Friday, June 27, 1650
I will describe the principal condition of the gatehouse.
As can be seen, there are three levels, not including the tower. As said, the road runs alongside the highest level, which is reached by a set of stairs that are ten feet wide and six feet from top to bottom. The floor below, would be reached from a set of stairs immediately to the left of the main entrance, the side opposite to that shown in the picture.
For simplicity, let us refer to the highest principal floor as the “Entrance Floor”; to the floor below that as the “Service Floor”; and finally, to the lowest floor as the “Cellar.”
Each floor is, in the main, 24’ long and 16’ wide. The Entrance Floor has three windows on the side facing the viewer, which would be the SOUTH wall; these windows are, from entrance to the rear of the Gatehouse, 3’ wide, 1’ wide, and 3’ wide. Each are 5’ high. The total height of the wall surrounding the Entrance Floor is 11’ high. There are two windows on the EAST wall, opposite to the entrance, which is on the WEST wall. These windows are each 2’ wide and 5’ high. There are two windows on the NORTH wall, respectively 1’ wide and 3’ wide, each 5’ high and arranged oppositely to the narrow and wide window shown, with the 2’ space between them. The Entrance Floor has no roof. There is a chimney that rises in the SW corner, but this chimney at present does not rise above the wall, and cannot be seen. The floor is sturdy, but water damaged from open roof.
Where the stairs descend to the Service Floor, there is an iron ladder fixed into the wall that leads to the bell tower. The Belltower is 5’ square, and stands 18’ above the wall of the Entrance Floor, or 29’ feet above the top step of the entranceway, or 35’ above the road. As can be seen, it has 8 windows surrounding it, each 1’ wide and 3’ high. There is a bell that remains in the belfry, that is 18” in diameter and in great need of cleaning and polishing. It has no rope, and a quick inspection suggests that the wooden frame holding the bell may need to be replaced. The ladder leads to a single ‘roost’ inside the tower, which is 4 and one half feet in diameter, with an open hold for the ladder and a 1’ wide hole in the center for the bell rope. So it is quite cozy, but large enough for two thin archers using short bows, or one archer using a long bow or crossbow of any size.
The Service Floor corresponds in size to floor above, and is partly buried into the hill. As pictured, the dark area on the wall on the left that might appear to be a window is in fact a door, 6’ high and 3’ wide. Otherwise there is again the narrow window and the wider window, the same dimensions as the floor above. The windows on the NORTH wall also correspond to those of the floor above. The door is oak, perhaps 4” thick and reinforced; but at the moment, is in swollen condition, and cannot be budged.
The Service Floor may have once corresponded to a kitchen, focused around the oven in the SW corner, next to the door. The state of the overall room is moderately dry, the floor above being waterproofed with sap by the Gypsies. This is where the peat has been processed, with the oven being lit in wet weather to keep the room dry. At present most of the prepared peat is laid out at the base of the stairs, to carry up to the entranceway when the time comes ... the damper peat is towards the oven.
The Service Floor also has an ‘Alcove’, a 5’ by 7’ space which extends out from the EAST wall, which seems to have been built so as to cover the well which extends downwards, perhaps 40’. It is difficult to tell, as a light does not shine upon the water below. However, there is water down there, of unknown quality. The winch and pulley system are worthless, and there’s no bucket. The well is square shaped, 3’ square, with thus a 2’ space on either side of it. As can be seen, there are two windows on the north and south walls of the Alcove.
The Cellar is reached by another iron ladder, in the NE corner, with a hole in the floor somewhat larger than the bell tower - about 4’ by 5’. There was at one point a winch on the ceiling above the hole, but all that is left are the brackets. A descent into the cellar shows it to be a fairly dry, cobble-stone walled space, at the moment filled with dried dirt drained from the peat. The cellar appears to be drained by a 9” diameter hole at the base of the east wall, and the floor is gently sloped (about 4 degrees) from the west wall to the south.
The walls of the gatehouse overall are 6 - 8 inches thick, of granite, the plastering almost all gone.
Likely, the gatehouse wouldn’t keep out a determined mage, but it would probably hold back a mob for awhile if it was well stocked and defended.
The view from the Belltower gives the sight of mostly forest, which appears to have newer growth closer to the gatehouse, and older growth beyond; it would appear once there was a circle of cut-down space, but this circle has overgrown in the last 7 years.