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The stonemasons of the time were used to cutting and working with rectangular blocks, and the local unskilled labour force would find this shape of building familiar.
Many of these early rectangular keeps are huge. This was partly to impress the population with the power of their new Norman lords. But they were also intended as serious fortifications. Because he wanted the highest quality of stone for his new castle in London, William the Conqueror had shiploads imported from quarries near Caen in Normandy. It is the pale colour of this stone which gives the keep of the Tower of London the name 'the White Tower'.
Other examples :
Castle Rising, Scarborough, Tower of London, Castle Hedingham, Newcastle-upon Tyne, Peveril, Bowes
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