A battlement in defensive architecture, such as that of city walls or castles, comprises a parapet, in which gaps or indentations, which are rectangular, occur at intervals to allow for the launch of arrows or other projectiles from within the defences. These gaps are termed "crenels", the act of adding crenels to a unbroken parapet is termed crenellation. A defensive building might be designed and built with battlements, or a manor house might be fortified by adding battlements, where no parapet existed, or cutting crenellations into its existing parapet wall; the solid widths between the crenels are called merlons. A wall with battlements is said to be embattled. Battlements on walls have protected walkways behind them. On tower or building tops, the roof is used as the protected fighting platform; the term originated in about the 14th century from the Old French word batailler, "to fortify with batailles". The word crenel derives from the ancient French cren, Latin crena, meaning a notch, mortice or other gap cut out to receive another element or fixing.
The modern French word for crenel is créneau used to describe a gap of any kind, for example a parking space at the side of the road between two cars, interval between groups of marching troops or a timeslot in a broadcast. In medieval England and Wales a licence to crenellate granted the holder permission to fortify their property; such licences were granted by the king, by the rulers of the counties palatine within their jurisdictions, e.g. by the Bishops of Durham and the Earls of Chester and after 1351 by the Dukes of Lancaster. The castles in England vastly outnumber the licences to crenellate Royal pardons were obtainable, on the payment of an arbitrarily determined fine, by a person who had fortified without licence; the surviving records of such licences issued by letters patent, provide valuable evidence for the dating of ancient buildings. A list of licences issued by the English Crown between the 12th and 16th centuries was compiled by Turner & Parker and expanded and corrected by Philip Davis and published in The Castle Studies Group Journal.
There has been academic debate over the purpose of licensing. The view of military-focused historians is that licensing restricted the number of fortifications that could be used against a royal army; the modern view, proposed notably by Charles Coulson, is that battlements became an architectural status-symbol much sought after by the ambitious, in Coulson's words: "Licences to crenellate were symbolic representations of lordly status: castellation was the architectural expression of noble rank". They indicated to the observer that the grantee had obtained "royal recognition and compliment", they could however provide a basic deterrent against wandering bands of thieves, it is suggested that the function of battlements was comparable to the modern practice of householders fitting visible CC-TV and burglar alarms merely dummies. The crown did not charge for the granting of such licences, but charged a fee of about half a mark. Battlements may be stepped out to overhang the wall below, may have openings at their bases between the supporting corbels, through which stones or burning objects could be dropped onto attackers or besiegers.
Battlements have been used for thousands of years. Battlements were used in the walls surrounding Assyrian towns, as shown on bas reliefs from Nimrud and elsewhere. Traces of them remain at Mycenae in Greece, some ancient Greek vases suggest the existence of battlements; the Great Wall of China has battlements. In the European battlements of the Middle Ages the crenel comprised one-third of the width of the merlon: the latter, in addition, could be provided with arrow-loops of various shapes, depending on the weapon being utilized. Late merlons permitted fire from the first firearms. From the 13th century, the merlons could be connected with wooden shutters that provided added protection when closed; the shutters were designed to be opened to allow shooters to fire against the attackers, closed during reloading. The Romans used low wooden pinnacles for their first aggeres. In the battlements of Pompeii, additional protection derived from small internal buttresses or spur walls, against which the defender might stand so as to gain complete protection on one side.
Loop-holes were frequent in Italian battlements, where the merlon has much greater height and a distinctive cap. Italian military architects used the so-called Ghibelline or swallowtail battlement, with V-shaped notches in the tops of the merlon, giving a horn-like effect; this would allow the defender to be protected whilst shooting standing upright. The normal rectangular merlons were nicknamed Guelph. In Muslim and African fortifications, the merlons were rounded; the battlements of the Arabs had a more decorative and varied character, were continued from the 13th century onwards not so much for defensive purposes as for a crowning feature to the walls. They serve a function similar to the cresting found in the Spanish Renaissance. "Irish" crenellations are a distinctive form that appeared in Ireland between the 14th and 17th centuries. These were battlements of a "stepped" form, with each merlon shaped like an inverted'T'. European architects persistently used battlements as a purely decorative feature throughout the Decorated and Perpendicular periods of Gothi
The English Renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement in England dating from the late 15th century to the early 17th century. It is associated with the pan-European Renaissance, regarded as beginning in Italy in the late 14th century; as in most of the rest of northern Europe, England saw little of these developments until more than a century later. The beginning of the English Renaissance is taken, as a convenience, to be 1485, when the Battle of Bosworth Field ended the Wars of the Roses and inaugurated the Tudor Dynasty. Renaissance style and ideas, were slow to penetrate England, the Elizabethan era in the second half of the 16th century is regarded as the height of the English Renaissance; the English Renaissance is different from the Italian Renaissance in several ways. The dominant art forms of the English Renaissance were music. Visual arts in the English Renaissance were much less significant than in the Italian Renaissance; the English period began far than the Italian, moving into Mannerism and the Baroque by the 1550s or earlier.
