The castle was a Byzantine fortification conquered in 939 by the Arab chief Chalil.  He is said to have repaired the fortress.  After 1060, but before 1091, the castle fell to the Normans.  It was subsequently granted by Roger II (d.1154) to the bishop of Catania.  The fee and presumably therefore the castle was held from Frederick III (d.1337) by the knight Scalorus Osbert in 1296.  He also held the fees of Gutte and Chinidroni.  Presumably Assoro castle was finally a victim of the 1693 earthquake.

The rubble built castle has a more traditional British plan with a polygonal inner ward set on a small cliff site with a rectangular bailey to the south.  Most of the inner ward is now gone, but the curtain wall blocking off the line of easiest access from the south still partially stands in two straight sections.  At the west end of this stands a boldy projecting solid circular turret only 10' in diameter.  Traces of the rest of the curtain follows the cliff top.  Presumably there would have been a hole in the wall gateway towards the east side above the outer bailey.

The outer bailey is merely marked by fragments of wall, although there is a trace of a large rectangular tower at the southwest corner of the bailey.  In the southeast corner stood a rectangular building of which only the east curtain wall side survives.  This had a rock cut basement which still has 8 timber beam support holes cut into the rock for the wooden first floor.  The room above was lit by at least one peculiar wide rectangular light to the east.  At the external south end of the room is a slight projecting buttress with quoined corners.  This has less putlog holes than the adjoining curtain and is presumably a later addition.  As there are no putlog holes in the inner ward it seems clear that these were built in different phases.  There are also underground passageways and chambers.  At some stage the outer ward was extended to the west and traces of this curtain can still be made out, as well as its toothing where it was joined into the south curtain of the inner ward adjacent to the turret.

Why not join me at other Sicilian castles?  Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly Sojourns.


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