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Castles in Medieval SocietyFortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages$
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Charles L. H. Coulson

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208242

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208242.001.0001

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Colonization and Fortresses

Colonization and Fortresses

(p.224) 2 Colonization and Fortresses
Castles in Medieval Society


Oxford University Press

What ensured the continual relationship of castles to colonization was not so much the resistance it sometimes had to contend with, but rather the stamp of new lordship that fortresses set upon the whole transformation. In the British Isles, next to Wales, the largest-scale working out of such changes, apart from the Norman Conquest itself, occurred in Ireland from the late 12th century. This chapter provides some comparative illustrations, chiefly drawn from French records. Because castles with dependent townships are so common, entire fortress-town complexes being called the castle, or the walled-town itself having the title castrum or castellum, the plantation of new towns is an essential part of the picture and is accordingly dealt with in the present chapter. The term bastide, although naturalized to some extent in English, characterizes town-colonization in south-western France so effectively that it has been retained as a French borrowing from the late Latin bastida or building.

Keywords:   castles, fortresses, medieval period, France, Ireland, colonization, castle-building

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