hey bears, the castle shown on BB stream is my hometown. It was rebuilt in the 1800's as the original castle was destroyed by Oliver Crowell in the aftermath of the English Civil War. But the new castle is still impressive.
By the 12th and 13th century the town grew with trades and craftsmen gravitating to served the castle. You can compare old maps to todays, where the town centre grew around the castle with its outer defensives protecting the town. (Unfortunately the outer defensives didn't survive) By the 16th century the town grew into a textile powerhouse which supplied most of Europe's nobility. It was also a big market town and held the largest corn market in the west country by the early 18th century. You cant still see the different style of old building that have survived through the centuries. I think the oldest is 1550.
The more I research my town's history the more I understand the town's success. It was very much a community where everyone contributed in one form or another. Most had big families and everything had its purpose, from families that tended the surrounding farmlands for market days, to the wealthy families or merchant class who built up the town using their own money, which created more jobs. Plus this wasn't handouts from the government.
Unfortunately a lot of the town's family own businesses has been grabbled by big corporations. The subversion of culture has hit the schools and of course the government level. But we still have a bond through the families that have been here for generations who still look out for each other. it's not the same from when i was a kid, but it's still far better than other areas in my county. I'm in though I haven't got any experience in the building trade or design, but if i can't help in other ways give me a shout. Plus i don't mind digging trenches or moving stuff.