Forebuildings were constructed to protect the entrances to castle keeps.  As such they tend to be of 2 storeys, a basement, often containing a latrine cistern and an upper floor reached by steps running up the side of the keep wall.  Sometimes there was a third storey which would contain a chapel.  The placement of a chapel here was logical as it commanded the main entrance to the heart of the fortress and a watch could be kept while regular services were kept.  Sometimes the portcullis had to be lowered to expose the altar for the mass to proceed as an extra precaution.  Less usual forebuildings appear half way up castle mottes and often take the form of twin turreted gatehouses, viz.
Crickhowell and Snodhill.

Examples of forebuildings can be found at the following castles in the British Isles: Abergavenny?, Berkeley, Bowes, Bridgnorth, Bungay, Caerleon?, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carrickfergus, Castle Rising, Chartley, Clonmacnoise, Crickhowell, Dinas Bran, Dolbadarn, Dolwyddlan II, Dover, Duffield?, Elmley, Hedingham, Kenilworth, Maynooth, Nether Stowey, Newcastle, Norwich, Ogmore, Pencelli, Portchester, Prudhoe, Richards Castle, Rochester, Saffron Walden, Scarborough, Sherborne, Snodhill, Trim, Whittington and Y Bere.  

In France examples can be found at: Arques, Falaise, Loches, Montbazon and Talmont.


Copyright©2021 Paul Martin Remfry

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