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Author Topic: Tonbridge Castle  (Read 7004 times)

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Offline yeoman

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 21:46:57 »
Indeed.  From memory, to get into the castle through the main gate you have to:

Approach through cross and long bow fire from the towers and wall and then span a pretty deep ditch (it's been filled in on the left as you approach, but the chasm to the right gives the idea.

Then you face the gatehouse itself.  This has two sets of thick timber gates, each studded with nail heads to break any axehead.  Each set of gates is coupled with a portcullis:  these can be used to keep you out or, if lowered once you've passed, to keep you in.  The defenders are still shooting and throwing stuff at you.

If you get through the outer set of gates you're into a very neat killing zone with arrow slits from the guardrooms to either side and the murder holes above.  The portcullises (see above) cut off escape, whether forwards into the bailey or back the way you came.  There are also some very solid-looking timber doors into the guardrooms, providing access in peace.  In war above the garrison could use them to counter-attack, or, presumably, to sweep up what's left of you afterwards.

One thing I've never seen is any contemporary picture of the bailey before it was backfilled and levelled to form the lawn and garden ( in the C18?) that you see now.  This seems to have covered any trace of the courtyard buildings and the weight of the earth was apparently the reason for the large cracks in the curtain wall along the Medway

Offline busyglen

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2011, 14:45:29 »
Thank you Kyn....not very nice but I guess it works if you're trying to keep the enemy at bay!
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline kyn

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2011, 14:34:07 »
They are the holes where people in the gatehouse or buildings can pour boiling hot oil or water over the attacking enemy!

Offline busyglen

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2011, 14:31:11 »
Showing my ignorance here, but what were `Murder Holes?'  I've never heard of them before.
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

merc

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 11:54:30 »
For the millenium, two of the missing floors in the Gatehouse were replaced and a spiral staircase was repaired. In 2003 re-roofing of the Gatehouse was also completed.

Offline yeoman

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2011, 20:49:26 »
Certainly it was there by 1088 when it was stormed by forces backing Rufus against Bishop Odo, according to the AS Chronicle.  The motte, with shell its keep, presumably date backs that far.  The gate tower was built c1275 by the de Clares who also built Caerphilly.

erfman

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2011, 18:32:21 »
how old is the castle then, any ideas? nice looking structure   :) erfman

Offline kyn

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2011, 18:24:08 »
A couple from me, starting with the porticullis and murder holes


A piscina or lampholder









merc

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 20:59:34 »
April 24, 1928

The rescue of a woman from a window niche of the ruined tower of Tonbridge castle, 60ft. above the ground, provided an exciting incident at Tonbridge yesterday. Mrs Smith, of North Road, Old Langton, near Tunbridge Wells, had climbed from the stairway into the niche from which there is an extensive view. Her plight was noticed and a message was sent to the fire station. Second Officer Spence, carrying ropes ascended a ladder to the woman, who became hysterical and collapsed. He tied a rope around her waist and lowered her to safety.

From The Times.

merc

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Re: Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2010, 21:55:28 »




The steep motte on the left is the highest conical motte in Kent.







Offline kyn

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Tonbridge Castle
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 16:00:41 »
 :)

 

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