the medieval castle Essay
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the medieval castle
What is a castle?
A castle is a properly fortified military residence.
Why were castles built?
Initially, they were designed and built to hold down conquered territory. They also served to intimidate and strike fear into the local peoples, were places of refuge, and places for the lords to live. They were also impressive symbols of the power and wealth of their owners.
How castles came to exist in Europe?
Castles were brought to England by William the Conqueror, when he invaded England from his homeland in France. Known as the Duke of Normandy, William invaded England in 1066 and, due to his victory in the Battle of Hastings, William was crowned the King of…show more content…
Many of the people who lived in Britain before it was conquered did not like being controlled by the king's barons, and wanted to keep control of their own lands themselves. But that was not possible, because William and later kings (and queens) demanded they pay homage. Therefore, castles were built to establish the power of the king and his followers, and to keep the people from regaining control of their own lands. These first knights and barons, followers of William the Conqueror, were known as the
Normans, and were a very powerful lot. They built castles almost everywhere in Britain, hundreds of which still survive. Stone castles were built for stability and to symbolize the power of the lords of the kingdom. Even if the king did not order a particular castle to be built for his use, he still retained the ability to seize any of his lords' castles if they displeased him or if the king had a special reason to want to use it.
What features made stone castles stable and able to withstand battle?
* The walls were very thick, anywhere between 8 and 20 feet in thickness, so they could withstand bombings or battering from a battering ram, or another seige machine like a catapult.
* Originally, towers were simple square-shapes, easy to build but also easy to topple down. One of the smartest ways that a tower was pulled down was a method known as undermining. An enemy's soldiers would dig a tunnel under one corner of a tower, prop it up with wood, and
Medieval Castles Essay
Medieval Castles and their Interior
Although it is thought that medieval times were barbaric they too enjoyed many comforts we still do today. There is much more to the castle then its’ size or the stone arches inside which are still used in many homes today. Castles today are still flocked to by millions of people every year. Sometimes you even see copies of castles right here in the U.S.A but they are not quite the same. Although they were originally built to protect the King, Castles became more and more popular among other nobles as well. Each family castle had their own special design and touch but most castles of medieval times had a lot of the same basic elements in their interior.
Within the shell keep and behind the great walls of these castles there was always one basic element: the great hall. It was often on the ground floor but sometimes it was raised to the second floor for extra security. “The great hall was a large one-room structure with a lofty ceiling”(Giess 58). This was where all the people of the castles slept (excluding the lord and the Lady). There was of course a great big curtain put up so the ladies would be separate from the men. It wasn’t until the end of the century when separate rooms were invented.
The great hall was usually located in the very center of the castle and walls built out of stone surrounded the whole room. The entrance was in a sidewall near the lower end of the hall. An outside staircase would be built if the hall were on the second floor. The family would usually have its feasts in this room (Gies 60).
For even more security they would have guards stand outside the great hall on all sides of the room so guests would feel safe when they were feasting (Nardo 57).
Early halls were aisled like a church, with rows of wooden posts or stone pillars supporting the timber roof. Windows were equipped with wooden shutters secured by an iron bar but they were rarely glazed. It wasn’t until the13th century a king or a great baron might have white or greenish glass in the windows. Then later in the14th century that glazed windows were in every castle (Gies59).
In the castle, the first floor or ground floor (it was sometimes called) was the actual earth itself. They would have to pack and pat down the dirt in order to have an even floor. In some castles the floor was made of stone or plaster. The upper floors of the house were made of wood so it could be easily supported. Most of the floors were left bare because the carpets were hung on the wall or used for table coverings. “The floors of a castle were usually strewn with herbs and flowers to mask the collection of beer, bones and excrement of dogs left on the floor” (Gies 60). This nasty stuff would sometimes be left there for weeks at a time hence the flowers and herbs.
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