Donnington Castle, Donnington, Berkshire


Donnington Castle, Newbury
Publiser: Valentine

Google Street View.

Donnington Castle has been partially demolished and only the late fourteenth Gatehouse survives. The site is surrounded by substantial seventeenth century earthworks which are some of the best preserved examples of their kind in the UK.
Castles Forts Battles

The castle consisted originally of a curtain wall with four round corner towers, two square wall towers and a substantial gatehouse, constructed around a courtyard in the style typical of the fortified residences of the period. Accommodation was provided in the towers or in buildings within the courtyard, set against the castle walls. The courtyard buildings are likely to have been of timber construction and possibly included a hall, a kitchen and lodgings for guests.
. . .
During the Civil War Charles I set up his headquarters in Oxford and in 1643 dispatched Sir John Boys, with 200 foot soldiers, 25 cavalry and sufficient cannon to resist a siege, to take possession of Donnington from the Parliamentarian John Packer. Having taken the castle, Boys built defences around the lower slopes of the hill in the shape of a star, the projections providing sites for gun emplacements that gave a good field of fire. Between 1644 and 1646 the castle was attacked many times, twice being relieved by the king in person. Only when the Royalist cause appeared hopeless did Boys surrender to the Parliamentarian troops, after first obtaining the king’s permission to do so. Parliament voted to demolish the badly damaged castle in 1646 and only the gatehouse was left standing

Bayle Gate, Bridlington, East Yorkshire


Bayle Gate, Bridlington
c.1910
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The word Bayle (pronounced Bay-ul) is derived from the French word Baille meaning ‘enclosure’ or ‘ward’. Archaeological surveys have concluded the original stonework dates to the 12th Century when it is originally thought to have been a gatehouse to a wooden palisade castle built by William Le Gros in 1143, although little information remains as to the further use of the building until the early 14th Century.

In the 14th Century the Bayle Gate was adapted to become the Gatehouse to the Bridlington Priory; the ground floor of the then 2 storey building housed a Porter and an Almoner. The role of the Porter was to monitor the comings and goings of the people, take tolls for the entrance to the Priory markets and receive visitors. The Almoner distributed food and ale to the poor of Bridlington. The first floor rooms were likely used as guest rooms as in other monasteries of the region.

Since the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII the Bayle Gate has been used for a number of purposes, sometimes simultaneously. Prior uses include a Prison, a Court of the town, a Schoolroom for merchant’s apprentices, a Garrison for Napoleonic soldiers on route to Scarborough Castle, a Town Hall and a meeting room for the Lords Feoffees.
The Bayle Museum

St John’s Gate, Canterbury, England


Canterbury. St John’s Gate
c.1910
Publisher: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury

Google Street View (from other side)

The hospital of St. John is situated on the west side of Northgate Street, and is entered by a fine wooden arch, under an interesting house.
“The archaeological album; or, Museum of national antiquities”, Wright, Thomas, 1845

St John’s Hospital
Northgate

This is possibly the oldest group of almshouses in England as it was founded by the first Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, Lanfranc, in about 1085. It was originally built for around 80 inmates, drawn from the lame, the weak and the infirm, who would have been cared for by the priests from the nearby priory of St Gregory the Great, no longer existing. The splendid gatehouse fronting Northgate dates from Tudor times and inside, the charming green is surrounded by four 19th century houses accommodating 24 residents

Canterbury History and Archaeological Society