The existence of the Fort Risban was first mentioned when it was besieged by the English in November 1346. Edward III of England's troops, finding the defences of Calais impenetrable, decided to erect a small fort to prevent any supplies reaching the town by sea, with a view to starving the inhabitants into submission. Under the English occupation the wooden tower was replaced by a stone structure, the Stone Tower, after 1400 renamed Lancaster Tower, a name often given to the fort itself.

Fort Risban was used by the English forces until 1558 when Calais was restored to France. In 1596, the fort was captured by the Spanish until May 1598 when it was returned to the French following the Treaty of Vervins. It was rebuilt in 1640. Vauban, who visited the fort some time in the 1680s, described it as 'a home for owls, and place to hold the Sabbath' rather than a fortification and let the fortress be altered. In the 19th century the Engineers Corps altered it again. The sea-fortress was dismantled in 1908 but fortified again during World War II when it served as an air raid shelter.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

Rating

3.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Avalon Kef (4 years ago)
Magnifique site historique des anciennes guerres à Calais à proximité de la mer.
laurent lenoir (4 years ago)
Magnifique vue sur le port et sur les falaises anglaises par beau temps. Fort qui remonte à son origine à la présence anglaise.
Kam Ben (4 years ago)
Cool
Matthias Hartmann (4 years ago)
its ok for a promenade but nothing spectecular. inside a football and hockey field.
Jay Turner (6 years ago)
Dangerous and full of migrants when I went.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.