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and silver incalculable. It is to this period that the Bowers of Malmesbury are to be ascribed, together with many other such like specimens of the solemn Lombardic style, vulgarly called Saxon. Then was the Cathedral of [Old] Sarum rebuilt from the ground, and then were the two oldest churches of Devizes founded, or fashioned anew. The author of much of this architectural renovation, was the renowned Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, the second man in the kingdom, and Henry's most trusted councillor. The Monk of Malmesbury commences not his account of Roger till after his arrival in England, but we learn from other sources, that he was originally but an inferior priest attached to the church of Caen, in Normandy. Prince Henry, while serving under his brother William Rufus, one day entered that church with a group of his military associates, and requested the officiating priest to sing a Mass for them. Roger immediately began, and executed his office in such brief time, that the soldiers unanimously declared him the fittest person they had ever met with for a chaplain to men of their profession. From that moment he followed the fortunes of the youthful Prince, who on coming to the throne made him his chancellor and treasurer, then a Bishop, and finally his vice-gerent, whenever he himself should be absent in Normandy. Never, in short, was a favourite more loaded with benefactions, and seldom has a minister more fully justified the confidence reposed in him. Such at least might be said of him so long as bis patron lived. To quote the words of Malmesbury, "Not only the King, but the nobility, even those who were secretly stung with envy at his good fortune, and more especially the servants and debtors to the crown, gave him almost whatever he might fancy. Was there anything contiguous to his property which might be advantageous to him, he speedily became possessed of it either by entreaty or purchase, or these failing, by force. With unrivalled magnificence in their construction, as our times may recollect, he erected
splendid mansions on all his estates, in merely maintaining which, the labour of his successors shall toil in vain. His Cathedral he dignified to the utmost with matchless ornaments and buildings, on which no expense was spared. It was truly wonderful to behold in this man, what abundant power attended him in every kind of dignity, and flowed as it were into his hand. How great was the glory-indeed, what could surpass it—when he saw his two nephews, who owed their learning and industry to himself, both elevated to the episcopate :—and not of mean sees, but of Lincoln and Ely, than which I know not more opulent in England. He was not insensible of his great power; and somewhat more harshly than became such a character did he abuse the favours of Heaven.”
The Bishop's four principal castles were those of Old Sarum (there was then no New Sarum), Sherbourn, Malmesbury, and Devizes. His possession of Sarum, as being royal property, was an especial gift of the crown, but the fabric could not have been large. The Castle of Malmesbury which was scarcely a stones-throw from the Abbey Church appears to have been only commenced by Roger. His culminating ideas of military architecture were realized and displayed in the towers of Devizes. In the construction of this vast edifice, which the Monkish historians with unanimous voice declare to have been the most formidable in England, he gave full scope to his aspiring tastes, and lavished upon it, says Malmesbury, "great and almost incalculable sums.” The same writer informs us, that the Bishop's own expression was, that "he built the Castle of Devizes for the ornament of the Church.” It is worthy of remark how many of the mediæval annalists, French as well as English, agree in this testimony; and though it cannot be denied that they occasionally copied one from another, yet the material evidence of the fact remained before the eyes of each successive writer, down to the period of Henry VIII. Matthew Paris, Matthew
of Westminster, Roger of Wendover, Henry of Huntingdon, the Gesta Stephani, Ordericus Vitalis, and Holinshed; these are only some of the witnesses. Ordericus Vitalis, uses the emphatic words, “There was not a more splendid fortress in Europe.” Castellum quo non erat aliud splendidius intra fines Europe.
The dominating part of the structure was, no doubt, the massive central donjon or Norman keep, an approximate judgment of which may be formed by reference to the contemporaneous keep of Rochester, still standing;) a square double-walled building, containing the state apartments of the souzerain; and deep below, the prison vaults. The ballium or court around this keep, was environed with subordinate towers, and other buildings for warehouses, kitchens, and barracks. Then we descend to the moat, whose inner bank bristled with wooden palisades, and across which, the fortified passage appears to have occupied much the same place as the modern roadway, on the north side. In completing the defences, the engineer drew his lines around a considerable space lying beyond the moat, constituting what was called the barbican, guarded in like manner with turretted walls. The strength of the gangway in this direction, that is, towards the town, may be estimated by the fact, that it was furnished, at suitable intervals, with no less than seven or eight portcullices. All this is borne out by the testimony of the antiquary Leland, who visited the spot in the 16th century, and whose account, as that of the last person describing its features, may not unaptly be quoted in this place, (slightly modernised).
“There is a castle on the south-west side of the town, stately advanced upon an high ground, defended partly by nature and partly with dykes, the earth whereof is cast up aslope, and that of a great height for the defence of the wall. This castle was made in Henry I.'s days, by one Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, Chancellor and Treasurer to the King. Such a piece of castle-work, so costly and strong, was never afore