Great Tower from NE, showing NE bastion

Image of the feature "III. Exterior Features: 2. Windows: NE bastion window" at Berkeley Castle.

by Ron Baxter.

This is the largest of the 12thc windows in the keep and the only one with any decoration, and served to light the apse of the Chapel of St John and to identify its position and status from the exterior. The right jamb is made of a single tall block with a shaft carved at the inner angle, a block below that forms a plain plinth (there is no base), and a block above carved with a single or double-scalloped capital with a plain necking and a high abacus.  Above this is a heavy, chamfered impost block that is considerably eroded.  The left jamb is similar but apparently had a separate angle-shaft, now lost.  Its upper block is so badly weathered that no sign of the capital remains.  The arch is of 14 voussoirs, ten of which are plain, modern replacements.  The remaining four: numbers 4, 5, 10 and 11 counting from the left, are of a lateral chevron design consisting of an inner roll, face hollow and quirked face roll with a cogwheel inner edge.  Voussoirs 4 & 5 are oddly cut; they form 1½ units of chevron together and neither of them is a complete chevron unit, either centrifugal or centripetal.  Voussoirs 10 & 11, in contrast, are normally cut as two identical centrifugal voussoirs.