In contrast, the English Renaissance can only be said to begin, shakily, in the 1520s, it continued until 1620. England had a strong tradition of literature in the English vernacular, which increased as English use of the printing press became common during the mid 16th century. By the time of Elizabethan literature a vigorous literary culture in both drama and poetry included poets such as Edmund Spenser, whose verse epic The Faerie Queene had a strong influence on English literature but was overshadowed by the lyrics of William Shakespeare, Thomas Wyatt and others; the works of these playwrights and poets circulated in manuscript form for some time before they were published, above all the plays of English Renaissance theatre were the outstanding legacy of the period. The works of this period are affected by Henry VIII's declaration of independence from the Catholic Church and technological advances in sailing and cartography, which are reflected in the nonreligious themes and various shipwreck adventures of Shakespeare.
The English theatre scene, which performed both for the court and nobility in private performances, a wide public in the theatres, was the most crowded in Europe, with a host of other playwrights as well as the giant figures of Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson. Elizabeth herself was a product of Renaissance humanism trained by Roger Ascham, wrote occasional poems such as On Monsieur's Departure at critical moments of her life. Philosophers and intellectuals included Francis Bacon. All the 16th century Tudor monarchs were educated, as was much of the nobility, Italian literature had a considerable following, providing the sources for many of Shakespeare's plays. English thought advanced towards modern science with the Baconian Method, a forerunner of the Scientific Method; the language of the Book of Common Prayer, first published in 1549, at the end of the period the Authorised Version of the Bible had enduring impacts on the English consciousness. England was slow to produce visual arts in Renaissance styles, the artists of the Tudor court were imported foreigners until after the end of the Renaissance.
The English Reformation produced a huge programme of iconoclasm that destroyed all medieval religious art, all but ended the skill of painting in England. The significant English invention was the portrait miniature, which took the techniques of the dying art of the illuminated manuscript and transferred them to small portraits worn in lockets. Though the form was developed in England by foreign artists Flemish like Lucas Horenbout, the somewhat undistinguished founder of the tradition, by the late 16th century natives such as Nicolas Hilliard and Isaac Oliver produced the finest work as the best producers of larger portraits in oil were still foreigners; the portrait miniature had spread all over Europe by the 18th century. The portraiture of Elizabeth I was controlled, developed into an elaborate and wholly un-realist iconic style, that has succeeded in creating enduring images. English Renaissance music kept in touch with continental developments far more than visual art, managed to survive the Reformation successfully, though William Byrd and other major figures were Catholic.
The Elizabethan madrigal was related to the Italian tradition. Thomas Tallis, Thomas Morley, John Dowland were other leading English composers; the colossal polychoral productions of the Venetian School had been anticipated in the works of Thomas Tallis, the Palestrina style from the Roman School had been absorbed prior to the publication of Musica transalpina, in the music of masters such as William Byrd. The Italian and English Renaissances were similar in sharing a specific musical aesthetic. In the late 16th century Italy was the musical center of Europe, one of the principal forms which emerged from that singular explosion of musical creativity was the madrigal. In 1588, Nicholas Yonge published in England the Musica transalpina—a collection of Italian madrigals, Anglicized—an event which began a vogue of madrigal in England, unmatched in the Renaissance in being an instantaneous adoption of an idea, from another country, adapted to local aesthetics. English poetry was at the right stage of development for this transplantation to occur, since forms such as the sonnet were uniquely adapted to sett
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph referred to as The Telegraph, is a national British daily broadsheet newspaper published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed across the United Kingdom and internationally. It was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855 as Daily Telegraph & Courier; the Telegraph is regarded as a national "newspaper of record" and it maintains an international reputation for quality, having been described by the BBC as "one of the world's great titles". The paper's motto, "Was, is, will be", appears in the editorial pages and has featured in every edition of the newspaper since 19 April 1858; the paper had a circulation of 363,183 in December 2018, having declined following industry trends from 1.4 million in 1980. Its sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph, which started in 1961, had a circulation of 281,025 as of December 2018; the Daily Telegraph has the largest circulation for a broadsheet newspaper in the UK and the sixth largest circulation of any UK newspaper as of 2016. The two sister newspapers are run separately, with different editorial staff, but there is cross-usage of stories.
