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Castles And Siege Warfare

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Chapter Summary

Twelfth-century warfare cannot be properly understood without a consideration of the multiple roles of castles and fortified towns. The two principal types of fortresses in the Anglo-Norman period were castles and fortified towns, with the latter in use during the Anglo-Saxon period. In the Anglo-Saxon period, the town was fortified with protective ramparts up to 3300 yards long; today, the surviving remnants stretch for about 2100 yards. Henry made a career out of investing and taking fortresses, from his first siege at Bridgport in 1149 until his last at Montrelais in 1187. Of the scores of castles attacked by Henry only two escaped his clutches: at Torigini in 1151, Henry was forced to lift the siege when the armies of Louis VII and Eustace arrived in relief, and the duke also abandoned the siege of Bedford in 1153 when its garrison put up a stout resistance.

Keywords: Anglo-Norman period; Anglo-Saxon period; castle; Henry; Montrelais; Twelfth-century; warfare



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