07 March 2010

Medieval carpentry

Visiting Bouillon I was curious for any trace of medieval carpentry.  The castle-citadel was build from the 11th century on and demilitarized at the end of the 19th century,  as newer and better forts became available.  By this it is now in an undamaged state, what can't be said of the newer forts (Loncin 1914, now a cemetery, Big Bertha did it).

Missing 1:  The original early medieval wooden castle stood higher on the hill.  But of course it is long gone

Missing 2:  The water mill,  originally constructed in the 11th century it must have been a piece of medieval high tech.  Only the dam feeding the mill is still there.

A tread mill,  standing on top of the 57 meter deep well.  As the region had miners    long before the castle was there,  the original tread mill can be as old as the original castle.  My first reaction to the mill was to look how it was made,  to avoid it fell apart when used.  As the picture shows it is a problem when you simply nail the planks at the outside as they fall to easily out.

Missing 3:  The only piece of medieval carpentry I saw.  The remnants of a large wooden cross (looks like the real cross to me,  but then it would be Roman) originally hidden, and now displayed in a glass casing, in the floor of the main medieval hall and discovered 50 years ago.  As the castle is strongly linked to the first crusade it is a mystery what it represents.  Missing,  as my wife cleaned out the pictures before I could save the more 'interesting' ones

This is the first posting in what became a series about medieval carpentry.