Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns

 

The Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns
The strategy of building Welsh Medieval Castles was combined with King Edward's ambition to build and integrate fortified towns with the great Castles. These purpose-built townships were designed to predominantly house the English conquerors. The towns were defended by the city walls and, of course, the Castles. The Constable of the castle would often perform a dual role as Mayor of the town. Not only did the English have control over the local Welsh population they also had control of commerce and finance. The townships were established as trading centres - for the English. Welshmen were generally forbidden from entering the townships, let alone conducting trade in them.

 
 
 
Welsh Castles
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Bastides and Burghs - the Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns
The idea of building the fortified, purpose-built townships were based on a combination of the Bastides of Gascony and the Burghs, or Burhs, built by King Alfred the Great of England. King Edward would have been aware of the strategy of building fortified towns, or Burghs, which was employed to great effect by Alfred the Great.

King Alfred the Great and the building of fortified Castles and towns (called Burghs). He combined his knowledge of the English Burghs with the Bastides of Gascony. When Edward was given the title of Duke of Gascony he was able to inspect the Bastides of Gascony at first hand. The word Bastide was used to describe a purpose-built military building or a fortified town. Bastides were subject to proper planning and architectural design. The strongly defended Bastide towns were laid out according to a definite geometric plan, based on a rectangular grid and usually including a central public square. The Medieval Welsh Castles and townships built by King Edward I were an innovation for Britain during the Middle Ages! Medieval towns up to this point were built without any architectural planning!

Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns 

Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns

  • King Edward I strategy of building Welsh fortified Castles and Towns
  • A combination of a Burgh and a Bastide
  • What was the purpose of the Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns?
  • What did Fortified Towns look like?

Welsh Medieval Fortified Townships - Design
The design and planning of the Welsh Medieval townships was carefully thought out. The layout of the towns took into consideration the following defence factors:

  • The layout of the town's houses and buildings were planned so that they would not impede the circulation of troops
  • The rapid movement of the troops was ensured by building a main road which provided direct access to the curtain wall and the main gate and towers
  • The central public square doubled as a mustering point for all troops
  • Wall Towers could only be accessed from a doorway on the battlement accessed via a moveable wooden staircase on the inside of the wall
  • The central public square doubled as a mustering point for all troops
  • The Town wall was defended by a number of towers
  • The weakest points of any building are the corners - these towers were therefore round
  • Wall Towers could only be accessed from a doorway on the battlement accessed via a moveable wooden staircase on the inside of the wall

The Welsh Medieval Castles of Caernarfon, Rhuddlan, Conwy, Flint, Harlech and Beaumaris Castles included the building of fortified towns.

The Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns
King Edward I was well aware of the hostile Welsh population. He had conquered Wales and was determined to keep it. His building of the Welsh Medieval Castes and Fortified Towns ensured that forever more that Wales  would became incorporated into the Kingdom Of England under the Statute of Rhuddlan of 1294. Since this time Wales has been considered part of the kingdom of England and the Welsh flag never became part of the Union Jack Flag.

Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns

Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns

  • King Edward I strategy of building Welsh fortified Castles and Towns
  • A combination of a Burgh and a Bastide
  • What was the purpose of Welsh Medieval Fortified Towns?
  • What did they look like?
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