One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The great tower or innermost keep of a castle.
- ‘While one of the words most commonly identified with castles is ‘keep’, the term is virtually unknown in medieval documentation where the term donjon was generally used.’
- ‘Thus, for example, while ‘brick houses’ or ‘timber - framed houses’ may indeed be found, ‘moats,’ ‘donjons,’ ‘cruck vaulting,’ or ‘keeps’ - all of which are discussed at several points in the text - cannot.’
- ‘As they progressed through the city toward the donjon in the centre of the city, he realised something that he mentally smacked himself for missing.’
- ‘Indeed, it was his anxiety to survey the scene while laying siege to the donjon at Challus-Chabrol that brought his premature death.’
- ‘At Chepstow too, Roman tile and brick was deliberately re-used, here to form a conspicuous string course on the exterior of the Norman donjon that, with its echoes of imperial authority, faced into the unconquered lands of South Wales.’
Middle English: variant of dungeon.
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