Long–and–short quoins in the castle gatehouse

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Long–and–short quoins in the castle gatehouse

The use of long-and-short quoins was a building technique of Anglo-Saxon masons which provided a strong corner to a wall when building in small rubble. Large slabs were laid at the wall corner, arranged alternately upright (‘long’) and flat (‘short’).

The view shows a detail of one of the projecting wing walls at the front of the tower which employs long-and-short quoins. The use of this technique in a gatehouse built by the new Norman conquerors indicates that English masons were forced to carry out building work in their new castle. Anglo-Saxon building practices very quickly died out after 1066.

Acknowledgments: Exeter Archaeology

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