[Carreg Cennan]

Castles in Celtic Lands

and Other Comments

A castle as we know it is something that was
never developed by the Celts

The Celts built fortifications of massive proportions on hill-tops, such as Maiden Castle in Dorset, but they were for the defence of a community against the Roman Legions, mainly (as the Picts, who were probably Celtic, did with their brochs), and also against their neighbors -- these folk were very warlike, and had already subjugated the native population of Britain, the ones who built Stonehenge, for example, into slavery (in places like Ireland, where they had done the same thing, they called the old folk Firbolgs and Little People). People of Celtic ancestry should always keep this in mind, that they were invaders from central Europe, and that they were NOT the native population of the British Isles (who were more like the Basques and folk like that where they have survived). Places like Camelot did actually exist during the Dark Ages -- they were defenses against the Saxons, other invaders, and rival Celtic dynasties -- but nothing like the glorious castles of Medieval Arthurian romance.

Castles by their very nature are points of subjugation and suppression. They look marvelous to us nowadays, but they were centers of tyranny in their time, which is why so many were broken to ruin when Cromwell destroyed the old feudal hierarchy, and after that most of them fell into disuse and were plundered by local farmers for convenient building material. Preservation of old buildings is a big business now, but you can see why nobody cared about the old castles once their threat was gone (except for the ones they converted to prisons). Welsh Castles are one of the earliest manifestations of "British Imperialism" as started by the Normans, who as a people should be blamed for the whole idea and implementation of that policy. The castles of Wales and Ireland, Brittany, Cornwall and Mann, and a lot of Scotland for the most part all fall into this category. Some of the native princes of Wales and Scotland built their own castles (in remote places) in imitation of their oppressors. (Such as the so-called native Welsh castles of the last princes of Wales before the upstarts.) The Scottish, Irish and Northern English tower house, and its later development, the baronial castle/hunting lodge (see Lauriston, for example), were a later development and were based on historical conditions, not on "celticism" or anything of that sort (except in the sense that they were family/tribal cores when there was no so-called central government, and later on became displays of clan pride, which IS a Celtic characteristic -- although it never reached the level of Ludwig of Bavaria).

But given that the Celts bullied the European world before Caesar, in turn they were subject to Germanic impositions -- note that Germanic peoples are not a DIFFERENT RACE of humanity, the difference is just in cultural roots and language family. Language is more likely to influence race than the other way around -- your vocabulary defines your behavior, the precision of German as opposed to the lyricisim of Welsh.

(A virtue of a hybrid language like modern English is that it can be spoken either way using the internal translation mechanism of the speaker of another language -- it is well adapted to that and has none of the aggravating stuff about genders and declensions, all of that nonsense having been purged away by centuries of suppression by the Normans. Old Anglo-Saxon was just as bad as German originally in that area. You can also say the same about Welsh having been trimmed down by suppression -- it might look horrendous with its odd spelling and have some odd rules of grammar, but it's nothing like the original Gaullish/British that had rules that were as complicated as Latin.)

In any case, those linquistic and cultural habits pervade these ethnic variations to this very day in spite of the so-called 'races' having little distinction after all these years of intermingling. Any cliches about wild red-headed Irishmen, etc. are total nonsense, it's all a matter of red-headedness as a genetic trait associated with hot tempers and impulsiveness (such as my wayward irresponsible sister -- sorry, Vickie). If Celtic men are predisposed to cut up in bars, that is a matter of cultural nurture, not of some racial characteristic. Drunkenness is a feature of ALL northern European societies: they were never subject to Muslim domination, and besides, what are you going to do during the long and gloomy winters?

(You also have to give the Celts credit for inventing the whisky still, since obviously wine is not something you can make very well in northern climes -- you've got to hand it to these people for that major advance in technology, otherwise we wouldn't have gasoline -- Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton cannot claim this was invented in Africa, although many people would have preferred hard booze had never been invented at all. Whisky ranks as one of the major contributions of the Celts to world-wide culture.)