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The Medieval Castle Haynes Manual

An illustrated, behind the scenes look at medieval castles

I will be returning to the last few articles about Gerald of Wales next week, but I thought I would share the book I just bought in The Works. For those outside the UK this is a chain of shops that sell remaindered books and end of lines. You get really good books really cheap, which is brilliant. And toys, and art and craft materials and calendars etc.

Anyway, let me introduce you to the Haynes Manual for The Medieval Castle.

The Medieval Castle Haynes manual

Haynes started out producing car manuals, but then branched out into all sorts of weird and wonderful things. This one is full of the most wonderful pictures and diagrams, like those below.

The Medieval Castle Haynes manual 1The Medieval Castle Haynes manual 2

The blurb says,

An illustrated, behind the scenes look at medieval castles and how they combined two purposes, a weapon of war and a home for an entire community. Using the beautiful construction of a medieval castle at Guédelon as the starting point for each chapter, the book takes each section of the building itself to explain its design, construction and how it was used and lived in. Using images and techniques learned at the site, step-by-step photographs reveal the ancient skills of stone working, carpentry, dying, rope making, milling and many more, while the text discusses the similarities with other impressive medieval castles from the same period.

I think I may take a tour through this book as my next series when I finish with Gerald of Wales. I love castles and am lucky to live in Swansea, right next to the Gower peninsular in south Wales, which is full of castles and castle ruins. We actually have a castle right in the town centre, which was the original inspiration for my history books. I’ve written about castles before, but about the history of individual castles. I’ve never written about how to build a castle and how they were lived in.


Ann Marie Thomas head shot (80x90) (300dpi) Web GravatarAnn Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at