worthwhile trying to address them anew. For if, in offering a view of the state of the art, Dr. Charles-Edwards shows that significant progress has been made in the study of Welsh law, he also reminds us that it continues to pose many challenges to the inquirer. HUW PRYCE Bangor CASTLES FROM THE AIR. By R. Allen Brown. Cambridge University Press, 1989. Pp. 246. £ 17.50. This elegant volume presents a generous selection of plates from the collection built up by the Cambridge Committee for Aerial Photography, each accompanied by a commentary and prefaced with an essay which was, sadly, the last contribution to historical study that the author was able to complete. It provides, even so, a characteristically vigorous expression of his view of the purpose and function of the castle in relation to the social development of the period of building. The castle, expressive of status and prestige, endowed with defensive and offensive functions, is most of all bound up with lordship. Castles, like knights, were a 'characteristic manifestation of feudal society' and the castle waxed and waned with feudalism itself. The commentaries on the individual plates are designed to bring out the advantages which aerial photography has brought to the study of siting, design and development, but a good deal of useful history inevitably creeps in. Among the Welsh and border structures, the great castles of Edward I are well represented, with the plates of Conway and Caemarfon bringing out so well the comprehensive design which brought castle and town into being at one and the same time. No less striking are the plates of small structures, their setting and conception revealed all the more clearly when settlement remains are still restricted. Kilpeck, 'a classic example of (surely) Norman aristocratic settlement', makes a splendid picture, its castles and church in a setting which bears the clear archaeological imprint of a once-planned but long since deserted village. Hen Domen is largely concealed by trees but deserves inclusion for its considerable archaeological interest and for its seigneurial relations with Cause and Clun. From the later phases, the Pembroke of Marshal, the Cydwely of Chaworth and Denbigh of Lacy and the Caerphilly of Clare each brings forth testimony of the power of marcher lordship and design features which reflect the inventiveness of their builders. Too little of Holt survives to be pictured here, but other examplars of the work of successive Warennes remind us of the magnate power which shares the conquest of Wales with Edward I. A great deal can certainly be learned from recent aerial surveys of a wide range of Welsh sites, and it is to be hoped that the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments for Wales will be able to draw upon its resources and its expertise for the publication of volumes comparable to those of the instructive series to which the late Allen Brown's volume makes a splendid addition. J. B. SMITH Aberystwyth