Weeting 'Castle', a Twelfth-Century Hall House in Norfolk

by T. A. Heslop
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Title:
Weeting 'Castle', a Twelfth-Century Hall House in Norfolk
Author:
T. A. Heslop
Year: 
2000
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Architectural History
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43
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42
End Page: 
57
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English
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Abstract:

 

Weeting 'Castle', a Twelfth-Century Hall House in No$~lk

by T. A. HESLOP

In almost every respect Weeting Castle represents a challenge. To begn with, the limited remnants of the building do not at first sight suggest that a very full mental reconstruction of the medieval building is a realistic prospect (Fig. I). However, as this paper is intended to demonstrate, enough survives to allow not just the general form, but also a good deal of the detail to be envisaged with some confidence. The designation 'castle' is another hurdle, encouragng a misleading expectation that Weeting should be understood in the context of fortified residences. How it should be categorized is far from straightforward. The notice which greets visitors to the site refers to it as 'an early medieval manor house'. As we shall see, the building has many of the characteristics of the later medieval double-ended hall house, but there are two problems about regarding it as such.' The first is that we categorize it in this way only with the benefit of historical hindsight: it is not likely to have been viewed by its builders as a contribution to an 'evolutionary' process. The second is a danger either that Weeting comes to stand as typical of the twelfth-century development of this type, or conversely to be regarded as a 'freak', a building which accidentally resembles later hall houses but really has nothing to do with them. The state of our knowledge is such that we cannot say, and indeed may never be able to say how unusual Weeting was. However, that need not stop our trying to see the building in its contemporary setting both asregards understanding where the ideas might have come from and the parallels we adduce in reconstructing it.

Given both the free access to the site and its custodianship by English Heritage, we might expect Weeting Castle to be well known, but it is not widely discussed or even much referred to. Undoubtedly one reason is that there is no monograph giving a detailed interpretation of the limited standing fabric which subsequent writers can either adopt or contest. It is one of the purposes of this paper to provide such as introduction. Furthermore, the few brief published notices of Weeting include some confusing and contradictory assessments of the building which need to be addressed at the outset.

Two claims in particular have to be evaluated: that the hall and chamber block are not contemporary, and that the hall contained a vault: at some stage in the building's early history either the hall itself was vaulted or it stood at first-floor level above a substantial vaulted ~ndercroft.~

Both of these readings of the building amount to there being at least two distinct phases (in conception as much as in construction) visible in the remains of the building we see today. I do not believe there is good evidence to

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 43: 2000

substantiate this, indeed it will be argued that it is impossible to reconcile such interpretations with the evidence of the structure.

As regards the proposition that there was a vaulted undercroft supporting a first- floor hall, the only visible supports for a putative vault would be the fragmentary responds along the end walls of the hall, and the only potential remnants of the vault itself would be the arching concave scars on the north face of the south wall at a height between about 5 and 7 metres above ground level (Figs I & 2). The structure is however very lightly built to sustain vaulting at all, let alone at this height. The side walls of the hall were scarcely more than I metre thick, whereas in the chamber block undercroft, which clearly was vaulted though at a much lower level, the walls are a minimum of I .4 metres. If the hall had an undercroft the problem is compounded, for the lateral walls would have to continue well above vault height in order to accommodate aisle windows in the hall itself and sustain the roof above.

Another difficulty is raised by the spacing of the bays. The standard pattern for vaulted undercrofts and crypts is to have bays of equal width. However, at Weeting the side aisles, at less than 2.4 metres, are substantially narrower than the existing central bays as marked out by the blind arcade, nearly 3 metres. As will emerge in due course, the central two blind-arcade bays are likely to demarcate a single central vessel with a clear width slightly over 6 metres (Figs 3 & 4). This pattern, with narrow side aisles, while incongruous in an undercroft is not uncommon in ground-floor halls, for example the slightly later one in the Bishop's Palace at Lincoln. Interestingly, it also finds parallels in large wooden-aisled buildings such as barns.3 This may be significant, since the lack of any scars in the blind-arcade spandrels where the main arcades and their superstructures would have abutted the south wall suggests that they were not of masonry at all, but of timber. Had they been of flint there is an expectation that the rubble would have coursed through, perhaps even that the internal angles would employ ashlar quoining, as elsewhere at Weeting. There is no sign of either. A carpentry support structure, inserted within the rectangular box of masonry is therefore a real likelihood, as probably in the contemporary hall of the Bishop's Palace at

