Dartmouth Castle

Dartmouth, on the beautiful estuary of the River Dart, was a flourishing port from the twelfth century. When the Hundred Year War made legitimate trading difficult, the inhabitants turned to piracy to boost their profits. Their unfortunate targets were the ports across the Channel. In 1404, the Bretons land in force and attempted to sack the town in revenge, but the inhabitants drove them off with great loss to themselves. According to French sources a second attempt was more successful. Dartmouth Castle is actually a mile southeast of the town, at a point where the estuary narrows. A fortification first rose here about 1388 in response to the threat of invasion from France. It was built at the instigation of …

Peveril Castle

Peveril Castle crowns a steep hill overlooking Castleton in the Peak District. This area was a center of medieval lead mining and William the Conqueror appointed William Peveril (supposedly his illegitimate son) as bailiff of the royal lands here. The ruined castle that bears his name was usually called the Castle of the Peak in medieval times. It existed by the time the Domesday survey and comprises a triangular enclosure sloping upwards to a sheer drop at the rear. The very ruinous curtain is probably William Peveril’s, since I displays herringbone masonry typical of early Norman work and stone was easy to come by here. It is of some interest as an early stone enclosure with neither keep nor gatehouse …

The revival of Scotland’s Castles

How heartening after decades of decay and the destruction of many old fine homes, to see a revival of Scotlands Castles. After the war when many properties which had been either closed up or badly damaged by their war time guests, were facing a grim future. Many had been used as hospitals or temporary billets for servicemen and to use a modern expression, they had been pretty much trashed. Of course the end of the war also coincided with a period of heavy taxation and a huge shortage of raw materials. Many families simply buckled under the pressure and either sold up or pulled down the ancestral pile. However fortunately some hung on and battled through a pretty grim four …

Chess – Weakening Your Castled Position

It stands to reason that leaving the King in the center often means exposing the King to a dangerous, very possibly fatal, attack. This leads us to the conclusion that castling is the best way to safeguard the King. The castled position, then, is the King’s safeguard. But, though the King is better protected when castled than when in the center, that does not mean that castling alone assures you complete immunity from attack. If your opponent has an overwhelmingly superior development, he can concentrate more forces for attack than you can supply for defense. Sometimes brilliant sacrifices are made to smash down a defender’s barriers. But we are now concerned mainly with Pawn weaknesses in the castled position. In …