Guildford Castle

Guildford Castle

Guildford Castle Guildford, United Kingdom William the Conqueror built castles in all the important towns to prevent rebellion and to strengthen his hold on the country.Guildford was an obvious site for a castle as it was the only town in Surrey (apart from Southwark). It was also on an important route between London and the south coast and the west of England.The first structures at the castle would have been the motte, or mound, surrounded by a ditch, and an adjoining bailey, or courtyard, defended by a wooden palisade.The bailey boundary ran along Castle Street, South Hill, the edge of what is now Racks Close and along a line parallel with Quarry Street but to the east. It may have used part of the Saxon borough boundary. The bailey was probably divided into an inner and outer bailey, partly along the line of the path between the Bowling Green and the castle grounds.There was probably a wooden tower on the motte, providing a lookout post for the garrison. In the early 12th century a chalk wall, or shell-keep, was built around the top of the motte. Later, perhaps in the 1130s, a keep, or great tower, was built to one side of the motte. It was probably over part of the shell-keep and also used the natural chalk below the artificial motte to take the weight of the tower.It was built of Bargate stone from the Godalming area, as it is stronger than the local chalk. It had two floors with the door on the first floor for both defence and status. It was probably built as the King's private apartments. The walls were finished with crenellations, and presumably a wall-walk for sentries.The first floor rooms consisted of the main chamber, a chapel, and a wardrobe chamber with a latrine. www.guildford.gov.uk

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