A fortified tower designed as a residence for the local knights, currently serving as a utility building accompanying the house no. 72, Stara Łomnica
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A fortified tower designed as a residence for the local knights, currently serving as a utility building accompanying the house no. 72

Stara Łomnica

photo

One of the few surviving examples of a fortified residential tower from the Middle Ages in the Kłodzko Region and Silesia in general.

History

The domain of the von Pannwitz noble family - later to be known as the “Middle Manor” (Mittelhof) have existed in Stara Łomnica as early as the 14th century. It was here that the local knights have erected a motte-and-bailey castle for themselves; a fortified residential keep was erected at the top of the motte either during the late 14th/ early 15th century or in the later years. The tower’s structure was incorporated into the existing perimeter walls. Yet the tower was abandoned as early as the mid-16th century; it was later combined with the wing of the newly erected “Middle Manor House” in Stara Łomnica. The subsequent owners of the Middle Manor tended to use the tower as a utility building. Some of the original window and door openings were modified or replaced with new ones as time went by; the tower also received a new gable roof with jerkin heads. In the 4th quarter of the 19th century, some of the original ceilings and the staircase have been replaced. In 1897, the roof was replaced with the current mono-pitched structure. In 1935, maintenance works were carried out on the façades, resulting in the removal of the plaster finish.

Description

The fortified residential tower in Stara Łomnica forms part of the so-called Middle Manor complex located in the centre of the village, next to the church. It is situated in the south-western corner of the former manor farm located on the tallest part of the former motte, sloping towards the south. The tower is adjoined by two sections of a tall defensive wall made of stone.

The five-storey tower is a stone structure, its walls originally covered with plaster. The tower was designed on a quadrilateral floor plan. The front (south-eastern) façade features no architectural partitions whatsoever and is pierced with a number of windows of varying shapes and sizes, arranged in an irregular pattern. Some of the windows are topped with pointed arches and framed with surrounds made of ashlar blocks. The pointed-arch entrance, positioned asymmetrically in the façade, features a stone surround with a chamfered edge. The remaining façades of the tower are similarly disposed. Each storey features a single, open space, with single-flight stairs positioned alongside the wall providing access to the individual storeys. The windows are small, set into deep niches, with splayed reveals on one side of the wall. The interiors feature wooden beamed ceilings with crossbeams; later in the building’s life, these ceilings were covered with wooden boards which served as support for the plaster finish. One of the tower’s interiors features surviving stone supports of the ceiling crossbeams. The supports are simple and austere, featuring no decorations whatsoever.

The appearance of the tower in Stara Łomnica is representative of the medieval residential and defensive architecture of the 14th and 15th century. The efforts to position the tower in the most advantageous location insofar as its defensive features were concerned are clearly apparent, which shows that the feudal lord who built it must have been of very high standing. The construction works were carried out by a local workshop. The use of the most readily available construction material - stone - is characteristic of the medieval period, with the arrangement of the small windows which pierce its austere façades being dictated solely by the requirements of its interiors. The appearance of the stonework is very much utilitarian, which suggests that the entire surface of the walls was to be covered with plaster, with the exception of the entrance portal. Any representational features that the tower might have had were limited to the décor of its main hall.

Limited access to the historic building.

compiled by Iwona Rybka-Ceglecka, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Wrocław, 17-07-2014.

Bibliography

  • Brzezicki S., Nielsen Ch., Grajewski G., Popp D. (ed.), Zabytki sztuki w Polsce. Śląsk, Wrocław 2006, pp. 797-798.
  • Chorowska M., Rezydencje średniowieczne na Śląsku. Zamki, pałace, wieże mieszkalne, Wrocław 2002, pp. 168,170.
  • Pilch J., Leksykon zabytków architektury Dolnego Śląska, Warsaw 2005, p. 317.

General information

  • Type: residential building
  • Chronology: XIV-XV w.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Stara Łomnica 72
  • Location: Voivodeship dolnośląskie, district kłodzki, commune Bystrzyca Kłodzka - obszar wiejski
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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