Jessica O'Toole - author, lyre player, lover of castles

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Pozzuoli

Marginally off-course in terms of English medieval history, my HWIP also ventures into Napolese territory of the same period. Pozzuoli, or the old Roman port of Puteoli, is probably somewhere you haven’t heard of – if you have, then you […]

Kenilworth Castle

Excuse my directness, but, personally, I have a massive historical girl-boner for Kenilworth. Yes, it’s a huge medieval fortress, yes it had a gatehouse, yes it was the location for Roger Mortimer (grandfather to the Roger Mortimer who forced Edward […]

Ightham Mote

Now, don’t get too excited, but this didn’t look like this in the 14th century. Depending on your historical snobbery constitution, this may or may not be a disappointment. I *was* a little disappointed to discover this (as I am […]

Portchester Castle

Late in 1345 this view of Portsdown Hill from the keep roof would have revealed a foreboding image. Edward III had announced war with France for its crown in 1337, and he had won a decisive naval victory at Sluys […]

Stokesay Castle

The above was my first view of Stokesay Castle, but the first time I saw it I was on a road trip with a friend, sometime in 2015, and we were on a castle budget (that is, a timetable of […]

Ludlow Castle

As a great many castles in England, Ludlow started as a Norman fortress, and the 11th century gatehouse part of the keep survives. It was raised to four storeys in the 12th Century, though the floors between levels are no […]