Gloucester Fortress was a Norman-era royal citadel, seemingly constructed by the Anglo-Norman, Roger de Pitres, the post-Norman Conquest Sheriff of Gloucestershire in the course of the reign of William the Conqueror.
On the time, the citadel was a easy motte and bailey design, changed with a brand new stone citadel in 1110-1120. Over the centuries, the citadel would evolve into a big stone fortress and royal residence, usually utilized by Henry III in the course of the baron’s battle when it was besieged in 1264–5.
The citadel defences have been maintained till the mid-Fifteenth century, with a lot of the stonework being re-used within the development of roads and different buildings. By the mid-Seventeenth century, all the inside buildings across the curtain wall had been demolished, leaving solely the principle gatehouse and the maintain which was getting used as a gaol (jail).
In 1840, the positioning was considerably rebuilt with flanking brick wings, a brand new gate and administration block, working as a Class B males’s jail till it was decommissioned in 2013.
In 2015, archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology discovered proof of the unique citadel throughout excavations throughout the jail’s basketball court docket, in addition to the stays of partitions relationship from the 18th century.
Most notably are the foundations of the maintain partitions measuring 12 ft broad, which have been found two ft beneath the floor.
Archaeologists estimate that the maintain was initially between 20 to 30 metres lengthy, and 20 metres throughout, with structure that resembled the White Tower on the Tower of London.
Chatting with Gloucestershire Dwell, Neil Holbrook from Cotswold Archaeology mentioned: “The citadel was the primary within the county to be constructed of stone and homes three chapels, two drawbridges and a royal chamber for the king and queen.”
“It will have been a robust image of Norman structure. As you got here into Gloucester, you’d have seen the cathedral and the citadel, which is consultant of how necessary the town was in Norman Britain”, added Holbrook.
Header Picture Credit score: Public Area Dedication (CC0 1.0)