Articles published in either may be published on the Telegraph Media Group's www.telegraph.co.uk website, under the title of The Telegraph. Editorially, the paper is considered conservative; the Telegraph has been the first newspaper to report on a number of notable news scoops, including the 2009 MP expenses scandal, which led to a number of high-profile political resignations and for which it was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year, its 2016 undercover investigation on the England football manager Sam Allardyce. However, including the paper's former chief political commentator Peter Oborne, accuse it of being unduly influenced by advertisers HSBC; the Daily Telegraph and Courier was founded by Colonel Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 to air a personal grievance against the future commander-in-chief of the British Army, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge. Joseph Moses Levy, the owner of The Sunday Times, agreed to print the newspaper, the first edition was published on 29 June 1855; the paper was four pages long.
The first edition stressed the quality and independence of its articles and journalists: We shall be guided by a high tone of independent action. However, the paper was not a success, Sleigh was unable to pay Levy the printing bill. Levy took over the newspaper, his aim being to produce a cheaper newspaper than his main competitors in London, the Daily News and The Morning Post, to expand the size of the overall market. Levy appointed his son, Edward Levy-Lawson, Lord Burnham, Thornton Leigh Hunt to edit the newspaper. Lord Burnham relaunched the paper as The Daily Telegraph, with the slogan "the largest and cheapest newspaper in the world". Hunt laid out the newspaper's principles in a memorandum sent to Levy: "We should report all striking events in science, so told that the intelligent public can understand what has happened and can see its bearing on our daily life and our future; the same principle should apply to all other events—to fashion, to new inventions, to new methods of conducting business".
In 1876, Jules Verne published his novel Michael Strogoff, whose plot takes place during a fictional uprising and war in Siberia. Verne included among the book's characters a war correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, named Harry Blount—who is depicted as an exceptionally dedicated and brave journalist, taking great personal risks to follow the ongoing war and bring accurate news of it to The Telegraph's readership, ahead of competing papers. In 1908, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave a controversial interview to The Daily Telegraph that damaged Anglo-German relations and added to international tensions in the build-up to World War I. In 1928 the son of Baron Burnham, Harry Lawson Webster Levy-Lawson, 2nd Baron Burnham, sold the paper to William Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, in partnership with his brother Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley and Edward Iliffe, 1st Baron Iliffe. In 1937, the newspaper absorbed The Morning Post, which traditionally espoused a conservative position and sold predominantly amongst the retired officer class.
William Ewart Berry, 1st Viscount Camrose, bought The Morning Post with the intention of publishing it alongside The Daily Telegraph, but poor sales of the former led him to merge the two. For some years the paper was retitled The Daily Telegraph and Morning Post before it reverted to just The Daily Telegraph. In the late 1930s Victor Gordon Lennox, The Telegraph's diplomatic editor, published an anti-appeasement private newspaper The Whitehall Letter that received much of its information from leaks from Sir Robert Vansittart, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign Office, Rex Leeper, the Foreign Office's Press Secretary; as a result, Gordon Lennox was monitored by MI5. In 1939, The Telegraph published Clare Hollingworth's scoop. In November 1940, with Fleet Street subjected to daily bombing raids by the Luftwaffe, The Telegraph started printing in Manchester at Kemsley House, run by Camrose's brother Kemsley. Manchester quite printed the entire run of The Telegraph when its Fleet Street offices were under threat.
The name Kemsley House was changed to Thomson House in 1959. In 1986 printing of Northern editions of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph moved to Trafford Park and in 2008 to Newsprinters at Knowsley, Liverpool. During the Second World War, The Daily Telegraph covertly helped in the recruitment of code-breakers for Bletchley Park; the ability to solve The Telegraph's crossword in under 12 minutes was considered to be a recruitment test. The newspaper was asked to organise a crossword competition, after wh
An oriel window is a form of bay window which protrudes from the main wall of a building but does not reach to the ground. Supported by corbels, brackets, or similar, an oriel window is most found projecting from an upper floor but is sometimes used on the ground floor. Oriel windows are seen in Arab architecture in the form of mashrabiya. In Islamic culture these windows and balconies project from the street front of houses, providing an area in which women could peer out and see the activities below while remaining invisible. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "oriel" is derived from Anglo-Norman oriell and post-classical Latin oriolum, both meaning "gallery" or "porch" from classical Latin aulaeum, "curtain". Oriel College, took its name from a balcony or oriel window forming a feature of a building which occupied the site the college now stands on. Oriel Chambers in Liverpool was a controversial building when it was built, featuring an entire façade of glass oriel windows.
