance of the great tower. When once means were taken to provide the outer wall with a ring of projecting towers, from which a raking arrow-fire could be directed upon the besiegers, the donjon was no longer a necessity. Although in Richard I’s great castle, Chateau-Gaillard, the round donjon, strengthened by a spur-shaped projection upon its inner face, is still a prominent feature of the defences, the most remarkable point in the plan is the wall, consisting of a series of curved projections, which divides the innermost from the middle ward. Here the division of the bailey into a succession of wards, and the care which is taken to strengthen the outer walls and approaches, mark the arrival of the new period, in which the curtain-wall and its towers begin to bear the whole burden of defence.

The donjon never became wholly obsolete. In France its survival was more persistent than in England, and in England, especially in the region exposed to Scottish raids, it is found in and after the thirteenth century. The fourteenth-century tower between the two wards at Knarcsborough and the principal tower of which records remain at Pontefract are cases n point. Soon after the building of Dunstanburgh, another castle of the house of Lancaster, in 1313, the gatehouse was blocked up and converted into a donjon; and to this there is a parallel in South Wales at Llanstephan. That most common feature of late military architecture in the north, the peel-tower, reproduces the disposition of a rectangular keep on a small scale. At the same time the donjon loses its primary character as the fortified residence which is the raison d'être of the castle.

At Coucy and Pontefract the splendid domestic buildings of the castles were sheltered within strongly defended walls. The mansion within the castle, as at Windsor and Ludlow, is the growth of a period in which the actual fortification of the house has been succeeded by the fortification of the wall which encircles it.

The later medieval castle, in its most scientific development, was therefore an enclosure, usually divided by cross-walls into two or more wards, and surrounded by a wall with towers at regular intervals, so planned as to command the whole outer face of the wall between them. The house with its offices, following the normal domestic plan with the hall as its centre, was in the inner ward: the outer ward contained various additional offices, stables, and quarters for the garrison. A path, approached by stairs set against the inner face at intervals, ran along the top of the wall, protected upon its outer side by a parapet and battlements. The battlements or merlons, sometimes pierced by loops covered with hinged shutters, sheltered the archers, who also could shoot through the embrasures between them. The merlons, at first double the width of the embrasures, became of equal width with them at a later date. While the system of fitting hoardings to the parapets in time of siege continued through the thirteenth century, the flanking afforded by the towers diminished the risk which such precautions were intended to meet. But, as a substitute, the parapets were often corbelled out in front of the wall, and holes were left between the corbels through which stones might be thrown or arrows shot down upon the assailants. These machicolations are prominent in castles and town-walls of the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The parapet-walk was carried through the upper floors of the towers; but strong doorways guarded their entrances, so that, in a well-defended castle, the wall could be isolated into sections, and, if one part was scaled by ladders or entered from the movable wooden towers which were used for scaling purposes, the rest could be cut off.

In later castles the gatehouse assumed an importance equal to that of the donjon at an earlier date. The gatehouse, to begin with, had been a simple tower with an upper storey above the arched entrance. Now the archway was flanked by projecting towers, semi-circular or polygonal, with guard-rooms on their lower floors. The vaulted roof of the gateway passage was pierced with holes or slots through which intruders could be annoyed by missiles as effective as, and more economical than, the molten lead of popular fiction. The outer doorway, reached by a drawbridge across the ditch or moat, was shielded by an iron portcullis, worked by a windlass from the first floor. In addition, the approach to the drawbridge was strengthened by a barbican or forebuilding, with its own outer ditch and drawbridge, forming a narrow passage in which the defence had a great advantage over the attacking force. The barbicans at Alnwick and Warwick, the noble gatehouses at Pembroke and Lancaster, bear witness to the care with which the main approach to the castle was guarded.

