Monday, 22 August 2016

Book Review: Okehampton Castle by Alan Endacott

Okehampton Castle – Alan Endacott

Author: Alan Endacott
Publisher: English Heritage
First published: 2003
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 36

Blurb:    For five hundred years after its Norman beginnings, Okehampton Castle served as a dramatic symbol of the power of its owners. The impressive castle ruins, high on their spur overlooking the valley of the River Okement, include extensive remains of the Norman keep; the medieval guest lodgings - some of the most luxurious of their time; the chapel and priest's lodging; the huge kitchens with ovens built into the base of the motte, and the great hall.

This handbook offers a detailed tour of the buildings including an account of their architectural development alongside the story of the owners, particularly the colourful Courtenay family. It also puts the castle in the context of the story of the locality as well as the wider history of England.

History of my copy: Last Tuesday (16th August), my family and I went out to some castles for the day as we’re English Heritage members. We went to Launceston, Okehampton and Lydford as well as Blackbury Camp. At Okehampton, I bought the book.

I actually own loads of the English Heritage books from the times we visit them, but this is the first one I’ve completely read. They’re all sat on my shelf just waiting to be picked up!
The first part of the book is a guide of the castle ruins, so ideally should be read when actually on site. However, due to the pictures (and my own memory), I kept up with it. The little facts about what things were and what they are used for were really interesting!
Also included is a history of the castle, mentioning who the main owners were, their relationship to the royalty at the time, and any developments that were made to the castle. There is also a brief section about the ghost of Lady Howard.

To read or not to read: Read. This book is a short but informative companion to a visit to Okehampton Castle itself. It covers the basic history of the site, but keeps it manageable and full of photographs related to the topics discussed.

No comments:

Post a Comment