Huntingdon Castle, Cambridgeshire..

Huntingdon Castle is a motte and bailey castle located in the historic market town of Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. The Norman castle itself was began in 1068 by William the Conqueror, however, the site itself is likely to have been used by the Saxons prior to the Norman invasion as a defensible earthwork of some nature. There are records Edward the Elder building some sort of fortification in Huntingdon in 917.

The castle was probably mainly timber in construction though there has been some suggestions that the castle was in fact a shell keep built out of masonry, though there has been no evidence found to support this.

During the Great Anarchy, the castle was held by David, King of Scotland, who supported the Empress Matilda and it was greatly damaged at this time. After the Anarchy, the castle at Huntingdon passed to David’s on him paying homage to King Stephen.

Huntingdon Castle was ordered to be dismantled after coming under siege during the Revolt of 1173-1174. The castle site was refortified during the English Civil War and was later used as a prison. The site was then cleared and the castle mound itself was used for the siting of a windmill. The castle is now a park.

Huntingdon Castle motte.
Huntingdon Castle motte.
Huntingdon Castle bailey.
Huntingdon Castle bailey.

Colchester Castle, Essex..

Colchester Castle is the largest stone keep ever built in Britain and is the largest remaining in Europe. It is built on the site of the earlier Roman temple dedicated to Claudius (AD 54-60).

Construction of the castle was began on the order of William the Conqueror and it was designed by Gundulf, Archbishop of Rochester. Building began between 1069 and 1076 under the supervision of Eudo Dapifer, who was later to become the steward of the castle upon its completion. The castle was completed by around 1100, construction had been delayed due to the threat of Viking invasion.

Over the centuries the castle has been used for many purposes, including as a prison and by grain merchants. The castle is now home to a local museum charting the history of the local area.

Colchester Castle.
Colchester Castle.
Colchester Castle.
Colchester Castle.