It is seen as an early example of modernism. Bay window for more details Bow window Bretèche Turret window
Alcester is a market town and civil parish of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow in Warwickshire, England 8 miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon, 8 miles south of Redditch, close to the Worcestershire border. The 2011 census recorded a population of 6,273; the poet and antiquary John Leland wrote in his Itinerary that the name Alcester was derived from that of the River Alne. The suffix'cester' is derived from the Saxon word'ceaster', which meant a Roman fort or town, derived from the Latin'castrum', from which the modern word'castle' derives. Alcester was founded by the Romans in around AD 47 as a walled fort; the walled colonia named. It was sited on Icknield Street, a Roman road that ran the length of Britannia from the north east near Hadrian's Wall to southwest England; the town was just north of the Fosse Way, another important thoroughfare in Roman Britain. Alauna, a bustling market town, was within the commercial sphere of Salinae, where rock salt and brine was extracted and processed.
Archaeological investigations shows the colonia had streets and workshops. Investigations into Alcester's Roman history began with local businessman B. W. Davis in the 1920s. Recent excavations have shown that a substantial part of the Roman town was built outside its defensive walls in the 3rd century AD. In the Early medieval period, Alencestre had become a Saxon market town in the Kingdom of Mercia. Alcester was the site of Alcester Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1138 by Ralph le Boteler. Richard de Tutbury, the last abbot, resigned his office in 1467 and Alcester Abbey was absorbed into the neighbouring Evesham Abbey. By 1515 Alcester Abbey was in ruins as a result of the neglect of various abbots, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries Henry VIII it was demolished; the ruins were granted to the local Greville family, who used much of the stone to rebuild their family seat of Beauchamp Court. Today the town features architecture from the Medieval, Georgian, Victorian and 20th century.
The oldest house appears to be The Old Malthouse at the corner of Church Street and Malt Mill Lane, which dates from about 1500. The clock on St Nicholas Church is in an unusual position on the south-west corner of the 14th-century tower, making it visible from the High Street; the church houses the tomb of Fulke Greville, grandfather of Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke. The church's Georgian nave with Doric columns and plastered ceiling is believed to have been designed by Francis Smith of Warwick, supervisor of its rebuild by Woodward brothers of Chipping Camden in 1729. Alcester was served by Alcester railway station belonging to the Midland Railway, on the Gloucester Loop Line, branching off the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway main line at Ashchurch, passing through Evesham railway station and Redditch and rejoining the main line at Barnt Green, near Bromsgrove; the loop was built to address the fact that the main line bypassed most of the towns it might otherwise have served, but it took three separate companies to complete, Alcester being on the Evesham and Redditch Railway prior to absorption by the Midland.
In addition a branch line provided by the Alcester Railway company ran from Alcester to Bearley, thus giving access to Stratford-upon-Avon. This line, was an early casualty, closing in September 1939; the Midland loop was due to close between Ashchurch and Redditch in June 1963 but the poor condition of the track led to all trains between Evesham and Redditch being withdrawn in October 1962 and replaced by a bus service for the final eight months. Redditch to Barnt Green remains open on the electrified Birmingham suburban network. Alcester is served by buses from Redditch and Stratford upon Avon. Alcester is known for two nearby stately homes. To the north is Coughton Court, the family seat of the Throckmorton baronets as well as a National Trust property. To the south-west is Ragley Hall, the home of the Marquis of Hertford, whose gardens contain a children's adventure playground. Kinwarton, just north of Alcester, contains a church of Anglo Saxon origin and a historic dovecote, Kinwarton Dovecote, a National Trust property.