ere ford.^

However, the most insuperable difficulty for the theory that there was ever a first- floor hall must be the lack of an arcade on axis to support its floor. Continuous sleeper wall foundations were uncovered during excavation underlying the lateral arcades, but in the centre what was found was a silted up, probably pre-Conquest ditch. It runs at a narrow angle across the axis and for over half of its length. Had an arcade ever been envisaged, let alone built, the infill would have needed consolidation, and evidence of foundations would surely have been found on top, but no such feature is recorded.' It is thus difficult to find evidence for vaulting in the hall and harder to see how it would have been supported. It is also doubtful that an earlier hall stood on the site of the present one. There are no foundations in this area which are not accounted for by the present building, so that any putative earlier hall would need to have been the same size and shape to explain why its foundations or post holes have been so thoroughly obliterated. It is far simpler to suppose it never exi~ted.~

The party wall shared by the hall and chamber block is crucial in examining the claim that the building is of two phases, for example that the chamber block was added

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 43: 2000

SECTION. CHAMEE$& LATRLNL SECTIQN T~~RO'

I-IALL

Fig. 4. Weeting Castle: reconstructed sectional elevations

thickened at the top, or excavated at the bottom (up to a height of 7 metres across its entire width) when the hall was added. There is inadequate evidence that either has happened, for example there is no sustained vertical junction within the thickness of the upper wall.' Nor does either strategy sound very likely. If one were adding a hall to a pre-existing block, what advantage would be gained either from hollowing out the lower wall, as opposed simply to applying a blind arcade to it? On the other hand if the party wall were once the gable wall of a freestanding hall, how can we account for its substantial step back and provision for joists at the upper level of the chamber block (Fig. 4)?

WEETING CASTLE

Finally, it was suggested in discussion following the presentation of an early draft of this paper at the Norwich-Rouen Conference in April 1999 that there was a blocked staircase in the thickness of the party wall which might be a relic of an earlier phase in the building's history, perhaps linking an undercroft to an upper hall. What could be interpreted as steps exist some 7.5 metres above ground level as part of an opening from the upper floor of the chamber block. However, there is no trace of access to it at or near ground level where, furthermore, it would have been accommodated in a rubble wafwhich is barely I .4 metres thick. Further investigation of the putative stair risers in the upper party wall is called for, but, in the meantime, a simpler alternative is to see the recess in which they are contained, which opens at floor level on the upper storey of the chamber block, as a window (it seems to have been more substantial than is implied by the word 'squint') which looked down into the hall.

If the foregoing reservations about some other interpretations of the building are justified, then we are left with no option but to construe the building as a coherent unitary design (see Fig. IO), the general form of which is clear enough. At the centre was a substantial, aisled ground-floor hall with, at its southern end a taller, three-storey chamber block with a two-storey latrine projecting further to the south, and at its northern end another two-storey element, probably housing service rooms on its lower floor (Figs 5& 6). The main access to the hall was apparently through doors in the east and west walls of its northern bay, though there was at least one door into the 'service rooms' which could also have led to an entrance in the north wall. Access to the chamber block was apparently on the east side at ground-floor level and on the west side at first-floor level. Despite the lack of any direct traces of this first-floor doorway, its position can be in little doubt thanks to the surviving deep niches flanking the recess in the southern bay of the west wall. These have the distinctive feature of commencing about 0.8 metres above floor level and thus find a convincing parallel in the similarly raised niches either side of the main gate into the ward of the nearby castle at ~cre.~

Communication within the chamber block was controlled from first-floor level. At the north-western corner was a vice, which must have been envisaged from the outset and visibly rises through all three stages of the block. However, as is usual, the door to it at ground level opened into the stairwell; in other words it was bolted from the stair side and so controlled from the floor above. Another stair connecting only the first and second floors existed in the south-east corner to judge by the heavy buttressing to thicken the wall beneath it.

