Battle for the Castle: A Post-Medieval Approach to Castle Studies

Author(s): Lila Rakoczy

Year: 2013


In Archaeology journals across the UK, the medieval castle is still being fought over. This war of interpretations, still largely centered on the military vs. non-military nature of castles, has been one cause among many for the current stagnation of castle studies. This paper will argue that retreading old research ground (and rehashing old arguments) is ultimately unproductive, and that far more interesting questions deserve to be asked of these ‘medieval’ buildings. A case will be made for a stronger focus on castles during the post-medieval period, and in particular, on the period of their so-called ‘decline’. Using castle destruction in the English Civil War as a discussion point, issues such as power, social climbing, humiliation, and war profiteering will be explored, along with the need for archaeologists and heritage managers to rethink the way they approach ‘castles in decline’.

Cite this Record

Battle for the Castle: A Post-Medieval Approach to Castle Studies. Lila Rakoczy. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428457)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 728