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8-08-2015, 14:28

Castle Remains Today

Castle building and constant castle repair—like any war effort—ate up the resources of the land, both in materials and labor (see Documents 15–19). The very nature of the castle almost guarantees that it shall be destroyed—either in war or by official decree. Siege warfare required the breaching of castle walls and the destruction of towers. As rulers brought feudal holdings under a central government, they could not afford to have castles in the hands of possible rivals or unruly subjects. A castle is said to be “slighted” when it is officially destroyed. Over time, nature also adds to the castle’s disintegration, recapturing its own with vines and underbrush and even trees. To visit a castle is to see broken walls, roofless halls, and sometimes only stone foundations and earthworks. When a castle seems at first glance to be intact, we can be certain it has been rebuilt. We must turn to archeology, to historical archives, and to art history for information. Even then we need an active imagination to study castles.