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Ella Armitage Early Norman Castles of the British Isles

Ella Armitage (1841-1931)


Historical and archaeological research work carried out at the turn of the last century emphasised the importance of castles other than the great stone monuments whose architectural study was already well established. Crucial to this advance of castle studies was the work of Ella Armitage whose published articles in the first decade culminated in the seminal work ‘Early Norman Castles in the British Isles’, (1912).


Dr. Robert Higham, the founder of the Castle Studies Group in 1987, writing in Timber Castles, (1992 & 2004)* stated: “The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles refined the dating of castles generally and in particular showed that mottes were Norman Castles, not as previously argued by some, the burghs of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. This great book, which acknowledged the debt to Pitt-Rivers, Allcroft and other earlier workers, laid the general foundations of timber castle studies by putting their earthworks in a proper historical context and arguing the likely timber origins of many castles whose visible remains are of stone. ‘These earthworks, wrote Mrs Armitage, ‘are castles in the usual sense of the word; that is, the private fortified residences of great landowners.’ In passing, Mrs Armitage also observed other points crucial to the subject. For example, despite her insistence on the importance of mottes she also emphasised the importance of enclosure castles……Not least of her achievements was pointing out the relevance of contemporary documentary evidence to the study of sites whose timber superstructures had long vanished”.


*2004 Edition (Hb & Pb)) published by the University of Exeter Press.


Ella Armitage’s main published works:

(1877) The Childhood of the English Nation or the Beginnings of English History. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.

(1881) Richard I and Edward I. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.

(1885) The Connection Between England and Scotland. London: Rivingtons.

(1905) A key to English Antiquities: with special reference to the Sheffield and Rotherham district. London: J. M. Dent & Co.

(1912) The Early Norman Castles of the British Isles, J. Murray, London.


Other papers and records:

Various Dates: 30 Notebooks, Y.A.S. MS521, Archive, Yorkshire Archaeological Soc. Leeds.

(1904) The Early Norman Castles of England, in English Historical Review XIX (R.L. Poole, ed.), London, Longmans, Green & Co.

(1905) Alleged Norman Origin of Castles in England, in English Historical Review XX (R.L. Poole, ed.). London, Longmans, Green & Co.

(1906) The Norman Origin of Irish Mottes, (Part 1) in The Antiquary, August.

(1906) The Norman Origin of Irish Mottes, (Part 2) in The Antiquary, September.

(1912) Armitage, E. S. & Montgomerie, D. H., Ancient Earthworks. In Victoria County History of York Vol. 2:1-73, London, Eyre & Spottiswood


Articles about the work of Ella Armitage:

(1986) Counihan, Joan. ‘Mrs Ella Armitage, John Horace Round, G. T. Clark and Early Norman Castles’, in Proceedings of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies VIII: 73–87, (ed. R Allen Brown), Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

(1989) Counihan, Joan. ‘The Growth of Castle Studies in England and on the Continent since 1950’, in Proceedings of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies XI: 59-67, (ed., R. Allen Brown), Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

(1990) Counihan, Joan.  ‘Ella Armitage - Castle Studies Pioneer' in Fortress Issue No 6, pp. 51-59. (ed., Andrew Saunders), Beaufort Publishing, Liphook, Hants.

(1991) Counihan, Joan., ‘Mottes, Norman or Not’, in Fortress Issue No 11, Nov, 1991, pp. 53-60, (ed., Andrew Saunders), Beaufort Publishing, Liphook, Hants.

(1998) Counihan, Joan. ‘Mrs Ella Armitage and Irish Archaeology’, in Proceedings of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies XX (ed., Christopher Harper-Bill), Boydell Press, Woodbridge.

(2004) Counihan., Joan, ‘Armitage, Ella Sophia (1841–1931)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press.

(2000) Ogilvie., Marilyn, ‘Armitage, Ella Sophia A (Bulley) (1841–1931)’. The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science. London: Routledge, p. 52.

(2001) Hamlin., A, ‘Ella Armitage, early pioneer of castle studies (1841-1931)’ in Pioneers of the Past, pp. 1-4, Cambridge, Newnham College.

(2012) Errata & Corrigenda to Early Norman Castles of the British Isles - Ella Armitage - prepared  for the unpublished second edition. Castle Studies Group Journal 26, pp. 245-252.


See also the Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Sophia_Armitage

 


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