Although what remains of the building is fragmentary and has lost nearly all of its ashlar detailing, it is easy enough to see where ashlar has been robbed out, and mentally to reinstate it. The result, as already implied, is a building of some architectural complexity in terms of the subtlety of its articulation. It is no surprise that there was pilaster buttressing around the exterior of the chamber block -signalling internal bay divisions as well as strengthening the walls where they had to resist the pressure of transverse arches. Probably too there were buttresses down the length of the hall. The surviving evidence for these occurs on both the east and west lateral walls where they abut the northen wall of the hall. Buttresses in this position fulfil no structural function. However their height, 5 metres, is what we would expect for functional buttresses

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 43: 2000 

Fig. 5. Weeting Castle: axonometric reconstructionfvom north-west, showing interior ofhall

WEETING CASTLE

CHAMBER& LATUNE BLOCKS. AXON,

Fig. 6. Weeting Castle: axonometn'c reconstruction ofchatnber and latrine blocksjom north-east

WEETING CASTLE 5 I

late Romanesque style (English Heritage reference WE.65 88079229 ~2~)

which was discovered on the site gves some justification for suggesting a date around I I 80.

The scale of the building is impressive. For example the length of its main western faqade, 30 metres, matches that of the south fa~ade ofthe earlier royal keep at Norwich Castle. The apex of the main arcade in the hall must have been at least 7 metres from the ground. The height of the capitals, over 5 metres, is known from the blind arcade, and the radius of the arches themselves will have added a further 2 metres. So the hall at Weeting would also have rivalled the height of the hall in Nonvich ~ee~." However it is the overall design which is most significant.

The hall with service rooms at the lower end was established by the second half of the twelfth century. Henry 11's hall at Clarendon had such an arrangement by the early I180s.'~ It is likely that this was the principal function of the northern adjunct to the hall at Weeting. Philip Dixon has kindly pointed out to me that an original drawbar hole in the thickness of the northern wall implies that there was always an entrance here, apparently off centre to the east, and this might well have been matched to the west, as in the contemporary hall at 0akham.14 By the time the free-standing kitchen was built further to the north, access to it was presumably provided right through the service block from the hall, and perhaps there was always such a passageway. It is uncertain how the room(s) over the vaults were reached or the purpose they might have served. But as a whole this part ofthe building seems to have been architecturally the least pretentious -the vaults spring straight from the walls without even an impost block, let alone a pilaster -so that to interpret it as a service wing is in keeping with its simple style.15

The integral chamber block, found at Weeting at the southern end of the hall, was also in favour at the same period. The reconstruction of the hall and residential block proposed by John Blair for the Bishop's Palace at Hereford, which has been dated dendrochronologically to I 179, provides a clear parallel.16 The block at Hereford was apparently of four storeys, but perhaps only because the sloping site required a sub- basement below the level of the hall floor. As at Weeting there appears to have been a chimney placed at the middle of the chamber-block wall furthest from the hall,17 but unlike at Weeting there is no known provision for a projecting latrine.

Internally, the block at Weeting has some familiar features. The vaulted ground floor, presumably for storage, supporting a chamber with a mural fireplace is a recurrent feature of Romanesque domestic architecture in England. In detail too there are reminiscences of other better-preserved buildings. For example the fireplace flanked symmetrically by recesses for windows but with the whole composition off- centre is paralleled in the 'house' at Christchurch Castle in Hampshire, usually dated early in the second half of the century.18 Interestingly the strong attraction of this composition is implied by the fact that it is used at Weeting even though one of the recesses has to be blind because of the annexe projecting behind it. At Christchurch, when the latrine was added subsequently, it was constructed so as to avoid pre-existing windows.

If one proceeds by disaggregating the component elements of Weeting, it is clear that they all had some currency during the second half of the twelfth century. One of the most impressive aspects of Weeting is, though, that these elements are brought

WEETING CASTLE

we will still face the question about the pedigree of the building type. So far, I have suggested that the hall with service rooms (associated with feasting) and the hall with chamber block were in a position to be amalgamated to form a structure such as Weeting only in the late twelfth century. However the germs of these ideas had been current since well before the Norman Conquest.

For example, the excavations at Sulgrave in Northamptonshire revealed a long, though unaisled hall, divided into a series of spaces.23 The separate though axially related 'kitchen' suggested to its excavator an interpretation of the nearer end of the hall as a service room, the main space beyond being for dining. It incidentally prefigures the placing of the kitchen at both Weeting and Acre, and perhaps the interpretation of Sulgrave is coloured by such later medieval examples. Nevertheless, the formal parallels are real enough. At the other end of the hall at Sulgrave, but off to one side, was a contemporary stone structure which possibly formed a residential unit, though there is very little to go on. Fortunately, another site from the same period, which is to say late tenth or early eleventh century, Goltho, provides a case where the residential function of the smaller building is much more secure, and which has the added advantage for my formalist purpose of placing hall and 'bower', as its excavator called it, on axis.24 If the reconstruction is correct, we may note that, as at Weeting, the roofs of hall and bower had their gable walls at right angles to each other on plan. We may also note the latrine projecting from the 'bower' at a comer distant from the hall and hidden from the main entrance to the site." Furthermore, facing the hall and on axis there was a kitchen, and the lower end of the hall closest to the kitchen had a pentice roof. Although in the excavator's opinion hall and bower were not actually joined, their proximity is suggestive, but so too is their separation.

