The Landscape Guide

*Castle Garden 1300 

See Style Chart

Use: Forts were occupied by soldiers and used exclusively for military purposes. From the middle ages onwards, castles were places for families to live with their dependents and retainers. Some had small pleasure gardens within their walls, primarily for the use of ladies, children, swains and troubadours. In times of siege, an army, or the poplulation of the local village, would occupy the space inside the outer fortifications and, presumably, trample the garden.

Form: The garden could be a small rectangular, hexagonal or irregular enclosure, inside the outer fortification (bailey). There are many surviving castle spaces where one can see places for such gardens within the inner or outer bailey. No examples survive but there are symbolic illustrations of them in medieval prayer books and romances. They show trellis fencing, flowery lawns, turf seats, tunnel-arbours and a profusion of sweet-scented flowers. Most of the land within the bailey would not have smelt sweet. Castles also had orchards and hunting parks outside the fortified zone.

Chateau Amboise, Chateau Angers, Chateau Dourdan, Montargis, Vincennes Chateau,