France led the way in scientific fortification, and from the fourteenth to the fifteenth century her engineers applied great variety of skill to the art of defence. England can shew no castle as colossal as Coucy; the walls of York or even those of so regularly and carefully fortified a town as Conway cannot compare in scientific interest with those of Aigues-Mortes, Carcassonne, and Avignon. England, however, produced at the end of the thirteenth century examples of castle-planning which are second to none in interest. The prototypes of the concentric lines of defence, by means of which the outer ward of the castle entirely surrounded the inner, were to be found in Byzantine fortification, as in the triple enceinte of Constantinople, and in the strongholds built by the Crusaders in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. The concentric castle of the Knights of St John in the Lebanon area, the Krak des Chevaliers, is one of the most complete achievements of medieval military skill. In such a fortress we see a quadrilateral castle with flanking towers encircled by a second and lower wall, so as to enable the defenders of both lines to work together simultaneously and those on the inner wall, from their superior height, to command the field outside the castle and shoot over their comrades' heads. So advantageous was the system that it was applied to alterations of already existing castles. Thus the Tower of London was converted into a regular concentric castle, in which the Conqueror’s great tower and the later domestic buildings were withdrawn from active defence within a double line of wall. The outer ward was a narrow passage between the two walls, broken into sections by transverse walls and gateways. The approach to the gatehouse, across a bridge with a barbican at either end, presented an initial difficulty to the enemy, who further was exposed to a triple line of fire from the archers on both walls and from those on the ground-level of the outer ward, for whom arrow-slits were provided in the wall beneath the parapet. The same plan was used for new castles founded in Wales. Caerphilly, on a low and marshy site, was begun in the reign of Henry III and is the most elaborately defended of all, with outworks of immense strength protecting the moat round the main building. Less complicated in design, and conceived with a masterly simplicity, were Edward I’s castles at Rhuddlan and Harlech; while at Beaumaris, the latest of his Welsh castles, general simplicity of plan was combined with fertility in devices for rendering a castle on a low and flat site practically impregnable. At Carnarvon and Conway there is only one line of fortification with flanking towers, and the two wards are divided by a cross-wall internally; but the cluster of round towers and the barbican which defends the entrance at Conway, and the great galleried wall at Carnarvon with its two gatehouses and the polygonal tower at its western angle, are unequalled in Britain for strength and grandeur of effect. The capacity of such fortresses for defence was a convincing answer to contemporary methods of attack; while, instead of the inert front which earlier castles had presented to besiegers, the Edwardian castle, with its looped and parapeted walls and its carefully shielded gatehouses, confronted its assailants with every means for an active defence which might be converted into a formidable offensive.

The combination of the castle with the walled town can be seen to perfection at Conway, where the town is virtually an outer ward to the castle, surrounded by a wall flanked at regular intervals by towers which are rounded to the field and left open at the neck on the inner side. This union of town-wall and citadel may be studied on a more imposing scale and with more variety of scientific features at Carcassonne and other foreign towns; and few English towns retain anything like a complete circuit of walls. Where, however, the walls have almost entirely disappeared, their course can often be traced by the survival of the pomerium or lane at their back, which separated them from the houses, or by broad streets which mark the line of the outer ditch and still form a noticeable division between the town and its suburban extensions. Town gatehouses have frequently been preserved, in spite of modern traffic. Of fortified bridges across rivers, of which several fine examples, such as the bridge at Prague and the Pont Valentre at Cahors, remain on the continent, there are few relics in England; the small gatehouses of the bridges at Monmouth and Warkworth are insignificant exceptions. In Gascony and Guyenne Edward I’s engineers laid out fortified towns with a gridiron arrangement of streets round a central market-place, of which the standard example is Montpazier (Dordogne). This plan can also be traced in the grass-grown enclosure of Winchelsea. These, however, are only occasional examples of the combination of a street-plan with the outer fortifications of a town ; and the town within the walls was usually an intricate labyrinth of streets and lanes.

