Haradford Castle, home to the Earl of Haradford, was built over a period of time. Construction started after the conquest and the castle was added to over the following centuries.
The oldest section of the castle is dominated by the keep, with three floors. The keep was the original centre of the castle where guests would have been entertained and the Earl lived, and still does to this day. The ground floor was used as a dungeon and had a well in case attackers took the bailey. The first floor was used for entertainment and for the Earl’s day to day business, whilst the Earl and his family lived on the second floor.
After the time of the conquest, peace reigned in the land, apart from the occasional internal civil conflicts, justifying the costs paid for fortifying the Earl’s stronghold (notable the siege lead by Prættig Úf). During these years the Great Hall with its kitchen, pantry and buttery with the Earl’s chamber above were added to the curtain walls.
The curtain walls were built some decades after the keep was constructed and replaced the earlier timber palisade fortification, at this time the main gate house and postern gate were built. The main gatehouse housed two portcullis and two sets of gates.
The newest section of the castle, Malvarion Tower, was added to provide stronger fortification between the two gates and provide more comfortable facilities for those living within.
The bailey, housed a number of buildings. The chapel served the Earl and his court for daily worship in addition to reminder attackers (should they break through the gatehouse) who was on the Earl’s side. The other buildings served daily needs hunting and daily equipment (the armoury and blacksmiths), communication (dovecote) and travel (stables).
The town of Haradford lay outside the curtain walls and provide the Earl and his court for their daily and weekly needs.
As for the build....
Firstly the castle is not based on any specific castle and is based on the English and Welsh styles between 11th Century and 14th Century. Recently I have visited a number of castles and these have given inspiration to this build, so for those familiar with English and Welsh castles you may see some features you recognise.
The build took just over a year and some areas I would build differently now if I was to do them again.
Lastly the fields and path leading up to the castle was built by Slyowl for the STEAM exhibition, so my thanks to him for his contribution, seen and unseen.