Beyond the martial façade: Gender, heritage and medieval castles in Britain
Goodrich Castle, Goodrich Image: Nessy-Pic (Wikimedia) CC BY-SA 4.0
This article explores the role of gender in interpretations of medieval castles in Britain and related heritage discourse. The three case-studies presented in the article were derived from a collaborative workshop that aims to challenge “the prevailing notion that the medieval castle was a ‘man’s world’, by telling stories of women’s lives through the things (objects) they used and cared about, in the spaces (castles) in which they lived or worked”.
The project does not just highlight the absence of women’s stories in castle-studies, but also questions the assumption that gendered interpretation is equivalent to “making women visible”. Instead, the contributors to the project call for “a more balanced accounts of the daily life of all people in the past” that includes all the different gendered identities in the interpretation of medieval castles.