Raglan Castle 2008
Remains of the siege.
Raglan Castle was the last castle to be begun in Wales, started in 1435.
It was clearly not built to be fully defensive, and was more of an elaborate fortified mansion.
The main castle has far too many points of entry, and surrounding fortifications that could be easily taken and used by an attacking force.
In fact, in its time, it was best known for the gardens of the mansion.
That said, it went through one of the longest sieges of the English civil war, finally losing after several months in 1646
when the persistence of the invading Parliamentarians clearly showed they were going to break through.
The castle owners, who supported royalty, were forced to surrender to avoid major bloodshed.
Most of the ruin was caused after this, as the Parliamentarians burned and broke much of the mansion.
They also tunneled from the surrounding gardens, and undermined the Great Tower, causing a large part of it to fall.
The design is quite strange. The castle is surrounded by gardens, some raised.
The main castle contains a mansion and accomodation with a thick outer wall.
Then outside the main casle, but inside the raised gardens, is the Great Tower.
The Great Tower is heavily fortified, surrounded by a narrow moat, and separated from the main castle by a drawbridge.
However, the outside edge of the moat is accessible to just about anyone, without adequate protection because of the strange layout of the gardens.
The moat was not wide enough to prevent tunneling, and the raised garden - a bowling lawn - was used as the place to start the tunnel.
- The front of Raglan castle, with the main castle on the right, and the Great Tower on the left. The picture is taken from inside the old outer gatehouse, but there were several other ways of reaching this point, and not all seemed to have had gates. Attackers and unwanted drunks always go to the front door, remember.
- Top of the inner gate tower, leading into the main castle.
- Narrow windows in the gatehouse.
- The bridge over the moat, from the main castle into the Great Tower. Originally this would have been a double drawbridge, with a large bridge for vehicles, and a narrow footbridge for normal use.
- Cellar under the toilets in the gatehouse. Wonder what you keep in here then...
- The inner courtyard of the main castle with the windows of the mansion on the left, cooking facilities ahead, offices and an unfortified side entrance hidden on the right.
- The back of the inner gatehouse and library.
- Kitchen windows. You can't have enough of 'em. Just how many floors do you need for kitchen facilities anyway? And where were the stables?
- Buttery, and doors to the Great Hall. The dining room was one floor up, at the far side of the castle, conveniently located as far from the kitchen as possible.
- The wall of the Great Hall.
- Remains of apartments around the Fountain Court.
- Statues in what remains of the Long Gallery.
- Swallows on top of the statues.
- Flower boxes at the end of the Long Gallery.
- Remains of the stairs leading to the pulpit in the chapel.
- Did you see it in the last shot?
- Remains of the dining room, with fresh salad.
- Sky view.
- The bridge to the Great Tower. Above the door are the holes for the bridge mechanisms; two for the ceremonial vehicle bridge, and one to the right for the footbridge.
- The moat, showing the walkway, and the visitor centre located at the old gatehouse.
- The other side of the moat, with the rest of the walkway, and the bowling lawn behind it.
- This is what I think of your stupid lolcats; caption: "I'm in ur castle, dead.".
- Top of the inner gatehouse.
- Top of the mansion.
- Carving over the windows.
- Section through the Great Tower, showing the thick walls, and upper fireplaces.
- Lower window designed for defensive shooting.
- Looking down the Great Tower, showing the courtyard and tiny well - apparently this is designed to cope with a siege.
- But then why does it have a door to the moat? Enemies don't use boats. Of course.
- Fish in the moat.
- Walking on weeds.
- The apartments from the bowling lawn.
- Window detail.
- Attacker's view, from the bowling green, with the Great Tower in prime position.