Cultural realities and reappraisals in English castle-study + An analysis of the essential material and metaphysical elements of ''fortification'' in contemporary castellology - The state of research

Coulson, Charles (1996) Cultural realities and reappraisals in English castle-study + An analysis of the essential material and metaphysical elements of ''fortification'' in contemporary castellology - The state of research. Journal of Medieval History, 22 (2). pp. 171-207. ISSN 0304-4181. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-4181(96)80483-0

Abstract

Surveying a selection of publications on English castles, particularly since the writer's ‘Structural symbolism in medieval castle architecture’ (1979),1 the problem of military determinism is reviewed. Historical experience, differing from the French and the German, has made English castellology heavily technological until recently. The cultural method of architectural and art history, and of archaeology, has rarely extended to castles and been too learned to modify perceptions. Neglect of the aristocratic ethos manifested in the castellated fortified style of a wide range of ‘domestic’, so-called ‘military’ and ‘religious’ buildings, prior to the early modern classical revival, has been damaging. Expecting ‘true castles’ (compare château-fort) to be ‘seriously defended’ has forced them into the anachronistic mould of ‘military architecture’, imposing post-medieval stereotypes, in Britain most grievously. Narrow specialism has impeded appreciation of the castellated fusion of state, style and security. As socio-political study develops so will the risk of making ‘display’ and ‘prestige’ the new bandwagon, especially in the simplistic literature so far starved of scholarly infrastructure. By drawing together here some of the strands of the interplay of elements material and metaphysical essential to ‘fortification’, progress may, it is hoped, be stimulated.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: M.A. Ziai
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 09:21
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2014 12:01
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/18890 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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