Ross Castle, Ireland


Ross Castle (Reflection) Killarney
c.1910
Publisher: L. Anthony, Killarney

Google Street View.

Ross Castle (Irish: Caisleán an Rois) is a 15th-century tower house and keep on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland . . . . The castle is typical of strongholds of Irish chieftains built during the Middle Ages. The tower house had square bartizans on diagonally opposite corners and a thick end wall. The tower was originally surrounded by a square bawn defended by round corner towers on each end.
Wikipedia.

Ross Castle perches in an inlet of Lough Leane. It is likely that the Irish chieftain O’Donoghue Mór built it in the fifteenth century. . . . Ross Castle was the last place in Munster to hold out against Cromwell. Its defenders, then led by Lord Muskerry, took confidence from a prophecy holding that the castle could only be taken by a ship. Knowing of the prophecy, the Cromwellian commander, General Ludlow, launched a large boat on the lake. When the defenders saw it, this hastened the surrender – and the prophecy was fulfilled.
Heritage Ireland

Chepstow Castle, Chepstow, Wales


In the keep, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

Google Street View (exterior)

Chepstow Castle at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain. Located above cliffs on the River Wye, construction began in 1067 under the instruction of the Norman Lord William FitzOsbern. Originally known as Striguil, it was the southernmost of a chain of castles built in the Welsh Marches, and with its attached lordship took the name of the adjoining market town in about the 14th century. In the 12th century the castle was used in the conquest of Gwent, the first independent Welsh kingdom to be conquered by the Normans. It was subsequently held by two of the most powerful Anglo-Norman magnates of medieval England, William Marshal and Richard de Clare. However, by the 16th century its military importance had waned and parts of its structure were converted into domestic ranges. Although re-garrisoned during and after the English Civil War, by the 1700s it had fallen into decay.
Wikipedia.

Building was started in 1067 by Earl William fitz Osbern, close friend of William the Conqueror, making it one of the first Norman strongholds in Wales. In turn William Marshal (Earl of Pembroke), Roger Bigod (Earl of Norfolk) and Charles Somerset (Earl of Worcester) all made their mark before the castle declined after the Civil War. These magnates and power-brokers were constantly on the move. Chepstow was just one residence in their vast estates – an impressive shell into which they would bring their gold and silver vessels, rich silk and brightly painted furniture.
Cadw


The store chamber, Chepstow Castle
c.1920

Google Street View

Anadoluhisarı (Anatolian Fort), Istanbul


CONSTANTINOPLIE. Anatolie-Hissard Bosphore

Google Street View.

Anadoluhisarı, known historically as Güzelce Hisar (“the Beauteous Castle”) is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving Turkish architectural structure built in Istanbul, and further gives its name to the neighborhood around it in the city’s Beykoz district.

Anadoluhisarı was built between 1393 and 1394 on the commission of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, as part of his preparations for a siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople. Constructed on an area of 7,000 square metres (1.7 acres), the fortress is situated at the narrowmost point of the Bosporus, where the strait is a mere 660 meters (2,170 ft) wide. The site is bound by Göksu creek to the south, and was previously home to the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Uranus. Erected primarily as a watch fort, the citadel has a 25 meters (82 ft) tall, quadratic main tower within the walls of an irregular pentagon, with five watchtowers at the corners.
Wikipedia.

Moorish Castle, Gibraltar


Gibraltar Moorish Castle
Publisher: J. Ferrary & Co, Gibraltar

The fortifications on and around the site of the Moorish Castle were first built in 1160, or earlier. These were, however, destroyed when the Spanish re-conquered Gibraltar from 1309-1333. The Tower of Homage, its main feature, dominates the hillside and the landward approach to Gibraltar. A rebuilt tower dates primarily from about 1333 AD when Abu’l Hassan recaptured Gibraltar from the Spanish. On another occasion, the Count of Niebla attacked the castle, was captured by the Medieval defenders and his body was suspended from the walls in a barcina, a net for carrying straw.

