In the following essay I am going to compare the functions and forms of Bodiam and Bolton castles. The two castles were built in the second part of fourteenth century and their builders were granted a license to crenellate from Richard II. As they are both part of a transition in the history of castle building, I will try to illustrate their functions as both defensive systems and comfortable and sophisticated residences. By analysing their plans, I would examine the differences and similarities in the arrangement and the design of the two castles.
Bodiam Castle is a late medieval castle was built in East Sussex between 1385 and 1386 by Sir Edward Dalyngrigge (Fig. 1). Bolton castle was built by Sir Richard le Scrope in 1379 (Fig. 2). Both castles were made at a developmental stage of the history of castle building. They were constructed at a time when nobility were looking for comfortable residences that offered them not only security, but also spacious and agreeable places to live in. As a result of the invention of guns and gunpowder, which made many of their defensive measures impractical, castles at that time were in decline. Moreover, the weakening of military feudalism granted the king with greater authority at the expense of power, possessed by the lords and barons. Hence, military castle structures were no longer as appropriate as they used to be. A newfound desire emerged in the lords to demonstrate the authority they still had; thus, castles became comfortable residences that display wealth, rank and status .
The massive towers of the remarkably beautiful Bodiam castle and the broad moat surrounding it appear as the perfect example of the medieval castle. Nevertheless, this fortress functioned both as a stronghold an...
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...g about castles. They impress with their sense of symmetry. Although the two castles were genuinely different in terms of size and planning, they both impress with their sense of symmetry and are centred on a courtyard and served as housing not only for their lord, but also for their households and visitors.
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