Bolton Manor

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Location

Bolton Manor is located at the northern end of Bolton Bay where the coastal hills of the Pallisades roll down to meet the plain. The Manor House is built on an island in a small lake several miles inland from the beach and the tiny village of Thorns Landing

Description

Stone and timber causeways lead from the North and South shores of a small lake (approx. 1100-1200 yrds across) to an octagonal island (700 yrds across), which has been ringed with a low (12-15ft high, 10ft thick) crenallated stone wall.
There are (20ft dia. 22-25ft ht) round stone towers on each corner and in the center of each wall, except for the north and south walls which have gatehouses at their mid points. And the mid point of the South east wall which has a watergate at its mid point. This portcullis gate leading from a small pond out into the lake is flanked by square towers.
Halfway between the island and the shore the causeways are guarded by large stone barbcans. When complete with draw bridges and portculli these barbcans will cut the causeway in two. However currently while the portculli have been installed and the bridge part of the drawbridges are in place, the winches required to lift them have yet to be installed.
Both the Northern and Southern causeway end before stone gatehouses complete with draw bridge and portcullis.

200 yrds in from the outer walls, eight (12-15ft high, 10ft thick) crenallated walls built of stone and fronted by a ditch form an octagon around the centre of the island. There are (20ft dia. 22-25ft ht) round stone towers on each corner and in the center of each wall, except for the east and west walls which have gatehouses at their mid points. Inside this is the Manor House.

The main part of the manor house is a large rectangular building 4 floors (over 60ft) high that runs (300ft)in a NE- SW direction with (30ft dia. 75ft ht) round towers on each corner.
Wings, (30 ft high) extend at angles out from the long sides to form front and rear courtyards enclosed by arched gateways (15ft wide and over 20ft high) in the center of the NW & SW walls.
The whole manor house, wings, courtyards, gates etc. form an octagon (300ft across), with round towers on all 8 corners. (The wing towers are only 20ft dia. & 45ft ht.)
The outer walls of the octagon are all 15ft thick, with crenellated walkways between the towers; along the wings and over the gates these are 32-35ft high; along the short sides of the main building these walls are 48-50ft high making the walkway part of the 4th floor.

There are 2, 15 ft square towers on top of the NW & SW walls, one each side of the gate to house winches for the planned portcullis and drawbridge. On the outside face of each of these towers is a large stone kite shield painted blue with a green horizontal stripe. Over this is painted a leaping white horse.(Or in heraldric terms: Azure, a fess Vert, Horse Argent, forcene to sinister)

Behind the SE gate is the front courtyard; directly opposite the gate, is the front door (10ft wide 15ft high) three broad shallow steps lead up to it. Between the door and the gate is a large square pool of water with an empty plinth for a statue in its centre. In the far SW corner is a tunnel that leads though the building to the rear courtyard.
Large windows in the second, third and fourth floors of the main building overlook the front & rear courtyards, as do crenellated walks long the inside of the second floor of the wings. The ground floor of these wings in the front is storage rooms accessed from inside the main building; in the rear the wings contain stables and a smithy. The upper floor of the wings both front and back is accomodation. There is a well in the centre of the rear courtyard, but no ground floor access to the main building, the back door is in the tunnel.
The ground floor of the main building is mostly storage space; the second floor is mostly given over to the business of providing for or administering to needs of the manor; the third floor has the great hall, the library, and rooms of that nature.
The fourth floor which has windows on all four sides and windows & doors onto a small central courtyard has apartments for Noble and important guests, and Thorn's own quarters.

At the western end of the lake there is an earth and stonework dam. Blocking the end of the valley it helps to form the lake. The waters from its spillway prevent passage across its top, however stone piers stand as evidence of a planned bridge.

Farmland now covers most of a mile wide strip of plain along the south side of the river between the Manor and Bolton bay. And in places apple and other tree plantations have been planted on the slopes of the hills just to the north of the river
Basalic is overseeing the developement of this farmland.

A road leads from the Bay to the Manors North gate loosly following the north bank of the river. A second road leads from the Manors South gate west though the farmland to the swamp before turning north and following its edge, crossing the river with a log bridge to join the first road.

A population of around 250-300 overseen by Arwen Valenta when Thorn is away is currently in residence.

Background

After years of adventuring and several deaths, Thorn's thoughts are on her long term future.

In the winter of 801 she acquired a stallion as part of a treasure split and started to breed horses, the intention being that in 10 years time, the sales of trained horses would help fund her retirement. Obviously to breed and train horses in any numbers requires large areas of grazing not normally available in settled lands so she also started looking for a site to build a homesteading.

Thorn chose Bolton Bay as the site of her homesteading as it has access to plenty of grazing on the Plain of Desai. And it is only about 160 miles from Seagate and the Guild, with the use of magic less than a day by air or sea, or a week to ten days ride on a good horse.

Close enough to Seagate for a semi retired Adventurer to visit the guild, or to buy in additional supplies, and close to a market for the horses she intends to breed. And of course the area was not at the time under threat by the Dark Circle as was most of eastern Carzala.

With the location chosen, Thorn took a closer look at what it would require to set up a home and stud in an isolated place like Bolton Bay. It was soon evident that a significant population would be required to supply the basic needs of the house and stud, in short she would have to create a new village, and also due to the wild isolated nature of the region some form of fortified building or buildings would be required to protect all these people and Livestock.

While the huts of a few fishermen or semi nomadic cattle herds might go unnoticed in the mostly uninhabited regions of Carzala, a large fortified manor house would not. Over the Winter/Spring of 805 Thorn gained his Grace the Duke of Carzala's permission to settle the northern end of Bolton Bay and became Lady Bolton.

Concurrent with the negotiations for title work was started on fortifications at the northern end of Bolton Bay in the winter of 805. After 2 years all the major earthworks and stone construction is complete, however several of the gatehouses still lack gates or drawbridges, evidence of that there is yet much work to be done.

Construction of the shell of the Manor house /Keep was completed by the end of Spring 806 and the finishing fitting and decorating of this structure is expected to take at least another 2 yrs.

In the Spring/Summer of 807 work was started on prepareing land for farming to feed the manors expected population. Basalic, an expert farmer took on the task of planning and organizing this in the late summer, moving his family to the Manor for the winter and spring planting.

On the eastern side of the plains is the small village of Hope which in Winter 806WK, out of desperation, declared itself part of Bolton Manor.

Maps


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