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Lise Hull, MPA, MA

Author, Researcher, Specialist in British Heritage
Co-Founder, Castles Unlimited

When I first went to Wales in 1985, I had no idea that castles would become my consuming passion. Yet, for the past 20 years, I have progressed from a casual tourist to a castellologist and published author specializing in castle studies and British heritage. Having already had a background in archaeology and historic preservation, I was primed to begin the journey, which has taken me to well over 400 castles in Britain, Ireland and Germany. I also founded Castles Unlimited to share my interest and advocate the ongoing preservation of Britain's medieval castles.
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Medieval castles were not just showcases for the royal and powerful, they were also the centerpieces of many people's daily lives. A travel guide as well as a historical text, this volume looks at castles not just as ruined buildings, but as part of the cultural and scenic landscape. The 88 photographs illustrate the different architectural concepts and castle features discussed in the text. The book includes glossaries of terminology, an appendix listing all the castles mentioned and their locations, notes, bibliography and index.
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With the penetration of the Normans into the fertile plains of Glamorgan and into the Gower Peninsula, they began building castles in earnest. Whereas some of the early motte and bailey and ringwork structures were gradually replaced in stone, others seemed to have progressed no further. They may always have been seen as temporary structures, or, once destroyed by the Welsh, were never rebuilt. In time, the Lords of Glamorgan and Gower would build many impressive stone castles, the greatest of which was mighty Caerphilly Castle. In the uplands of the county some of the castles were built by the Welsh in reaction to the Norman arrival.


This book covers all the castles, from mighty Pembroke and enriched Carew to the lowliest motte or ringwork, together with bishops palaces. A series of chapters detail the county’s military history from 905 to the Civil War, after which each site is given its own entry detailing its construction and history, together with a note about specific location and access arrangements.
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Britain has a unique castle heritage, and Castles of Britain and Ireland is an exploration of 50 fascinating and awe-inspiring castles. With stunning photography by Stephen Whitehorne, the book's engaging commentary guides the reader around the interior and exterior of each castle: architecture, furnishings, artefacts and gardens. The text is peppered with interesting snippets of historical information, including details of past residents and military action. Included are staples such as Caerphilly, Warwick and Dover, and also Pembroke, Bamburgh and Rochester among many others. Essential travel information on prices and transport links is provided for each castle, making this a practical 'glove-box' title as well as an object of beauty. The book is a true celebration and a real treat for anyone who is fascinated by castles.


The widespread construction of castles in Britain began as soon as Duke William of Normandy set foot on the shores of southern England in 1066. The castles that were constructed in the ensuing centuries, and whose ruins still scatter the British countryside today, provide us with an enduring record of the needs and ambitions of the times. . . . more

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Lise Hull guides the reader around 50 of Britain and Ireland's greatest castles, examining lineage, architecture, furnishings, artefacts and gardens. The text is peppered with fascinating snippets of historical information. Included are staples such as Caerphilly, Warwick and Berkeley, as well as the more surprising Dolwyddelan, Dunnottar and Corfe castles. . . . more

© 2005-2009 Lise E. Hull