Videos tagged with "raiding"
Dunnottar Castle, part 1 [04:51]
Ownership of a tower house was a crucial status symbol for a powerful nobleman in the late 14th-century Scotland. No wonder then that Sir William Keith, already Marischal of Scotland and hence one of the King's principal officers, decided to build one as a monument to his power. The solid tower house or 'keep', together with the 9-metre-high curtain wall that blocks the natural approach to the rock, provided Keith not just with prestige but also with welcome security. Just as the tower house commands our attention from far off, so the sentry on the parapet could see all those approaching and, if necessary, word was passed down to the guards at the gate to close the great door and lower the portcullis. The great door used to be even greater - it was reduced in the 17th century. The path to the main entrance is dominated by a knife-edge ridge which used to have a low wall round the edge. Then, as any attacker prepared a battering ram to stave in the great door, the warriors on the parapet would have an assortment of boulders, arrows and boiling liquids available to make the task more challenging. In the 14th century you would not, however, have had to cope with grape shot from the building on the right of the door; this was not built for another 200 years. It is known as Benholm's Lodging after a relative of the Keith family who visited the castle often and lodged in this building. Those who were allowed in would pass the magazine on the left, whilst on the right are the ...
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