The Tower of Homage proudly displays the battle scars inflicted during the various sieges. Here a Spanish governor held out for five months against the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who took Gibraltar from his own sovereign, Queen Isabel of Spain. In 1540, hundreds of people found safety inside the castle when Turkish pirates ransacked Gibraltar. The lower castle formerly stretched all the way down to Casemates Square, the Grand Battery area and the Old Mole. It is interesting to note that the courtyard of the Moorish Castle served as a prison up until 2010.
HM Government of Gibraltar

The Moorish Castle is the name given to a medieval fortification in Gibraltar comprising various buildings, gates, and fortified walls, with the dominant features being the Tower of Homage and the Gate House. Part of the castle itself also housed the prison of Gibraltar until it was relocated in 2010. The Tower of Homage is clearly visible to all visitors to Gibraltar; not only because of its striking construction, but also because of its dominant and strategic position. Although sometimes compared to the nearby alcazars in Spain, the Moorish Castle in Gibraltar was constructed by the Marinid dynasty, making it unique in the Iberian Peninsula
Wikipedia

Gibraltar’s Tower of Homage may not be the most elegant Moorish Castle in Iberia but it is probably the largest. In fact it is so big and imposing that one would have imagined it would be easy to trace its origins and find out exactly who was responsible for having built the thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the time of writing and despite much research into obscure Arabic documents and tentative archaeological investigations we still really haven’t a clue.
The following therefore covers my own very limited research into this conundrum. It is based entirely on whatever documents I have been able to uncover. But to start at the probable beginning.
The People of Gibraltar

A stroll around Gibraltar No. 18 : Moorish Castle (internal photos)


Gibraltar Old Moorish Castle
1900s
Publisher: V.B. Cumbo, Gibraltar (1905-1911)

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh


Edinburgh Castle.
1900s

Google Street View

Set upon its mighty rock, Edinburgh Castle’s strategic advantage is clear. Seeing the site’s military potential, Iron Age people built a hill fort on the rock. Early medieval poetry tells of a war band that feasted here for a year before riding to their deaths in battle.

As well as guarding great moments in history, the castle has suffered many sieges. During the Wars of Independence it changed hands many times. In 1314, the Scots retook the castle from the English in a daring night raid led by Thomas Randolph, nephew of Robert the Bruce. The castle defences have evolved over hundreds of years. Mons Meg, one of the greatest medieval cannons ever made, was given to King James II in 1457. The Half Moon Battery, built in the aftermath of the Lang Siege of 1573, was armed for 200 years by bronze guns known as the Seven Sisters. Six more guns defend the Argyle Battery, with its open outlook to the north.
Edinburgh Castle: History of the castle

Virtual Tour

3D Model/Walkthrough


Edinburgh Castle and the Esplanade
On the back:
The Castle, which stands at a height of 443 feet above sea level, has an area at the top of about 7 acres. The records show that the Picts took possesion of it in the 7th century, and in the year 1004 Malcolm Canmore occupied it as a royal residence. In 1174 the castle was taken by the English, but was restored after 12 years.
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

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Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey


Mont Orgueil Castle I — Jersey — Château du Mont Orgueil I
c.1910
Pictorial Stationary Co. (1897-1914)

Street View

Jersey Heritage: video tour

Mont Orgueil has been set onto its rocky outcrop above the town of Gorey since 1212. At the time, it was a state-of-the-art stronghold, and its construction was a matter of urgency. In 1204, Normandy – which lies just 17 miles to the east – had been seized by France, having been tied to the English crown since the Norman Conquest of 1066. What had been a friendly neighbour was suddenly the foe next door, and Mont Orgueil had a job to do, monitoring the Channel for any signs of enemy action. It never fell into French hands.

Although its soaring towers and sturdy walls were the best defence that money could build in the 13th century, by the 15th Mont Orgueil was obsolete, thanks to the hilly terrain which surrounds it – a landscape which left it open to cannon fire now that gunpowder had been invented.
The Telegraph: Five reasons why visiting Mont Orgueil in Jersey is a must

The castle is built on a rocky promontory facing the coast of Normandy and overlooking the Bay of Grouville. There are steep slopes and high cliffs on three sides giving an almost impregnable position. In 1204, King Philip of France took Normandy back but King John of England kept the administration of the islands. The Channel Islands became the front line between England and France and work began on Mont Orgueil under the Warden of the Isles, Hasculf du Suligny.

