(active 12th century in Yorkshire)

Exterior view

12th century
Donjon, Conisbrough, South Yorkshire

Military conquerors, such as the Normans, had to pay more attention to the building of fortifications (castles, city walls) to protect their rule of the cities and countryside than to build churches. They covered Britain, in particular its southern coastline and cities, with monuments to their military aristocracy. Stone buildings were used as well as wooden towers. There is a large series of remaining examples showing the development from square or rectangular keeps via round keeps and polygonal ones to the tall towers with many rooms of the late Middle Ages.

An example is the circular donjon fortified with towers in Conisbrough. Conisbrough Castle is a medieval fortification, initially built in the 11th century by William de Warenne, the Earl of Surrey, after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. Hamelin Plantagenet, the illegitimate, parvenu son of Henry II, acquired the property by marriage in the late 12th century. Hamelin and his son William rebuilt the castle in stone, including its prominent 28-metre-high keep. By the end of the 19th century the ruins had become a tourist attraction. The keep was re-roofed and re-floored in the 1990s.

The photo shows the circular donjon fortified with towers.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.