Wikipedia:WikiProject Military history/Assessment/Melbourne Castle

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Article promoted Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:16, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Melbourne Castle[edit]

Nominator(s): Jimfbleak (talk)

OK, my first full-blown Milhist article. Melbourne Castle was built in the early 14th century, but never completed despite being in the hands of the crown and the House of Lancaster for three centuries. John of Gaunt, a great improver of castles, did his bit, but by the end of the reign of Elizabeth I, the castle was in disrepair. The death knell was the purchase in 1604 by the Hastings family, who had their own castle just a few miles away. The Melbourne building was used as a quarry, and little is now visible. Sic transit gloria mundi. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:26, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Comments Great to see a castle article coming up for review! (NB:I'll work through the text bit by bit)

  • "It is not as ancient as nearby Kings Newton" - because you don't say how old Kings Newton is, this doesn't give a clear sense of the date involved. I'm not certain you necessarily need the comparison.
  • Comparison removed since date for Kings Newton uncertain beyond Anglo-Saxon Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "It is unknown when the manor house on the site of the later castle was constructed" - you haven't mentioned a manor house yet, so the "the manor house" breaks the flow slightly. I'd suggest "Melbourne Castle was constructed on the site of an earlier manor house of unknown date." or something like that.
  • "The medieval village at this time was centred around the church, castle and High Street" - the paragraph has got up to 1156 - was there actually a castle in the village in 1156?
  • Moved to later section, misplaced there, and made less specific since it covers most of the period prior to the 18th century enclosures Jimfbleak - talk to me? 14:05, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "royal hunting park " - if its a genuine park, I'd link to "medieval deer park" rather than to the royal forest articles.
  • " the king" - MOS would have this as "the King"
  • "the king's son" -ditto
  • "King's chamber" - should chamber be capitalised as well here? (alternatively, "king's chamber")
  • "Robert obtained a licence from Edward II to fortify the manor house with crenellations" - I'd link to licence to crenellate here; it's a specialist term, and (confusingly) a license to crenellate didn't necessarily mean that battlements were the main focus of the permission.
  • " and had him killed" - I think, since they did it themselves, "and killed him" would be cleaner
  • "the king " - capitalisation (and later examples)
  • "The still-unfinished castle " - the previous section hadn't noted that it was unfinished (unless I've missed something)
  • Rephrased to make it clear that Thomas hadn't completed it (beheading presumably didn't help) Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • " £1,313 " - any comparison figure you could give here? (e.g. how does this compare to the costs of other castles etc.? Was it a lot of money or a small amount?)
  • I've no access to proper historical sources beyond what I've acquired for this article and what's on the Internet. I made a quick search but the few 14th century costings I found were clearly not comparable (the massive Welsh fortresses or parts of castles). Shall I just remove the costings, which as far as I can see are only available for the one year? Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I would leave the figure in. In time, someone else may be able to come up with a figure for comparison and in the meantime people might find it useful. Nev1 (talk) 19:54, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I'd agree with Nev - definitely don't remove it. My advice would to use Pounds, p.147, where he notes that the average annual baronial income - for the top 27 barons - of the period was £668. You could add this as a footnote, and it would give a context for the cost of the castle. Pounds uses it as a comparison himself, so its a reasonably safe figure. Hchc2009 (talk) 20:10, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
  • using lead acquired as a forfeit" - for non-specialists, probably worth explaining what forfeiture means here.
  • Added a link, the source doesn't explain why forfeit was payable Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:19, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • "It has been claimed" - by who? Hchc2009 (talk) 09:02, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  • " but with outbuildings, orchards and other ancillary constructions" - I'm not sure that an orchard is an ancillary construction...
  • Personally, I found the very short picture titles (e.g. "In ca. 1580") a little jarring, and might have preferred a little bit more explanation (e.g. "The castle depicted in 1580, in an 18th century reproduction." Worth noting that this image still has a copyright label on the actual image itself.
  • Is the 1602 image a contemporary image, or a later depiction of the castle in 1602? Would be worth explaining in the caption.
  • Support - a difficult castle to write about, but its a decent article nonetheless. Hchc2009 (talk) 16:47, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Sorry, I completely overlooked the above. Captions expanded and sentence re-ordered. thanks for review comments and support Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:10, 1 November 2013 (UTC)


