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With concise descriptions and history, this is a guide to all medieval English castles of which something can still be seen. They range from the massive keeps which still dominate the landscape, to grassy earthworks and border pele towers. True castles are a medieval phenomenon, spanning the centuries from the Norman Conquest to the accession of the Tudors. The book includes a few medieval fortifications, such as town walls and Tudor coastal forts, which, although not castles, are too closely related to ignore. A short introduction supplies the historical background to the great explosion of castle-building in the Middle Ages, and there are over 500 main entries, grouped in traditional-county order. Full Ordnance Survey map references are given in the index.