Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Keep

Orford Castle Keep, Suffolk
 The first thing to be built at Orford Castle was the keep and it is the last thing to survive.  Its polygonal shape is an unusual design but it was a fortification which was also built as a statement of power.  The keep stands amongst the earth-covered remains of the outer fortification.  The surrounding marshes were drained and the castle was built between 1165-1173 by Henry II of the Plantagenet dynasty.  The last of that dynasty was Richard III whose supposed remains were recently discovered of all places beneath a car park in Leicester. Where he is going to end up?   We will have to wait and see. The present Queen who is of the Saxe-Coburg Gotha dynasty is not allowing the bones to be buried in the current royal burial places, all those disputes of legitimacy and power still the same throughout the centuries.
Orford Castle Keep, Suffolk

Taking a turn around the other side of the keep its condition is not as perfect. The best rooms were designed to catch the early morning sun and the view from the top looks out over the river, sea and rolling countryside.  Henry II was married to Eleanor of Aquitaine who he imprisoned late in their marriage but although he built this castle with the intention he would occasionally live here this is not where the events  portrayed in the film "Lion in Winter" by Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn took place. 
 I wonder if all those centuries ago this field with its view of Orford Castle and church was planted with kale rather than cabbage. 
 The view of the keep from the sea wall, which as can be seen by the sky, was taken on a different day than the preceding photos of cloudless skies.
  But the bees were still buzzing on the thistles
and the boat keel was cutting through the waters of the River Ore.

An entry to ABC Wednesday - a journey through the alphabet


VioletSky said...

it is too bad that only the one side has the best face.

Roger Owen Green said...

still sturdy over time
ROG, ABC Wednesday team

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I always have wondered what the word Keep meant.
Lovely photos too.

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

Wow-fascinating! What a wonderful structure!

Gattina said...

Interesting history and such nice surroundings !

Chubskulit Rose said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

Kanawha River
Rose, ABC Wednesday Team.

Unknown said...

What an impressive example of a K! Thank you for the wonderful photographs and the accompanying history lesson. I enjoyed it very much!

Ann said...

I've learned a lot about castles today, never heard of the Keep. This one is totally gorgeous.

Dave said...

Joy, its nice to see your old stone buildings amongst your lovely countryside - Dave