Segments in this Video

Introduction: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Defense of the Realm (02:03)


Castles were re-designed after the Middle Ages to incorporate new weapons. Literature and art generated nostalgia.

Bamburgh Castle (03:39)

Richard Neville, or "The Kingmaker," assaulted the last stronghold of the Lancaster Family during the War of the Roses. Three canons were brought in by sea to end the siege.

Pendennis and St. Mawes Castles (03:56)

Henry VIII ushered in the Reformation and the establishment of The Church of England. Under threat of invasion, bastions were erected as a base. Pillaging the monasteries paid for its' construction.

Firing a Canon (03:58)

The gun room was cramped and smoky. Gunners used gunpowder, dried grass, and old rope to fire the canons. Many of the coastal forts never fired a shot in anger.

Kenilworth Castle (04:54)

Henry VIII chose the castle as a place of luxury and pleasure. Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, transformed the castle to woo Queen Elizabeth I. Tudors claimed direct lineage with King Arthur.

Corfe Castle (05:42)

Castles lost their military purpose. During the Second English Civil War, Lady Mary Bankes, her six daughters, and reinforcements withstood the Roundhead assault. In 1646, Colonel Pitman betrayed the Royalists by leading a party of Parliamentarians via the southwest gate house.

Carisbrooke Castle (03:54)

Charles I was imprisoned on the Isle of Wight after escaping from Hampton Court. Henry Firebrace and the king plotted his escape. The Roundheads returned Charles I to London, found him guilty of treason, and beheaded him.

Tearing Down Castles (03:50)

Roundheads began to slight castles where there were Royalist sympathizers. Kenilworth Castle lost its former glory. Windsor Castle was considered for demolition.

Strawberry Hill (05:31)

The monarchy was restored in 1660. Castles transformed into a symbol of historical past. Horace Walpole erected a home in Twickenham that stunned society; "The Castle of Otranto" was the first Gothic novel written.

Hagley Hall Folly (03:13)

Sanderson Miller built follies for wealthy patrons to add history and romance. Visitors asked about the siege the structure underwent. William Gilpin coined the term picturesque.

Norham Castle (03:11)

Joseph Mallord William Turner returned to paint the castle multiple times. The tower had been shattered by canon fire in a battle between England and Scotland. Turner noted details of a potential war with France in front of ruins.

Martello Tower - Dymchurch (05:36)

Napoleon Bonaparte dominated and threatened invasion; the British government built fortifications along the south and east coast of England. The original canon could fire more than a mile out to sea. Turner captured Norham Castle for the last time at the age of 70.

Credits: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Defense of the Realm (00:30)

Credits: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Defense of the Realm

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Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Defense of the Realm

Part of the Series : Castles - Britain's Fortified History
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



A look at how castles ceased to be used for defensive purposes, instead becoming palaces to impress monarchs or ruins that instilled a sense of nostalgia for an age of chivalry in the British psyche.

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL187523

ISBN: 978-1-64867-129-6

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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