the Spaniards threatened our shores those who possessed
castles tried to adapt them for the use of artillery,
and when the Civil War began many of them were strengthened
and fortified and often made gallant defences against
their enemies, such as Donnington, Colchester, Scarborough,
and Pontefract. When the Civil War ended the last
bugle sounded the signal for their destruction.
Orders were issued for their destruction, lest they
should ever again be thorns in the sides of the Parliamentary
army. Sometimes they were destroyed for revenge,
or because of their materials, which were sold for
the benefit of the Government or for the satisfaction
of private greed. Lead was torn from the roofs
of chapels and banqueting-halls. The massive walls
were so strong that they resisted to the last and
had to be demolished with the aid of gunpowder.
They became convenient quarries for stone and furnished
many a farm, cottage and manor-house with materials
for their construction. Henceforth the old castle
became a ruin. In its silent marshy moat reeds
and rushes grow, and ivy covers its walls, and trees
have sprung up in the quiet and deserted courts.
Picnic parties encamp on the green sward, and excursionists
amuse themselves in strolling along the walls and
wonder why they were built so thick, and imagine that
the castle was always a ruin erected for the amusement
of the cheap-tripper for jest and playground.
Happily care is usually bestowed upon the relics that
remain, and diligent antiquaries excavate and try
to rear in imagination the stately buildings.
Some have been fortunate enough to become museums,
and some modernized and restored are private residences.
The English castle recalls some of the most eventful
scenes in English history, and its bones and skeleton
should be treated with respect and veneration as an
important feature of vanishing England.
[Illustration: Knightly Bascinet (temp.
Henry V) in Norwich Castle]
VANISHING OR VANISHED CHURCHES
No buildings have suffered more than our parish churches
in the course of ages. Many have vanished entirely.
A few stones or ruins mark the site of others, and
iconoclasm has left such enduring marks on the fabric
of many that remain that it is difficult to read their
story and history. A volume, several volumes,
would be needed to record all the vandalism that has
been done to our ecclesiastical structures in the
ages that have passed. We can only be thankful
that some churches have survived to proclaim the glories
of English architecture and the skill of our masons
and artificers who wrought so well and worthily in
In the chapter that relates to the erosion of our
coasts we have mentioned many of the towns and villages
which have been devoured by the sea with their churches.
These now lie beneath the waves, and the bells in
their towers are still said to ring when storms rage.
We need not record again the submerged Ravenspur,
Dunwich, Kilnsea, and other unfortunate towns with
their churches where now only mermaids can form the