Medieval Walled Towns

This book describes the history and features of walls and gates of towns in Britain up until the mid 16th century. The fairly complete walls at Caernarfon, Chester, Conwy, Tenby and York are well known but there are many other places still with some sections of walls or a gateway or two to be discovered. Most people will be surprised to learn just how much still remains of the walls at Canterbury, Chepstow, Chichester, Colchester, Denbigh, Exeter, Great Yarmouth, London, Ludlow, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Stirling and Southampton, plus the Irish towns of Fethard, Kilkenny, Waterford and Youghal.

Town Defences

An introductory section analyses the remains and discusses how, why and when town walls and gates came to be built. Gazetteers for each of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, featuring over 150 towns in all, describe their development and medieval layouts, noting the locations of churches and monastic houses as well as defences. There are detailed descriptions of surviving defensive features illustrated with many photos and a set of 112 sketch-maps all (except one) on the same scale  of 1:10,000.

Plans of gateways and towers in the book are also to a common scale of 1:200. This scale is used for plans of similar features in the author’s castle books, and for nearly all plans in his churches books. Providing same-scale plans of buildings of similar types is one of the chief purposes of the entire castles and churches series – something you don’t tend to find in other books, or on web-sites.

Post-medieval defensive walls at a number of towns in Ireland (particularly Derry) are mentioned briefly at the end of the Irish gazetteer but are not discussed in detail or illustrated. Outworks of the Civil War period at a number of towns in England and Wales are also mentioned briefly but not described or illustrated.

The book has 224 pages, 300 illustrations and 112 sketch maps