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astragal

New research at the Tower of London has shown that form certainly didn't follow function in the eleventh and twelfth centuries when the White Tower was built. Look at the massive building on every postcard and it screams 'fortified palace', but as Geoffrey Parnell explains in the latest edition of Country Life, it was in fact 'a building for ceremonial use, with a sham upper floor enhancing its architectural display'. The purpose of those threatening battlements? To hide the pitched roof.

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