Monday, September 26, 2016

Castles of the Hundred Years War

 From History Extra:
 In Seats of Power in Europe During the Hundred Years' War, Emery studies 60 residences of the crowned heads and the royal ducal families of the countries involved in the conflict. Here, writing for History Extra, Emery explores nine of the most significant royal palaces built during the period…

The Hundred Years' War began in 1337 and lasted until 1453 – a span of 116 years – but in reality, the war arguably extended a further 30 years until its final conclusion in 1483 with the deaths of Edward IV of England and Louis XI of France.

The war was not a continuous conflict but one of battles, sieges and armed conflict interspersed with periods of comparative calm or even peace, at least in England. Nearly all the fighting occurred in France, with England suffering only from sea raids and the threat of invasion between 1370 and 1390. However, the war had wider European ramifications, for it extended into Scotland, Flanders, the Iberian Peninsula and even the Holy Roman Empire.

The reasons for building during a war varied from the likely presence in a region of armed forces to a person's financial capabilities and standing in society. The shape and character of a residence during a war was similarly determined by the leader's position in society, but also by his technical knowledge and as a demonstration of his lordship, power, and wealth.

The anticipation of conflict often determined the defensive character of the palaces built by the key protagonists, but it should be remembered that castles as well as palaces were as much a residence as a fortification, with considerable flexibility in their design. Even in war, kings and nobles were just as capable of building a manor house as a fortress, depending on that person's reaction to the political and military circumstances in the region. (Read more.)

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