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COLCHESTER, ENGLAND'S LARGEST NORMAN KEEP, NOW USED AS A MUSEUM OF ESSEX ANTIQUITIES

COLCHESTER, ENGLAND'S LARGEST NORMAN KEEP, NOW USED AS A MUSEUM OF ESSEX ANTIQUITIES

Within a pentagonal rampart of earth are the tremendous walls of Colchester. Essex is not a county where building stone occurs, and these walls were therefore made of claystone, "septaria"- hard lumps of carbonate of lime found in London clay—Kentish ragstone, and rubble, all bound together with bands of Roman tiles. The dimensions of this great fortress are 155 feet by 113, and on the north the wall is 31 feet thick and seldom less than 12 feet elsewhere, while two of the angle towers are absolutely solid as far as the second storey. All this extraordinary strength was little tested in warfare. During the reign of John both the royal and baronial parties held it, and Sir George Lisle and Sir Charles Lucas defended it for three months in the Civil War.

Other pictures from Some Early Norman Castles


CARISBROOKE, THE OLD DEFENCE OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT, AND CASTLE RISING'S NORMAN KEEP

CHEPSTOW, THAT HELD THE PASSAGE OF THE SEVERN, AND THE CASTLE OF 'PEVERIL OF THE PEAK'

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