The site chosen had been used as a defensive place since the Iron Age and possibly as early as the Neolithic period. The earth rampart and ditch would have been degraded but would have provided a good start for the new fortress which was built on the rocky ridge. The shape of the stone buildings was determined by the narrowness of the ridge, with a hall being connected to two square towers by long passageways. Access to the hall was through an enclosed staircase. The area inside the ramparts below was further strengthened in 1224-5 when 1,000 tree trunks were sent to the islands from the New Forest to make palisades for the two new castles. In addition Jersey also received five cartloads of lead, the timber from 20 oak trees and 60 bags of nails to assist with the building.
The Island Wiki

Gatehouse Gazetter

Wikipedia

Citadel, Cairo


Cairo – The Citadel
1920s
Publishers: Lehnert & Landrock, Cairo

Postcards of mosque

In 1171, Salah al-Din, a hero of the crusades who had become sultan of Syria and Egypt, had the Fatimid enclosure and its doors restored. He decided to unify into one enclosure the economic centre, Fustat, and the political centre, Al-Qahira. This was achieved by building a citadel on an artificial outcrop of one of the foothills of the Muqattam rocky plateau. The citadel was built to house garrisons and their leaders. Salah al-Din put one of his lieutenants, Bahaa al-Din Qaraqush, in charge of the construction. It was only completed in 1207, during the reign of Al-Kamil. The first residential structures are also attributed to him and he was the first to occupy it as a royal residence. The building then became the seat of government until the end of the Ottoman era, when it was transferred to the Abdīn Palace. Several additions were made to the structure during the Ayyubid era.
[continues with description of building]
Qantara

The Citadel of Cairo or Citadel of Saladin is a medieval Islamic-era fortification in Cairo, Egypt, built by Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and further developed by subsequent Egyptian rulers. It was the seat of government in Egypt and the residence of its rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries. Its location on a promontory of the Mokattam hills near the center of Cairo commands a strategic position overlooking the city and dominating its skyline. At the time of its construction, it was among the most impressive and ambitious military fortification projects of its time. It is now a preserved historic site, including mosques and museums. In addition to the initial Ayyubid-era construction begun by Saladin in 1176, the Citadel underwent major development during the Mamluk Sultanate that followed, culminating with the construction projects of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad in the 14th century. In the first half of the 19th century Muhammad Ali Pasha demolished many of the older buildings and built new palaces and monuments all across the site, giving it much of its present form. In the 20th century it was used as a military garrison by the British occupation and then by the Egyptian army until being opened to the public in 1983.
Wikipedia

We walked along the battlements, in the footsteps of bowman who had once manned these 12th-century walls, passing through towers and vaulted halls. We descended through a maze of stairways leading into a labyrinth of narrow galleries with the walls, past arrow slits a few inches wide, set at precise angles to give defending archers greater protection. . . . To Caireness, this is Qal’at al-Jabal, the Fortress on the Mountain, or just al-Qal;ah, the Fortress. The world knows it as the Citadel. Structurally, little has changed since the days of that hero of medieval legend, Saladin (Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub), who ordered it built. After more than eight centuries of sun, wind and desert storms, the massive towers and walls are as strong as the day they were completed.
Fortress on the Mountains on Archnet

“The Citadel of Cairo” on Archnet (booklet)

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Stirling Castle, Scotland


Stirling Castle
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

Stirling Castle was the key to the kingdom of Scotland, dominating a vast volcanic rock above the river Forth at the meeting point between Lowlands and Highlands. Its origins are ancient and over the centuries it grew into a great royal residence and a powerful stronghold. During the Wars of Independence, which were civil wars among the Scots as well as a struggle between Scotland and England, the castle changed hands eight times in 50 years. And it is no accident that famous battles such as Stirling Bridge and Bannockburn took place within sight of its walls. In times of peace Scottish royalty came to Stirling to enjoy its comforts, the superb hunting and to hold court – the castle was often the centre of government.
Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle was first mentioned around 1110, and many royal dramas unfolded here. Until the Union of the Crowns in 1603, almost every Scottish monarch had either lived in the castle, or been crowned or died here.
. . .
The three main enclosures within the castle are the:
outer defences, on the main line of approach
main enclosure, at the summit of the rock, bounded in the south by the Forework and encircled by a defensive wall
Nether Bailey, to the north.

At the castle’s heart is the Inner Close, a square formed of the principal buildings for royal occupation.
Historic Environment Scotland