Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas is coming….

never mind

Now that the latest storm has passed I thought I might walk to the nearby Ellesmere Castle.  The only remaining sign of the castle is the outline of the motte.  A motte being a conical man made mound of earth with a flat top the circumference would usually have a wooden or stone palisade (the Bailey). This area of England was once part of the Welsh Marches and had the most dense number of motte & bailey castles in the country.  Most of these were built by Norman lords as part of their strategy for dominating the land and local people (usually the Welsh).

Ellesmere Castle was constructed on the orders of Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury around 1086.  It was destroyed in the 14th century during the English Civil War.

Description of the Terrain

The motte is situated on a prominent feature on the SE corner of Ellesmere town.  To the east is The Mere.  The ground is steep to the NW enabling the motte to tower above Ellesmere whilst to the SE a ridgeline runs from the motte down to the canal.

Ellesmere Castl2A vertical view from Google Earth shown the round top of the motte which is now Ellesmere Bowling Green.  I took three photos from the direction of A,B & C.

Ellesmere Castle1

A Motte and Bailey castle is relatively quick and simple to construct using unskilled labour.   The earth is excavated from around the base and piled in the middle to form the mound.

This next photo from position A shows the motte’s artificial shape.  It’s also the entrance to the bowling club.

IMG_8624On the opposite side there is a ridgeline that runs away from the motte towards the canal.

IMG_8626 The earth has been evacuated between the grass area in the foreground and the motte to form a ditch.  This serves two purposes.  first it provides earth to raise the height of the motte and second it creates an obstacle on the “easy” approach to the castle.  From position C on the other side of the Mere it is possible to see the steep side overlooking the town and the ridgeline from the canal.

IMG_8628The castle is located a third of the distance in from the right edge of the photo.   

Jan made us a delicious soup for dinner using a recipe kindly provided by Jaq (nb Valerie).  Even the white woodlice didn’t detract from the delicious taste. Well they looked like woodlice and had the same soft consistency.  However Jan informs me they were actually a type of pasta! Smile


Marilyn McDonald said...

Imagine how wonderful it would have been with actual woodlice! Protein addition is such a boon as we age ...
OK, what is the recipe without woodlice?
Cheers, Marilyn

Tom and Jan said...

Marilyn it's Jaq's secret family recipe so you will have to ask her. But remember to remove the kegs off the woodlice before cooking them!😁

DougF said...

You're giving up quickly to byo presents. Whatever happened to the presumption of innocence and reasonable doubt? Surely you can't be to blame for everything you could be accused of being to blame for?

Tom and Jan said...

It's all based on previous experience Doug!