At Weeting there is no indication that there was direct access from the hall to the residential block. The western end of their party wall was occupied with a newel stair and the wall is then solid as far as the eastern bay, which has largely collapsed destroying any evidence of a communicating doorway. Any opening at ground level would have led only to and from the basement of the block. While a first-floor door would have been appropriate, there is no archaeological evidence for a stair leading to one. Such a putative stair is unlikely to have descended into the hall across the elaborate arcading behind the high table. The only alternative would have been down into the eastern side aisle, but this would have obstructed bench seating along the east wall, the foundations of which are reconstructed (presumably on some evidence) on site. It is hard to envisage direct access, and the implication is that the social functions of chamber and hall did not require it.

As a contrast, it is noticeable within 'castle keeps', as they developed during the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, that there was invariably direct communication between the hall (plus kitchen and servery as at Nonvich) and the chamber and its appurtenances. Of course, in such cases we are dealing with first-floor halls, which can lead, appropriately, into other living (as opposed to storage) spaces. Even outside the category of 'keep' or tower, for example Scolland's Hall at Richmond Castle, Yorkshire, there are apartments and a latrine connecting with the adjacent first-floor hall. Lack of communication may therefore be a characteristic of ground-floor halls with adjoining residential blocks, and may owe this feature to the survival or revival

WEETING CASTLE 55

Alongside opportunities for divergent interpretations of these kinds emerges a methodological problem which besets the study of elite dwellings. It is strilung the right balance between the development of kinds of architectural spaces which have quasi-independent fornis and functions (chamber, hall, kitchen, etc.) and the ways in which such elements are combined either loosely as free-standing structures scattered within an enclosure or integrated within a united grand edifice. It is perhaps because the permutations are almost endless (in a way that they are not, for example within church architecture) that students of non-ecclesiastical architecture encounter such difficulties in analyzing typologcal development. A corollary of this point is that it is impossible to assess the place of a design such as Weeting's within a larger picture. Adevelopmentalist might see it as perhaps the earliest substantially surviving example of a 'classic' type of medieval hall house, with the hall element at ground-floor level. But any notion of 'classic' in this context will depend on hindsight and will be unhelpfully value-laden. The unhelpfulness can take two main forms. One is to imply that those medieval patrons who did not adopt such a solution were somehow blind to its qualities and the other is to make historians propose reconstructions for an 'early, classic solution' such as Weeting specifically so as to bring it into line with a straightforward 'developmental' model. Fortunately, although some doubt exists about a few areas of detail, in general terms the 'actualities' of Weeting are not readily susceptible to other reconstructions or interpretations, which will necessitate our coming to terms with it for what it is in its twelfth-century context.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

In addition to the thanks expressed in the footnotes I am pleased to acknowledge my indebtedness to Oliver Gilkes and Tracy Fussell for help in surveying the building and preparing the plans, Yvonne Brown for discussions while she was writing her undergraduate dissertation on Weeting under my supervision, Christine McGee and Joanne Perkins for access to their unpublished 'Analytical Archive Report on Weeting Castle' which synthesizes the results ofJeremy Knight's excavations of the site in the mid 196os, Glyn Coppack for sending me copies of the photogrammetric survey of the building, and Richard Halsey for accompanying me on a site visit to review my reconstruction. I am especially grateful to Sheila Gibson, not only for the drawings which accompany this paper but for the incisive cross- questioning which lies behind them.

NOTES

I The most substantial discussion of Weeting in print is by A. P. Baggs, 'Weeting Castle', Archaeological Journal, 137 (1980), pp. 356-57. For categorizations of medieval domestic plan types see for example P. A. Faulkner, 'Domestic Planning from the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries', Archaeological Journal, I 15 (1958). pp. 150-83, (pp. 163-83 for 'The End Hall House'); R. W. Brunslall, Houses and Cottages ofBritain: Origins

and Development $Traditional Building (London, 1997), pp. 34-40 on 'The Double-Ended Hall'.

