Salisbury Castle

Salisbury Castle, also called Sarum, is a modern (i.e., in the Arthurian era) stone castle. It sits upon a great motte in the center of the city, and is the main seat for your lord, the Earl of Salisbury. Curtain walls 8 feet thick and 20 feet tall surround the inner bailey, which is roughly circular and about 300 feet in diameter. Within this bailey are the earl’s domestic build- ings, including the bakery by the east gates. The castle well is in the center of this bailey. Sarum Castle has four towers. Two regular gates and one postern gate pierce the wall. The gates have defensive towers and drawbridges that cross the ditch surrounding the motte. The east tower protects the postern gate, which goes through it. The south tower is large and stands attached only to the wall, while the northern tower is attached to the keep. The keep, or donjon, is the center of domestic and administrative activities. Four other rectangular, two-story buildings, all surmounted by battlements, surround a cen- tral courtyard that is paved with crushed chalk to cast more light within its enclosure. The keep can be entered only by ascending a staircase and crossing over a wooden drawbridge on the second floor. The ground floor is used mainly to store food and supplies. The private chambers of the earl, his family, and coun- ty officers occupy the eastern and northern buildings. The north tower, situated along the wall, is connected to the keep. The western building holds the great, high-ceilinged hall where the earl meets his petitioners and otherwise holds court. Here most of the household knights sleep at night. The south building contains the kitchen and chapel, and above it more private chambers for county and castle officers, and for guests.

THE GREAT HALL When your character stays with his lord, Earl Roderick, he does not have private chamber. Instead, like most people in the castle, he sleeps at night in the same place where he works in the daytime. (Thus, cooks sleep in the kitchen, bak- ers in the pantry, and grooms in the stable.) As a knight, your character sleeps in the Great Hall. This is also the per- manent home of the earl’s household knights. They each have a large chest here to store personal possessions. By day, the great hall is the lord’s courtroom. The floor is cleared of furniture except for the lord’s high chair, which remains upon the raised dais at the far end of the room. In the evening, trestle tables and benches are brought out for the evening meal. At night, the tables and benches serve as beds, or people sleep on the floor.

Salisbury Castle

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