Alcester is a significant town on the 100-mile-long Heart of England Way long-distance walking route. Recent developments, carried out by a multi-agency partnership, include'Roman Alcester', a museum exhibiting locally found archaeological artifacts from the 1st to 4th century AD. In early June Alcester holds the Court Leet charity street market with a procession and competitions for best stall and best fancy dress. On the first Monday and Tuesday in October Alcester holds an annual mop fair where amusement rides, side stalls and food booths line the High Street, Church Street and Henley Street; the mop fair has decreased in size over a period of years an external influence since the people of Alcester still flock to the streets during the two nights. The Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival is held every October; the St Nicholas Night Fair is held on 6 December each year. The rivers Arrow and Alne, which join on the outskirts of Alcester, have flooded and on a few occasions engulfed part of the town.
The last occurrences were in 1956, 10 April 1998 and on 21 July 2007 when 200 homes were left uninhabitable. In response to the severe flooding of 2007 Alcester flood scheme completed an underground storage tank with a 3.25 million litre capacity in June 2011, costing just over £1 millio
English country house
An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were owned by individuals who owned a town house; this allowed them to spend time in the country and in the city—hence, for these people, the term distinguished between town and country. However, the term encompasses houses that were, still are, the full-time residence for the landed gentry that ruled rural Britain until the Reform Act 1832; the formal business of the counties was transacted in these country houses. With large numbers of indoor and outdoor staff, country houses were important as places of employment for many rural communities. In turn, until the agricultural depressions of the 1870s, the estates, of which country houses were the hub, provided their owners with incomes. However, the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the swansong of the traditional English country house lifestyle. Increased taxation and the effects of World War I led to the demolition of hundreds of houses. While a château or a Schloss can be a fortified or unfortified building, a country house, similar to an Ansitz, is unfortified.
If fortified, it is called a castle. The term stately home is subject to debate, avoided by historians and other academics; as a description of a country house, the term was first used in a poem by Felicia Hemans, The Homes of England published in Blackwood's Magazine in 1827. In the 20th century, the term was popularised in a song by Noël Coward, in modern usage it implies a country house, open to visitors at least some of the time. In England, the terms "country house" and "stately home" are sometimes used vaguely and interchangeably. In his book Historic Houses: Conversations in Stately Homes, the author and journalist Robert Harling documents nineteen "stately homes"; the book's collection of stately homes includes George IV's Brighton town palace, the Royal Pavilion. The country houses of England have evolved over the last five hundred years. Before this time, larger houses were fortified, reflecting the position of their owners as feudal lords, de facto overlords of their manors; the Tudor period of stability in the country saw the building of the first of the unfortified great houses.
Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries saw many former ecclesiastical properties granted to the King's favourites, who converted them into private country houses. Woburn Abbey, Forde Abbey and many other mansions with abbey or priory in their name became private houses during this period. Other terms used in the names of houses to describe their origin or importance include palace, court, mansion, house and place, it was during the second half of the reign of Elizabeth I, under her successor, James I, that the first architect-designed mansions, thought of today as epitomising the English country house, began to make their appearance. Burghley House, Longleat House, Hatfield House are among the best known examples of the showy prodigy house built with the intention of attracting the monarch to visit. By the reign of Charles I, Inigo Jones and his form of Palladianism had changed the face of English domestic architecture with the use of turrets and towers as an architectural reference to the earlier castles and fortified houses disappearing.
The Palladian style, in various forms, interrupted by baroque, was to predominate until the second half of the 18th century when, influenced by ancient Greek styles, it evolved into the neoclassicism championed by such architects as Robert Adam. Some of the best known of England's country houses were built by one architect at one particular time: Montacute House, Chatsworth House, Blenheim Palace are examples. While the latter two are ducal palaces, although built by a Master of the Rolls to Queen Elizabeth I, was occupied for the next 400 years by his descendants, who were gentry without a London townhouse, rather than aristocracy, they ran out of funds in the early 20th century. However, the vast majority of the lesser-known English country houses owned at different times by gentlemen and peers, are an evolution of one or more styles with facades and wings in different styles in a mixture of high architecture as interpreted by a local architect or surveyor, determined by practicality as much as by the whims of architectural taste.