  • Sometimes the article switches between styles when it comes to describing centuries, so the second paragraph of the lead says “From the early 14th century, Melbourne Castle was … the building was in generally good condition throughout the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries”. Either 14th century or fourteenth century is fine, but it’s handy to stick with one or the other for consistency.
  • For the image caption “John of Gaunt made significant improvements to the castle” would it be worth mentioning roughly when?
Done Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
  • If it is covered by the source material, it would be interesting to note which part of the castle John I, Duke of Bourbon, was held in. Being confined in a cell paints a very different picture to being held in the great hall, or the constable’s chambers. But in my experience this particular detail isn’t always covered, so never mind if you can’t find it.
  • I've added a footnote, this wasn't dungeon stuff. Not relevant to this article, but Orleans in particular had at least two English aristocratic mistresses Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
  • I like the quote from Leland. I think M W Thompson in The Decline of the Castle discusses Leland’s descriptions of castles. If you haven’t got the book I can look up the relevant part if you like as it may be interesting background. It might be useful to add something along the lines of “This contrasted with the general state of castles Leland which were often described as in a ruinous state”.
  • Do you have a ref I could use for that? Done in footnote.Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Would it be worth changing “In 1545, John Leland reported” to “In 1545, antiquarian John Leland reported”?
  • The bit about the stone being reused in the weir is really interesting.
  • I think it would be useful to swap around the illustrations in the ‘decline’ and ‘description’ sections as one of the engravings of the castle still standing would strongly complement the description of the actual pictures.

I’m only passingly familiar with Melbourne Castle, but I’m certainly glad to have learned more (and will at some point be looking for more information on the looters of 1322). This is an excellent article, and I’ve only been able to suggest minor improvements. Looking at the online bibliography there are a few sources which might further enhance the article a little. Cox’s part in the Victoria County History might be worth looking up, while you’ve already included Emery and Salter and Pettifer are unlikely to be as detailed as your article. I suspect you’ve also covered all the stuff in Colvin and Brown. Perhaps Fane’s 1889 journal article might have something interesting. Nev1 (talk) 19:51, 24 October 2013 (UTC)

  • I had alook at another bibiography, but that had little to add. I'll see what I can find Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Many thanks for review, comments and support Jimfbleak - talk to me? 07:08, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Support on prose per standard disclaimer. These are my edits. If you're taking this to FAC, "east-west" will need a dash. - Dank (push to talk) 00:58, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

