Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Medieval Palace - Twelfth Century Research

The Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror.  Work probably began on it in the 1070's and ever since then the Tower has been an important London landmark.  Here's the Tower today.
Below there's a model of it in about 1300.  The tower stands out in the centre with the outbuildings and curtain walls around it...
Today the Medieval Palace - the residential area - lies in the range of buildings on the bottom right of the model.  These rooms are wonderful for giving the feel of what life in a palace apartment might have been like in the twelfth century.
This is a recreation of a royal bedchamber.   Colours on the bed-hangings and tapestries are bright.  The walls have murals, and coats of arms have been painted over the fireplace.  There's a candle-stand in a corner, a cross-framed stool, and the shutters are painted with a royal device - the lions of England.

 There no desk or dressing table in the bedchamber, just a trestle table covered in a cloth.    I love the lion jug, or aquamanile.  Both the cross-framed stool and trestle table are a reminder of how Kings and Queens were always on the move.    It is easy to pack up furniture when it's easily portable!
The Royal Chapel is reached via an archway, leading directly from the bedchamber.  The Chapel might have been one of the few places to find some peace and quiet!