An example of this is Brympton d'Evercy in Somerset, a house of many periods, unified architecturally by the continuing use of the same mellow, local Ham Hill stone. The fashionable William Kent redesigned Rousham House only to have it and drastically altered to provide space for the owner's twelve children. Canons Ashby, home to poet John Dryden's family, is another example of architectural evolution: a medieval farmhouse enlarged in the Tudor era around a courtyard, given grandiose plaster ceilings in the Stuart period, having Georgian façades added in the 18th century; the whole is a glorious mismatch of fashions that seamlessly blend together. These could be called the true English country house. Wilton House, one
A priest hole is a hiding place for a priest built into many of the principal Catholic houses of England during the period when Catholics were persecuted by law in England. When Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, there were several Catholic plots designed to remove her and severe measures were taken against Catholic priests. Many great houses had a priest hole built so that the presence of a priest could be concealed when searches were made of the building, they were cleverly concealed in walls, under floors, behind wainscoting and other locations and were successful in concealing their occupant. Many priest holes were designed by the Jesuit lay brother Nicholas Owen, who spent much of his life building priest holes to protect the lives of persecuted priests. After the Gunpowder Plot, Owen himself was captured, taken to the Tower of London and tortured to death on the rack, he was canonised as a martyr by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The measures put in force shortly after Elizabeth's accession became much harsher after the Rising of the North and the Babington Plot in particular, the utmost severity of the law being enforced against seminary priests.
"Priest hunters" were tasked to locate any priests. An Act was passed prohibiting a member of the Roman Catholic Church from celebrating the rites of his faith on pain of forfeiture for the first offence, a year's imprisonment for the second, imprisonment for life for the third. All those who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy were called "recusants" and were guilty of high treason. A law was enacted which provided that if any "papist" should be found converting an Anglican, or other Protestant, to Catholicism, both would suffer death for high treason. In November 1591, a priest was hanged before the door of a house in Gray's Inn Fields for having said Mass there the month previously. Laws against seminary priests and "Recusants" were enforced with great severity after the Gunpowder Plot episode during James I's reign. Arrest for a priest meant imprisonment, torture and execution. England's castles and country houses had some precaution in the event of a surprise, such as a secret means of concealment or escape that could be used at a moment's notice.
However, in the time of legal persecution the number of secret chambers and hiding-places increased in the houses of the old Catholic families. These took the form of apartments or chapels in secluded parts of the houses, or in the roof space, where Mass could be celebrated with the utmost privacy and safety. Nearby there was an artfully contrived hiding-place, not only for the officiating priest to slip into in case of emergency, but to provide a place where the vestments, sacred vessels, altar furniture could be stored on short notice. Priest's holes were built in fireplaces and staircases and were constructed between the 1550s and 1605. Many such hiding places are attributed to a Jesuit lay brother, Nicholas Owen, who devoted the greater part of his life to constructing these places to protect the lives of persecuted priests. With incomparable skill Owen knew how to conduct priests to a place of safety along subterranean passages, to hide them between walls and bury them in impenetrable recesses, to entangle them in labyrinths and a thousand windings.
But what was much more difficult of accomplishment, he so disguised the entrances to these as to make them most unlike what they were. Moreover, he kept these places so close a secret that he would never disclose to another the place of concealment of any Catholic, he alone was both their builder. No one knows; some may still be undiscovered. They were sometimes built as an offshoot from a chimney. Another favorite entrance was behind panelling. Others were incorporated for example at Chesterton Hall, near Cambridge. Harvington Hall in Worcestershire has seven priest holes throughout the house, including access through the main staircase, a false fireplace. After the Gunpowder Plot, Owen himself was captured at Hindlip Hall, taken to the Tower of London and tortured to death on the rack, he was canonised as a martyr by Pope Paul VI in 1970. The effectiveness of priest holes was demonstrated by their success in baffling the exhaustive searches of the "pursuivants", described in contemporary accounts of the searches.
Search-parties would bring with them skilled carpenters and masons and try every possible expedient, from systematic measurements and soundings to the physical tearing down of panelling and pulling up of floors. Another ploy would be for the searchers to pretend to leave and see if the priest would emerge from hiding, he might be half-starved, sore with prolonged confinement, afraid to breathe lest the least sound should throw suspicion upon the particular spot where he was concealed. Sometimes a priest could die by lack of oxygen. Priest hunter Anti-Catholicism in the United Kingdom English & Irish Penal Laws Come Rack! Come Rope! Secret Chambers and Hiding Places, by Allan Fea, an eText at Project Gutenberg, from which this article is derived. Article in The Blackpool Gazette:'Priest hole found in Tudor Hall', featuring a priest hole discovered by the owner of Mains Hall, Lancashire BBC Black Country feature about a priest hole in Moseley Old Hall, that harbored Charles II in 1651 as he fled from Cromwell's army "Gunpowder Plot hall for sale".
Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire: BBC News. 2 October 2002. Webpage about the priest hole at Naworth Castle, with historical notes and video