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CastleUK Blog
November 2008
The blog page, a place where I can record and then archive my monthly updates and what's new in our hunt for castles UK.
This months castles are from Wiltshire, well its better said that this months site is Old Sarum, its a site and a half, is it an Iron Age hillfort, is it a Roman camp, maybe its a Saxon burh, it looks like a big old castle but what's that Norman cathedral, bishops palace and town doing there. The answer is, every thing if you want history you've got it in spades here, go fill your boots!!
October was a busy email month and thanks to everyone for taking the time to sent them, it was great here from my fellow castle hunters.
Chris from Medway Council told me of offensive material on my Rochester Castle page, this was a bit of a shock and when I clicked on my link to medwaytowns I got a Russian porn site, ho goody gum drops. Luckily the custodian of the castle, had noticed the redirection and now all links have been changed or checked, so many thanks, its hard to keep track of the large number of external links I have on my site.
Jon from Surrey, reported that Betchworth Castle, was in the Dorking Advertiser and that someone has approached Surrey County Council with a view to purchasing and restoring the castle with lottery funds, with the intent to open it to the public. He said that it should create a lot of heat between the conservationists and restorationists! and it also depends on if this is going to be a Disney style facility, Madam Tusaud's (we all liked Warwick) style or something else altogether, ie as per the Mussolini restoration of Rhodes Templar Castle? (which is also very good).
Glenn from Norfolk way, also put me straight about my Horsford Castle page, the books and the internet say that there was a 12th century stone keep on the motte but the idea seems to originate from Pevsner and there is really is no evidence other than those photos of a square outline but this could easily be an earthwork around wood. The man on the ground always knows best.
Peter from the Midlands told me about Astley Castle, which is a site of national importance that deserves to survive for centuries more and The Landmark Trust are about to embark on a challenging phase of repairs and consolidations of the existing ruin, following which they will create a contemporary new Landmark building within the consolidated ruin which will be available to rent as holiday accommodation. Book it Dano.
Click on the picture, for more information.
Castle Stede Wallpaper
Castle Stede, OS 97/SD 583-697 Lancashire England, is this months wallpaper.
The picture was taken on May Bank Holiday 2007 and the view is of the bailey ramparts, with the tree covered motte on the right. With Armistice Day falling in November, I try to have a picture that will remind us to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during war. In this months a Second World War pillbox has been constructed on the southern edge of the bailey defences, emphasising the military importance of the site over the centuries.
Old Sarum Castle
Old Sarum Castle, OS 184/SU 138 327 Wiltshire England, was originally an oval Iron Age hillfort and later in the 9th century a fortified Saxon burh. Soon after the conquest, King William I founded an earth and timber ringwork and bailey fortress within the hillfort and paid off his army here in 1070. The site is owned by English Heritage and is open daily, July and August 9:00-6:00pm, April to June and September 10:00-5:00pm, October and March 10:00–4:00pm, November to February 11:00-3:00pm.
Old Sarum Bishops Palace
Old Sarum Bishops Palace, OS 184/SU 136-327 Wiltshire England, is a 12th century fortified bishop's palace, founded by Roger of Salisbury. Constructed between 1102-39, the palace comprised of four ranges, enclosing a courtyard and possibly replaced an earlier timber aisled hall. The site is owned by English Heritage and is open daily, July and August 9:00-6:00pm, April to June and September 10:00-5:00pm, October and March 10:00–4:00pm, November to February 11:00-3:00pm. The site of the palace is between the cloister and the outer curtain wall but sadly nothing remains above the ground. Only the site of here but this part of Old Sarum is free, all free, there is a model of how it looked in the Cathedral Close in Salisbury.

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