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By Margaret Bonney

Town of Durham, even though geographically some distance faraway from the centre of political energy in England within the later medieval interval, was once of significant strategic and ecclesiastical significance in the course of its early historical past. It used to be the seat of the prince bishops, an army headquarters for the defence of the northern borders of britain, a centre for pilgrimages to the shrine of St Cuthbert and the primary marketplace city for the sector. After tracing Durham's past due tenth-century origins, the publication examines the next advancements in spiritual and armed forces development paintings at the peninsula which followed the expansion of a profitable city group within the 11th and 12th centuries. This component to the e-book is complemented through the replica of all of the extant medieval plans for Durham in an appendix, which additionally comprises later maps of the city and a number of other illustrations which support to give an explanation for the complicated topography. moreover, even supposing at the beginning sight Durham's overlords might sound oppressive, there's little facts of the townsmen's dissatisfaction with their rule, and none of city insurrection in past due medieval Durham.

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W o o d , The English medieval house (London, 1965), p. 292. Locum inter ecclesiam et castellum, quern multa occupaverant habitacula, in patentis campi redegit planitiem: Symeon, HistEcclesDun, Continuatio Prima, p. 140; Symeon, HistEcclesDun, pp. 9 8 - 9 ; VCH Durham, vol. 2, p. 11; VCH Durham, vol. 3, p. 10; quia modo apud Dunelmum in placea certaminis morti procubuit, et flatu effuso spiritum emisit: Reginald, St Godric, pp. 189, 191. 34 The growth and development of Durham to c. 1250 appears to be the most formative and expansionist era of Durham, the eleventh and twelfth centuries, is the most poorly documented, as in so many English towns.

The irregularities of the landscape are as characteristic of Durham today as they were in the medieval period. Local mythology has it that Durham is built on seven hills 1 P. Beaumont, ' Geomorphology', in J. C. ), Durham county and city with Teesside (Durham, 1970), pp. 26—8; C. M. Fraser, 'The medieval period', in Dewdney, Durham county, pp. 207-8. 37 The urban landscape of Durham 1250—1540 and in the late eighteenth century these hills were indeed very prominent. William Hutchinson commented:2 Approaching the city from the north, it has the most romantic and uncommon appearance.

20 The growth and development of Durham to c. 39 Within the inner walls, the castle buildings, in a triangular layout, were described by Laurence as two great palaces with porticoes, a chapel supported on six columns, and the well. W. T. Jones, writing in the Victoria County History, claimed that portions of Laurence's palaces are to be found incorporated in the existing ranges of the castle. 40 Any survey of military building on the Durham peninsula shows clearly, despite the scarcity of the evidence, that the pioneering work was complete by the end of the eleventh century.

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