2 For example Jeremy Knight, 'Weeting Castle', Medieval Archaeology, 9 (1965), pp. 190-91 (p. I~I), 'when

the chamber block was added to the orignally free-standing hall, the hall was demolished and rebuilt from

foundation level'; Derek Renn, Norman Castles in Britain (London, 1968), p. 341, identifies at Weeting 'a

barrel vaulted hall rebuilt with a solar at the south end'; or M. W. Thompson, The Medieval Hall (Aldershot,

1995), p. 114, 'A number of surviving Norman first-floor "halls" . . . are so small to have raised doubts about

their status as halls. It is suggested they are stone solars and the accompanying wooden hall has disappeared.

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY 43: 2000

5 6

This may be reading back from thirteenth-century conditions into the twelfth, for none have [sic]convincing signs of an attached building (clearly later at Weeting castle, Norfolk).' N. Pevsner and Bill Wilson, Norfolk 2: North- West and South, 2nd edition (London, 1999)~ p. 756, 'The main range, probably of c.1180 consisted of an aisled hall with two flanking additions.' 3 Thompson, Medieval Hall, for Faulkner's plan of Lincoln (fig. j j) and Willis's cross-section of the destroyed barn at Ely (fig. 69). W. Horn and E. Born, The Plan ofst Gall, 3 vols (Berkeley, 1979), 11, pp. 216-19 discuss the barn at Little Wymondley, Herts, with 'nave' 23 feet and aisles 7 feet 6 inches, close to Weeting's dimensions. It perhaps reinforces the likelihood both that the proportions of the hall at Weeting derived from earlier aisled wooden structures and that the internal arcade of the hall at Weeting was of wood within a stone shell. 4 John Blair, 'The Twelfth-Century Bishop's Palace at Hereford', 12ledieval Archaeology, 3I (1987), pp. 59-72;

C. A. Ralegh Radford, E. M. Jope and J. W. Tonlan, 'The Great Hall of the Bishop's Palace at Hereford', Medieval Archaeology, 17 (1973). pp. 78-86. j The reconstruction ofJeremy Knight's excavations by Christine McGee and Joanne Perkins clearly shows the substantial ditch which was uncovered in this position. 6 There is no doubt about earlier occupation of the site, as the Thetford-ware pottery and silted-up ditches beneath the present building make clear. However such traces as exist of possible earlier buildings lie outside the boundaries of that under consideration here. The alignments of the earlier ditches and post holes suggest the previous settlement was very differently disposed. It is to be hoped that a detailed publication of the archaeology of the site will help resolve these problems. 7 At the east end of the party wall there are two short vertical fissures within its thickness (starting at about 3 m and 7 m above ground). They require further assessment, but in so far as they can be seen from ground level they are not compatible with one building being constructed up against another. 8 J. G. Coad and A. D. F. Streeten, 'Excavations at Castle Acre Castle, Norfolk, 1972-77'. ,4rchaeological Journal, 139 (1982), pp. 138-301 (pp. 181-87, figs 17 and 18, pl. XX). Their view that these were 'two passages leading through the side walls [of the gateway] to chambers beyond' seems only to be true of secondary usage, the orignal niches being broken through at the back when the chambers were added. 9 I owe this idea to discussion on site with Tracy Fussell whose experience of flint-rubble building in Norfolk has been invaluable in my coming to terms with Weeting. 10 At first-floor level, the east wall of the service room is thinned down to under 0.8 m, and this mav have happened to north and west at this level also. The arrangement of the north end being proposed here agrees with the schematic reconstruction published by S. E. Rigold, 'Structures within English Moated Sites', in Medieval Moated Sites, ed. F. A. Aberg, CBA Research Report no. 17 (London, 1978), pp. 29-36, fig. 12. It is

.

