Tonbridge Castle in 1088

 By Sonia Chouchane, Joanna White,  

Ainsley Horner &  Kayleigh Hewitt.

Tonbridge Castle was built in 1066. It was the first motte and bailey castle to be  built and it was built by Richard of England. It was made of wood. It is estimated that it took one year to build just ten feet of the great tower. Attackers came from all different places but the Normans were the first to attack. They burnt the castle down in 1088, but in 1260 they built the castle up again in stone. Public builders and builders from the district all helped to build it up again.

The gatehouse was built with round towers with octagonal bases, which rose to 5 stories with one underground. It was approached across the moat by a drawbridge, while portcullises protected either end of the passage through the gatehouse into the bailey of the castle. If the attackers managed to cross the moat they would have to face the murder holes before they reached the portcullis. The murder holes were holes  in the roof of the gatehouse where people threw tar and spikes down at the  attackers.                                                                                             

The motte is the large man-made hill to the side of the gatehouse and the bailey was a large yard, enclosed by the great stone walls, where the lawn is laid today(2000). The castle was home to a large number of people, not only to the De Clare family but also soldiers, servants and craftsmen who needed the support of the what would have been a thriving community. The many buildings within the bailey, would have included barracks for the soldiers and workshops, stables and storerooms. Forge for weapons and horseshoes brewery, bake house and kitchens. The gatehouse is the tower. East is the chapel. The castle was self-sufficient. The bailey was were they fought if they got in. It used to be made of stone. The castle still stands to this very day! 

Joanna's picture   Photo's of the castle

In costume at the castle

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