Forum:Medieval Life And Culture
Topic:Writing question
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T O P I C     R E V I E W
medievalwriterI am a student of medieval studies working on a historically-based fantasy novel. I'm trying to figure out what kinds of tapestries/wall-hangings, furniture, etc. would be found in a typical 13th Century English/Welsh castle. I'm using Gies' "Daily Life in Medieval Times" as my bible, but if anyone can recommend any good websites for historically accurate interiors of castles, I'd appreciate it! I can find loads of pictures of exteriors, but nothing showing what the interior might have actually looked like.

Amanda Langdon
University of Iowa
Library Science graduate student

deborahknowlesCan't recommend any websites, or show you any pictures but I know that interior walls would probably have been painted a yellow ochre colour or whitewashed and, of course, have tapestries to block some draughts. They had trestle tables, white linen cloths, straw filled pillows and mattresses, wooden shutters on the windows, glazed ceramic drinking vessels and brightly coloured hangings. They sat on benches or back stools. Hope this helps a little.

"She was full more blissful on to see Than is the newe perejonette tree"

medievalwriterThanks so much for the prompt and detailed reply! That really helps give me an idea; it's definately a place to start!
deborahknowlesWell, I write mediaeval stuff myself! If there's anything specific, I'll try to help!

"She was full more blissful on to see Than is the newe perejonette tree"

medievalwriterI'm in the process of writing a medieval fantasy novel, and I'd like it to be as historically accurate as I can. On the other hand, this is fantasy, so I want it to also be colorful and lively, vivid. I'm trying to think of some film visuals that might help me pull together my description of the castle. Hogwarts is too Gothic for my setting, with too many flying buttresses and arches and all. On the other hand, Meduseld (Lord of the Rings, Two Towers) seems too crowded with all of the columns. Do you have architectural suggestions that might open it up a bit but still remain within that early-Medieval/Romanesque style? Thanks so much.

"Reason is a gift from God to civilized men; it has no part in this room." (Ivanhoe)

[This message has been edited by medievalwriter (edited 09-19-2009).]

QueuxgropiusI will try and find some more pictures of Castle interiors, but for now...

These are later than the 12c....

medievalwriterWOW! Thanks so much, Queuxgropius! That first one took my breath away. I've seen close-ups of the "Round Table" before, but never the whole hall! It's the perfect place to start! Thanks again!

"Reason is a gift from God to civilized men; it has no part in this room." (Ivanhoe)

QueuxgropiusGlad they were of help to you, Medievalwriter. Here are some more

I will see if I can find any more. I also have some among my files which I can send by email if you want to see them.

MsTanyaUKYou may be interested in my collection of photos on photobucket. There are tons of castle shots from all over the UK, taken over the past 9 years.
I was tracking the link to a photo I had on flickr when I found this forum/post. I have far more detailed shots on photobucket than flickr, including many castles of Edward I in Wales and shots of the last castle brought down by siege under King John...Rochester Castle. I hope these will give you a better idea of the defenses. Also examples of tapestries and wall paintings from the late medieval period can be seen in the group from Hampton Court Palace.You can get historical over views of most of the places I've been to on either the CADW or English Heritage websites. I've learned so much since moving here and I hope my interest will be of help to you.
medievalwriterThanks so much! I can't wait to look through these! I saw the file of Lindisfarne and it make me so jealous -- I was supposed to have a 'field trip' there during my study abroad class, but the prof forgot to check if they were open in January, and they weren't. Thanks again!

"Reason is a gift from God to civilized men; it has no part in this room." (Ivanhoe)

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