  • Thanks for tweaks and support, changed hyphen to ndash now Jimfbleak - talk to me? 06:46, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
  • CommentsSupport
    • A couple of quick cmts about sources, will do a full review tomorrow when I'm more alert:
      • ISBNs (or OCLCs if ISBNs are not available) are missing from a number of works.
        • AFAIK, those without ISBNs are old books, pre-dating ISBN, or local authority or similar reports that don't have them. I don't know what an OCLC is, but in 50+ FAs I've never been asked to give one, so I doubt that it's an MoS stipulation either Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:07, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
          • OCLCs can be found at Worldcat. Comes up all the time at ACR and GA. Anotherclown (talk) 13:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
      • Pls add place of publication.
        • FA only requires consistency for publisher locations (all or none). You are correct that I had a mixture, the Cambridge locations now removed Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:07, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
          • Whatever - seems a strange choice to remove bibliographic information rather than add it. Place of publication is standard req'd information for any academic work I've ever submitted. Anotherclown (talk) 13:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
      • Presentation of some of the works is incorrect, will need to use title case (see Curry and Stroud).
      • More to follow. Anotherclown (talk) 11:31, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
        • Thanks for comments so far Jimfbleak - talk to me? 12:07, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
          • And thanks to you for ignoring most of them. Clearly you are more experienced at FA than I, so perhaps you might consider reviewing your own article? Out to you. Anotherclown (talk) 13:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
            • Writers are free to disagree with reviewers, and Jimfbleak has quite reasonably explained his reasons when he has opted not to follow your suggestions. Your comments come across to me as a bit hostile. Nev1 (talk) 17:15, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
              • Thanks for the cmt Nev but Jim and I can work this out ourselves. I will probably have another look over this article later on. Anotherclown (talk) 04:22, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
                • Jim and Nev, I'm not the best person to ask, but I believe we need ISBN or OCLC for A-class (especially if there's no place of publication listed ... and don't let the name fool you, Anotherclown knows whereof he speaks). - Dank (push to talk) 17:50, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
  • As you know, I'm likely to thank all reviewers and head straight to FAC now my last nom has been promoted. I don't doubt Anotherclown's competence, and I said to him that I'm a new boy here, and I wasn't aware that A-class requirements differed from FA. I always put ISBNs for publications that have them, and in view of Anotherclown's comments, I'll probably revert to my normal practice wrt to publisher locations. I'm unconvinced about OCLC. I've never given these for FA, and I'm a bit concerned that it's the perennial FA/GA/A-c problem of instruction creep. I'll have a look to see if they actually exist for, say, the South Derbyshire District Council publications before deciding on this. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 18:23, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Just butting in here, given my (unique!) circumstance of being both a MilHist and a FAC coordinator... To clarify, Jim, ACR wasn't set up to have different criteria to FAC but in fact to follow similar style guidelines. My favourite capsule comparison of the two processes is (hat tip to Grandiose for this) ACR is like FAC, but more forgiving. If it doesn't always appear that way, it's probably more down to the focus of individual reviewers, and their knowledge that the ultimate target for many ACRs is FAC (as is obviously the case here) rather than deliberate policy. Anyway, allowing for Anotherclown's final comments, it looks like this is well on the way to promotion...! Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 02:49, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Gday all. I've been meaning to come back for days but things are getting a bit busy on cse (now playing silly buggers at night - yawn). Firstly apologies for my previous remarks - I often take myself way too seriously. Clearly we are all volunteers here and are just trying to improve the encyclopedia which is a good thing. I agree that OCLCs and place of publication are not strictly req'd under the criteria, MOS or the template docs (AFAIK) but I think they would definitely help to make the article the best it can be (not to mention helping our readers do their own research). So pls consider my cmts suggestions for improvement only. If you are interested in including them they can usually be found on By way of continuing the review, some technical cmts:

  • No dab links [1] (no action req'd).
  • External links check out [2] (no action req'd).
  • Most of the images lack Alt Text so you might consider adding it [3] (suggestion only - not an ACR req).
  • The Citation Check Tool reveals no issues with reference consolidation (no action req'd).
  • Images appear to either be PD or licenced and seem to have the req'd information (no action req'd).
    • Captions look ok to me (although the first one might be expanded to "Melbourne Castle in 1602" or something like that).
  • The Earwig Tool didn't work so accepting on good faith that there are no issues with copyright violation or close paraphrasing [4] (no action req'd).
  • No duplicate links per WP:REPEATLINK (no action req'd).
  • More to follow. Will review prose today or tomorrow, although it looks quite good so far. Anotherclown (talk) 22:36, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the checks. I've added alt text to images and publisher locations to books and reports (I can't even remember why I originally decided against for this article). Changed lead caption to "1602 drawing", since MoS suggests not repeating the article title in captions. As I suspected, the council reports don't appear to have OCLCs, so I think I'll leave them out rather than a mishmash of ISBN/OCLC/neither. Thanks for returning to this, and I look forward to your prose comments Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:17, 31 October 2013 (UTC)
      • Good point about the caption - I'll try and remember that. Anotherclown (talk) 09:31, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
        • Continuing review:
          • " It was built on the site of an earlier royal manor house that in the reign of King John had provided accommodation for noblemen hunting in a nearby royal park." Suggest rewording to something like: "It was built on the site of an earlier royal manor house that had provided accommodation for noblemen hunting in a nearby royal park in the reign of King John." (suggestion only)
          • "Melbourne is a town in South Derbyshire close to the River Trent." Melbourne should probably be wikilinked at first use in the body of the text.
          • Suggest joining these two sentences: "Melbourne is a town in South Derbyshire close to the River Trent. It may have originated as buildings associated with the royal manor to the south of the nearby settlement at Kings Newton...", consider instead: "Melbourne is a town in South Derbyshire close to the River Trent, which may have originated as buildings associated with the royal manor to the south of the nearby settlement at Kings Newton."
          • Missing paired comma here I think: "The castle, still unfinished at the time of Thomas' execution, and its land remained as crown property until it was bestowed on Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, Earl Thomas' brother, in 1327." consider perhaps: "The castle, still unfinished at the time of Thomas' execution, and its land, remained as crown property until it was bestowed on Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, Earl Thomas' brother, in 1327."
          • Is this quote correct: "praty and yn meately good reparation"... particular "yn", or should it by "in"? (I'm assuming that the text is actually correct and that it is old English, but just want to check it isn't a typo - probably showing my ignorance here).
            • Quoted exactly like this by Emery as well as Usher Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
              • No worries, just wanted to confirm that. Anotherclown (talk) 12:56, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
          • Typo here: "...the total areas has been estimated to be at least..." → "...the total area has..."
          • "Some of the stone taken from the castle was used to construct the grade II-listed buildings at 43 and 45 Castle Street..." do we know when this occurred? Might add context to provide a date for this if it is available.
            • Added "mid-eighteenth-century" We obviously don't know if this was the first use of the ashlar Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
          • Usher, Howard (1991). "Melbourne Castle". Derbyshire Miscellany, the Local History Bulletin of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society 12 (5): 126–133. Any reason why you haven't used short cites here, and included the full citation in the "Cited texts" section? I'm probably missing something really obvious but it seems inconsistent.
            • I normally have journals in the refs and use "short form plus cited text" just for books and reports. Unusually (compared to my bird articles) there is only one journal ref here, which looks a bit odd. I've therefore moved it to book-style Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
          • Thompson, M W (2008). The Decline of the Castle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521083974. Should authors full name be used here (for consistency with the rest of your citations)?
          • Inconsistency in presentation of ISBNs - one has hyphens, the rest do not. Don't think there is a preferred style just suggest you adopt a consistent format.
          • Wonder if the description of the castle would work better earlier in the article (for instance as section just after the background)? For instance Kenilworth Castle, which is one of our A class articles, has an extensive section on Architecture and landscape as its first section (suggestion only - I believe the article structure is acceptable as it is currently)
            • I had wondered about this but followed the layout of another castle article (can't remember which now) Moved as suggested Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
          • Article is currently only in one category - wonder if it should be added to a few more? Again Kenilworth Castle is in the following cats:
            • Castles in Warwickshire
            • History of Warwickshire
            • Gardens in Warwickshire
            • English Heritage sites in Warwickshire
            • Ruins in Warwickshire
            • Kenilworth
            • Visitor attractions in Warwickshire
            • Grade I listed buildings in Warwickshire
            • Historic house museums in Warwickshire
        • Will have a look again once these have been dealt with. Happy to discuss anything you disagree with. All the best. Anotherclown (talk) 09:31, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
          • Thanks for comments and your edits to the text. Jimfbleak - talk to me? 10:30, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
            • Ok that's it for my cmts, I've just made a couple of edits to the headings and added some bibliographic info that seemed to be missing. Although I have no background in castles I have added my spt now as I believe the article does a good job covering the topic and meets the A class criteria. I encourage you to take it to FAC to get a broader range of opinions (hopefully from someone with more subject knowledge than I). Anotherclown (talk) 12:56, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Many thanks for your help and support, I'm definitely going to take it to FAC Jimfbleak - talk to me? 13:29, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.