Rochester Castle Essay Research Paper Was Rochester

Rochester Castle Essay, Research Paper

Was Rochester Castle an Important Military Site in the Middle Ages?

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Rochester Castle was built in 1088, by the Bishop of Rochester & # 8211 ; Gundulf. It was known that the Bishop owed the King & # 8211 ; King William Rufus, a amount of? 100. To settle the difference the King ordered Gundulf to construct a motte and Bailey palace at Rochester. Th cost was? 60, and the money came from Gundulf. The construction of the palace consisted merely of a individual rock wall. In 1122, a square rock support was built inside the Bailey, by John of Worcester. In 1230 a cross wall was built. It divided the Bailey into two parts & # 8211 ; the outer Bailey and the interior Bailey. This information was extracted from the Textus Roffensis & # 8211 ; Register of Rochester palace.

During it & # 8217 ; s being, Rochester Castle was sieged three times. Once in 1088, so 1215 and eventually in 1264.

The besieging in 1088 was against King William II, as his brother, Robert and his uncle, Odo, wanted to subvert him and topographic point Robert on the throne. The program failed and Robert remained male monarch.

The besieging in 1215 was against King John because he refused the nomination of Simon Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Langton became Archbishop, and was appointed to & # 8216 ; expression after the palace & # 8217 ; , but the male monarch asked for it to be returned himself as the understanding to which this adhered to had expired. Langton refused the order and so a besieging took topographic point.

Harmonizing to Roger of Wendover, the male monarch undermined the E tower and put fire to it. This shows that the King valued the palace a batch as he was prepared to contend for it.

In 1264 another besieging occurred. There was a civil war between he king and his topics, so they capture Rochester Castle. However when they heard that the male monarch was returning to Rochester accompanied by his boy, they abandoned the besieging and fled.

I think that the ground for the forsaking of the besieging was that they did non believe that they had a opportunity against the male monarch and his boy.

From each of these besiegings we can see that the oppositions used the palace as a & # 8216 ; lever & # 8217 ; against the male monarch to acquire what they wanted. They had the male monarch & # 8217 ; s & # 8216 ; value ownership & # 8217 ; and would non return it until they had what the desired. For illustration from the 1264 siege the result was that the male monarch lost control over Rochester Castle and did non govern for one whole twelvemonth as he was imprisoned, and the Barons ruled the state during this clip. This shows that Rochester Castle was an of import military site as people considered it deserving sieging, although their programs were frequently non effectual. The male monarch besides evidently thought it was an of import military site as he was prepared to support it.

The fact that in 1216, King Louis of France besides sieged the palace, although by this clip the palace had been reduced to a ruin after the besieging of 1215, shows that people overseas besides thought of the palace as of import.

We now know that Rochester Castle was an of import military site during the in-between ages, but what were the grounds?

During the in-between ages, the chief agencies of transit was by ship or boat. Anyone meaning to acquire to London from the south seashore of England had to go through through Rochester foremost.

Rochester was located on the south bank of the River Thames. It is besides situated following to the River Medway. This puts the palace at an advantage as the dwellers of the palace would be able to see aggressors nearing on the River Medway.

Below is a image of the position of the River Medway from the top of the

palace.

Rochester Castle was besides built on a hill & # 8211 ; Boley Hill which made it harder for aggressors to occupy the palace.

Because Rochester Castle was en path to London it may hold meant that aggressors were dealt with at Rochester alternatively of at London.

The first besieging in 1088, did non damage the palace much. It was the besieging of 1264 that turned the palace into a ruin. The King John undermined the E tower and so put fire to it, utilizing the fat of 40 hogs. The portion of the palace was subsequently rebuilt in the strongest and latest design & # 8211 ; a unit of ammunition tower alternatively of a the usual square form.

This shows that the palace was thought to be important as the King had it rebuilt in an updated design and strengthened it.

Over the 282 old ages ( 1088 & # 8211 ; 1370 ) , several alterations and fixs were made to the palace. The tabular array below shows the alterations, add-ons and fixs made to Rochester Castle, and with them their costs and when they were made. This information was taken from the Pipe Rolls.

( The pipe axial rotations were the one-year axial rotation of histories rendered at the Exchequer by sheriffs and other royal bailiffs )

Date Repair/ alteration Cost

1088 The palace was built as a simple motte and Bailey palace? 60

1126 A square rock support was built inside the Bailey unknown

1227 Repairs to the support

Floors laid? 100

1230 & # 8211 ; 1231 Drum tower and cross wall built? 20

1239 Chapel decorated unknown

1244 New chapel built? 132

1254 External stairss and new room access? 150

1256 Repairs to the support? 120 +

1367 & # 8211 ; 1370 Repairs to the support and defense mechanisms consequent to the events of 1264? 2262

As you can see, a big sum of money was spent on the care of the palace, in entire, at least? 2884 was spent on it. Therefore the male monarch must hold considered Rochester palace as an of import military site, otherwise he would non hold spent so much, money on it.

The edifice itself provides us with grounds that Rochester palace was an of import military site:

& # 183 ; Very thick walls to defy onslaught & # 8211 ; The drape wall was built thicker at the base so that it was a stronger and more hardy construction.

& # 183 ; The entryway on the first floor of the bow edifice & # 8211 ; if the entryway was on the land floor it would be easier for the aggressors to come in the palace. Below is a image of the bow edifice, As you can see metal stairss have been put up to back up the stairss which would hold been made signifier rock.

& # 183 ; Spiral staircases inside the towers of the support with many landings were at that place to confound aggressors of where they were traveling.

& # 183 ; Windows were mere narrow slits, their intent was to let pointers to be shot out of them. The were narrow so that aggressors outdoors could non hit pointers inside.

Decision

From all of the grounds I have collected, I can see that Rochester Castle was an of import military site. The location is ideal, as it was on the manner to London, so people are bound to assail it as the King is so protective of it. The fact that Rochester palace was sieged so many times, and even when it was ruin besides proves that it was an of import military site. Obviously people thought that it had adequate significance that it was deserving the attempt of sieging it.

Rochester palace besides had many fixs made to it which means that the King wanted to maintain it and thought that it was of import plenty to keep and fix.

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