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A Missing Link: a Reappraisal of the Date, Architectural Context and Significance of the Great Tower of Dudley Castle

  • Malcolm Hislop (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

The great tower of Dudley Castle, in the West Midlands, is re-examined in order to situate it within the evolutionary sequence of great tower designs. In so doing, it is argued that the origins of its plan are to be found in the works of the early to mid-thirteenth century, and that the tower itself was probably begun during the 1260s. Furthermore, it is asserted that the tower represents a milestone in the thinking that underpinned the redevelopment of castle mottes, and that it is to be seen as the prime connection between the circle-based plans that dominated motte redevelopments in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and later developments that led, ultimately, to the radically different, but architecturally successful scheme adopted by the builder of the donjon of Warkworth Castle in Northumberland.

Résumé

La grande tour du château de Dudley, dans la région de West Midlands, est réexaminée dans le but de la situer dans la séquence évolutionnaire des grands modèles de tours. Ce faisant, on soutient que les origines de son plan pourront se trouver dans les travaux exécutés entre le début et le milieu du treizième siècle, et que la tour elle-même avait probablement été commencée au cours des années 1260. En outre, on affirme que la tour représente un point marquant des idées à la base de la restructuration des mottes de châteaux, et qu’on peut la voir comme lien primordial entre les plans basés sur le cercle qui dominaient les restructurations des mottes au douzième et au treizième siècles, et les développements ultérieurs dont l’aboutissement final est le plan totalement différent, mais néanmoins une réussite au niveau de l’architecture, adopté par le bâtisseur du donjon du château de Warkworth au Northumberland.

Zusammenfassung

Der Großturm der Burg von Dudley in der Grafschaft West Midlands wird erneut untersucht um ihn in eine Entwicklungsabfolge von Großturmdesigns einzuordnen. Demzufolge sind die Ursprünge seines Grundrisses in den Arbeiten des frühen bis mittleren dreizehnten Jahrhunderts zu finden und der Turmbau wurde wahrscheinlich um 1260 begonnen. Darüber hinaus wird behauptet, daß der Turm ein Meilenstein in der Denkweise war, die zur Wiederentwicklung von Turmhügelburgen führte, und daß es als ein wichtigers Verbindungsglied zu den kreisförmigen Plänen fungiert, die für die Wiederentwicklung von Turmhügelburgen im zwölften und dreizehnten Jahrhunderten typisch war und späteren Entwicklungen, die zu radikal verschiedenen Entwürfen führten, und von den Erbauern des Burgfrieds der Warkworth Burg in der Grafschaft Northumberland übernommen wurde.

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References
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