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Castles in Britain What is a castle The word castle has a definition so extensive it can be used to describe anything from a trench during wartime to a massive stone structure Simply put a castle is any fortified dwelling used for residential and defensive purposes Though dark and gloomy British castles made some of the best strongholds during the fourteenth through the eighteenth Centuries Many Battles were fought in and around these castles During this time period the term castle ceased to have any significant meaning Its proud possessor no matter how luxurious it was called every tower palace and mansion a castle Owned by the Percy family Alnwich was a great border stronghold Henry Percy purchased this castle in 1309 from the Bishop of Durham The Percys added seven semi-circular towers two octagonal towers a barbican and a gigantic gateway between 1309 and 1440 These additions improved the basic castle shell making it an even more impenetrable fort Although Alnwick castle today sands as a magnificent ducal residence its sturdy outer walls flanked by sixteen towers and its strong strategic position act as reminders of the important role it played as a stronghold in the border clashes of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries So strong a castle that it feared no siege in shape it was like a shield for it has but three sides round it with a tower at each corner And I think that you will never see a more finely situated castle for on one side can be seen the Irish sea towards the west and to the north the fair moorland surrounded by an arm of the sea so that no creature born can approach it on two sides without putting himself in danger of the sea On the south side it is not easy for there are many places difficult to get through because of woods and marshes and ditches hollowed out
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