perhaps worth indicating at this juncture two areas of difference between us. In Rigold's drawing the chamber block is given a keep-like form, the hall abutting a cuboid withhorizontal parapet on four sides. However, as the walls ofthe upper storey are little over 0.6 m thick in places, they are surely too thin to support rooftimbers and then rise an additional 6 m to an enclosing parapet. A wall walk would have been out of the question, which raises questions about guttering and maintenance. Rigold also places the first-floor entrance at the south end of the block adjacent to the latrine annexe. As noted above, recesses flanking the doonvay are in the west wall. I I The interpretation of the enclosed room(s) within the latrine block presents some difficulty, since there is no indication how they could have been cleaned out if they too were latrines. However Oliver Gilkes has drawn my attention to the comparable case of John de Tytyng's house at Winchester, G. D. Scobie, J. M. Zant and Richard Whinney, The Brooks, Winchester, apreliminary report on the excavations, 1987-88, Winchester Museums Service, Archaeology Report I (Winchester, 1991), pp. 43,47-48. We would thus have at Weeting two distinct types: a pair with enclosed pits, and another suspended over an open arch at the southern end of the block. What the social or functional distinction may have been is unclear. 12 T. A. Heslop, Nonuich Castle Keep (Nonvich, 1994), esp. pp. 20-22 for the dimensions ofNonvich. 13 H. M. Colvin et al., The History ofthe King's U'orks. The Middle Ages, 3 vols (London, 1963), 11, p. 91 I. 14 There was probably an equivalent drawbar hole in the western stub of the north wall of the hall, but the area where evidence would be seen is missing. See e.g. Faulkner, 'Domestic Planning', figs 19 (Oakham), 20 (Ashby de la Zouche), and 23 (Wenlock) for comparable examples from the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries. There was presumably no central entrance as well (as at Clarendon and Lincoln) since it would have WEETING CASTLE 5 7

cut through the axial support for the blind arcading and a sleeper wall on axis to the north implies a central 
partition in the service wing. 
I 5 The unpublished report by Christine McGee and Joanne Perkins (unpagnated) mentions a spiral stair in 
the north-east comer, but the evidence for it is not visible on site or in the excavation plans they include. 
16 D. Haddon-Reece, D. H. Miles and J. T. Munby, 'Tree-Ring Dates from the Ancient Monuments 
Laboratory', Vernacular Architecture, 20 (1989), pp. 46-47. I am indebted to John Walker for this reference. 

17 At Weeting, the external buttress containing the chimney apparently extended across the middle of the 
south wall, while the fireplace has to be placed off centre to the west within it to maintain the internal 
composition of paired niches around the fireplace: clear indications of the power of symmetry in the 
architectural aesthetics of the period, as noted below. 

18 Margaret Wood, The English Medieval House (London, 1965), pp. 17-19 and fig. j.

19 Domesday Book: Nofolk, ed. Philippa Brown, 2 vols (Chichester, 1984), I, 8.44, but see also the king's holding, I, 1.210. Hugh de Plais gave the church of Weeting to the Augustinian Priory of St Mary at Huntingdon before I 147, when the gft is mentioned in a papal confirmation: W. Holtzmann, Papsturkunden in England, 3 vols (Berlin, 1930-52)) I, no. 41. De Plais support for the Augustinians culminated in the founding of Bromehill Priory some mile and a quarter to the south-east of Weeting Castle in the early thirteenth century. For the family see G. E. C[okayne], The Complete Peerage, revised edition vol. x, by H. A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White and Lord Howard de Walden (London, 194j), pp 53 5-43. 20 Coad and Streeten, 'Castle Acre Castle', for the phasing and dating of work on the mound and a plan (Fig. 3) showing, in appropriately shadowy outline, the hall complex in the outer ward. 21 Hamelin and Ralph de Plais appear together witnessing a charter of William de Mortemer for the Warenne foundation at Lewes, The Nofolk Portion ofthe Chartulary ofthe Priory ofSt Pancras at Lewes, ed. J. H. Bullock, Norfolk Record Society, 12 (1939), no. 2. The Ralph de Plais who was witnessing charters before I 148 (ibid., no. 3) was still alive in 1185. Many links between Warenne and de Plais are evident in the documents published in Early Yorkshire Charters VIII, The Honour of Warenne, ed. Charles Clay, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series, extra series 6 (1949). 22 Stephen Johnson, Conisbrough Castle, South Yorkshire, English Heritage (London, 1984), pp. I 1-16. 23 B. K. Davison, 'Excavations at Sulgrave, Northamptonshire',ArchaeologicalJournal,134 (1977)) pp 105-14. 24 Guy Beresford, Goltho, the development ofan early medieval manor, c. 850-1150 (London, 1984), figs 75-84 and pp. 71-79 for discussion of the Period j hall and bower. 25 Rigold, 'Structures within moated sites', fig. 12 and p. 3 j shows Weeting within its moat and the likely

directions of access to the enclosure.

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