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Castle w

Author File Description
Sir Blau
File Details
Map Size: 400x400 (Large)
Difficulty: Hard
Wark Castle
Wark on Tweed lies about 3.5 miles south-west of the border town of Coldstream. Today, it is a small, quiet village of just a few houses situated next to the River Tweed. However, Wark wasn't always so peaceful; throughout most of the medieval period it was home to one of the most strategically important castles in the country and the scene of frequent skirmishes and sieges.

The castle itself, originally built in the early 12th century, had a long and complex sequence of development, culminating in the construction of an artillery fortress during the reign of Henry VIII. Very little excavation has been carried out at Wark; most of our information has come from historic accounts and plans and from detailed surveys undertaken in the 1990s, most of this relates to the later phases of the castle.

Wark Castle: The Later Castle
Wark Castle played a prominent role in the violent history of the borders. It suffered damage, and even total destruction, on many occasions. This resulted in frequent programmes of repair and rebuilding throughout the medieval period.

Most of what can be seen today probably dates to major periods of rebuilding in the early 16th century. The castle seems to have remained in royal hands throughout the reigns of Henry II and Richard I. Robert Roos was confirmed as the owner in 1200 but he joined with the northern barons against King John and his castle was burnt to the ground in 1216 in retaliation.

Wark Castle: Wark Castle in 12th and 13th Centuries
Wark suffered greatly at the hands of the Scottish kings during the 12th and 13th centuries. It was captured by King David on two occasions: in 1126, when he invaded Northumberland in support of his niece Matilda's claim to the English throne; and in 1138 when he invaded England again in an attempt to win the earldom of Northumberland.

A three week siege in January 1138 failed to reduce the garrison and the siege was abandoned. Another attempt was made at Easter, the surrounding countryside was ravaged to prevent supplies reaching the defenders but again this proved unsuccessful. In the third attempt, siege engines were used unsuccessfully, but the garrison was eventually starved out. Most of the horses in the castle had been killed and eaten when instructions arrived from Walter Espec to surrender; the garrison had behaved so bravely that David allowed them to march out with honours and gave them a gift of 24 horses. The castle, however, was destroyed.

Walter Espec, the original owner of the castle, died in 1153 and the castle may have passed to the Crown for a while. Accounts from 1174 mention 10 knights and 40 squires garrisoning the Castle and make it clear that provisions were being supplied in order to withstand a siege. That siege came later in the year when the Scottish King, William the Lion, attacked using Flemish mercenaries. The attacking forces managed to get across the moat but were driven back. Siege engines were equally unsuccessful and the attack was abandoned.

Wark Castle: The Landscape
The landscape of Wark on Tweed is dominated by a long, sinuous mound which runs roughly east-west. This feature, known as a kaim, was formed by the deposition of glacial material during the last ice age.

The height of the mound provided a defensive feature that was utilised by the builders of Wark Castle. The castle occupies the top of this ridge-like mound, at the point where it lies closest to the river.

The 15th century was a slightly more peaceful time for the castle, it was attacked only once, in 1460 when the army of King James II of Scotland, attacking in support of the Lancastrian cause, took the castle and dismantled the fortifications.

Wark Castle: Wark Castle in 14th and 15th Centuries
The border fortresses played an important role during the campaigns of Edward I against the Scots. Edward stayed at Wark for a week in November 1292 following his adjudication over the accession of the Scottish throne at Berwick. He returned again in 1296 at the beginning of his campaign against Scotland. In 1300 he borrowed it for a year 'for the safety of the March'.

Wark also figured frequently in the unsuccessful campaigns of Edward II against Robert Bruce. In 1314 Wark Castle was used as a mustering point for an army to relieve the siege of Stirling Castle. Some 21,540 men, including a contingency of 5000 Welsh archers, were called to join Edward at Wark on 10 June. It is not known how many of this number actually reached the assembly point before Edward marched on 17 June on a journey that ended in the English defeat at Bannockburn.

In 1329 Wark castle passed to the Earl of Salisbury. It had been poorly maintained for a number of years before this and was described at the time as 'ruined and broken'. During the almost constant border warfare of the late 14th century Wark suffered considerably. An indenture of 1383 describes how noblemen from both sides of the Border met at Wark to estimate the cost of repairs following a recent capture. In 1390 the whole property was worth nothing and the castle lay in ruins. Sir Thomas Grey acquired the property in 1398 but the following year the Scots 'took his castle, robbed his goods to the value of £2000, put his infants and people to ransom for £1000, burned his houses and beat down his castle walls'.

This is my first castle and i would like a rating of it from some one please if it's not to much to ask. i did a histroical castle becasuse i wonted to take a challege and learn more while making it.
AuthorComments & Reviews   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
Alithian You need to work on your spelling and the map felt a little too busy, but it was a first try, I know you can improve, keep it up.

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