Castles and castle building in town and country
By O.H. Creighton
Town and Country in the Middle Ages: Contrasts, Contacts and Interconnections, 1100-1500, edited by K. Giles and C. Dyer (Leeds, 2005)
Abstract: Medieval castles formed parts of urban and rural settlement patterns. In the countryside most castles were simultaneously manorial centres, and their settlement contexts exhibit a high level of regional variation. Castles found in conjunction with medieval towns were either secondary impositions, usually within the perimeters of earlier defences, or primary nuclei around which urban communities formed. ln contrast to other parts of Britain and Europe, private urban fortifications were virtually unknown in England. Castles and accompanying castle-towns formed focal points within wider rural territories, with fortified sites often lying at the junction of different types of rural resource.