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Part of Saltwood Castle, Kent 47e

Part of Saltwood Castle, Kent 47e

Medium: Aquatint

Date: 1816

Shelfmark: K Top Vol 18

Item number: 47e

Length: 21

Width: 30

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

View from a distance of Saltwood Castle in Kent, showing its great gatehouse. This is an ancient fortified site, on a steep hill, which used to be surrounded by marshland. There were Roman and Saxon forts here before the medieval castle. However Saltwood is most famous for being at the centre of the 12th century dispute between Thomas Becket and Henry II. Becket claimed the castle was the property of the Archbishops of Canterbury but Henry, who had already quarrelled with Becket over several issues, was reluctant to hand over a stronghold to a potential enemy. It was here in 1170 that the four of the King's knights William de Tracey, Reginald Fitzures, Hugh de Morville and Richard Le Breton met to plan Becket's assassination. After Becket's murder, the castle was retained by the church and the great gatehouse seen in this view was built by Archbishop Courtenay in the 1380s.

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