Fortification attained its highest point in the concentric plan of the castle. During the fourteenth century refinements of castle-planning are frequent. The magnificent castle of Saint-André at Villeneuve, on the right bank of the Rhone opposite Avignon, and, on a smaller scale, the castle of Caerlaverock by the Solway, shew triangular plans at the apex of which is set an imposing gatehouse. As late as 1379 the castle of Bodiam in Sussex was built upon a plan derived from that of Villandraut (Garonne). But, while foreign invasions and internal disturbances still maintained the old importance of the castle in the rest of Europe, and while Italian princes still dwelt within feudal castles and even municipali­ties constructed castles for their own defence as part of their fortifications, the castle entered upon no further period of development. In the contest for supremacy between the methods of attack and those of defence, the first had always pushed the second closely. Castle-builders had succeeded in forcing an enemy to a respectful distance. Against adequately flanked walls and machicolated battlements the cumbrous operations of the battering-ram and the scaling-tower were of little avail, and miners were at the mercy of a watchful garrison. The moat filled with water dammed up from a neighbouring stream was a more difficult obstacle than the dry ditch which had been the habitual outer defence of earlier castles, and gave strength to positions which in themselves had little natural advantage. At the same time, the opportunity of the besieger lay in the improvement of his engines for hurling missiles. The more formidable these became, the less possibility there was of counteracting them. It is true that the machines which propelled great stones by the release of the cords that held back an upright stock with a hollow chamber, or of a counter­poise which, let free, set a sling in motion, and the arbalasts, cross-bows on a large scale which discharged javelins, were clumsy, and that the damage which they inflicted upon stonework was less than their menace to life and to perishable buildings inside the walls. Their use in defence, however, was necessarily limited. The shock of the discharge made their employment upon towers and ramparts dangerous, unless solid platforms which could resist vibration were made for them; from the ground-level behind the walls, even where there was sufficient room to allow for their trajectory, their aim could be only haphazard. It is probable that the invention of gunpowder and the use of cannon worked no very sudden change. The earliest cannon were awkward engines of no great strength. Nevertheless, their capacity for improvement must have been obvious from the first. The force which they brought into play had possibilities far beyond those of the older machines of warfare; and the decline in medieval fortification begins with their arrival in the fourteenth century.

From this period onwards there are two distinct tendencies in castle­building. On the one hand, in districts constantly harassed by war, like the Scottish border, the castle reverts from the walled and flanked enclosure to the state of a fortified house, protected on its most vulnerable side by a walled courtyard. Quadrangular houses with projecting towers at the corners, like Bolton, Lumley, and other northern castles, were built by great noblemen; the ordinary land-owner raised his peel-tower on a less imposing scale, trusting to the thickness of its walls and the immunity of its vaulted ground-storey from fire. On the other hand, in more peaceful districts the castle abandoned its military character. Defensive features were retained, but for ornament rather than use, just as the feudalism of which the castle had been the symbol had lost its reality. Even in some of the castles of the north, such as the tower of Belsay and the tower-house built upon the mount at Wark worth in the fifteenth century, domestic comfort is at least as prominent an object as safety. In the south of England, Hurstmonceaux, with its mimicry of defence, marks the transition from the military stronghold, like Bodiam, to the English manor-house of the next century. The castle of Tattershall in Lincolnshire, provided with elaborate inner and outer moats and dominated by a lofty brick tower with machicolated battlements, is a palace with the semblance of a fortress. Its builder, the treasurer Cromwell, also began the manor-house of Wingfield in Derbyshire, which similarly preserves some of the features of a castle, while laying more stress upon its true purpose as a mansion. In warfare such houses played little or no part. The wars of the Roses were fought in open field, not against castle walls. Elsewhere the same transition is noticeable. Blois and Amboise, gradually transformed into palaces, may be contrasted with the feudal fortresses of Chinon and Loches. Heidelberg, under the Electors palatine of the sixteenth century, lost all likeness to the hill-fortresses of the feudal lords in Germany. The castle had seen its day as a factor in the evolution of military science, and the future of fortification lay in a return, under new conditions and through gradual processes, to the system of defence by earthwork from which the castle had grown to maturity.