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Medieval Castles

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Hayden Joslin

on 13 November 2014

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Transcript of Medieval Castles

Castle Architecture
"By the 13th century, large, elaborate, concentric castles, or castle complexes, made their appearances in England. These complexes were surrounded by walls and moats and had draw bridges for defense. They included gate houses, court yards, several attached buildings, and towers" (Allman 15).
Castle Architecture
At first the castle consisted of a simple wooden structure on top of a mound, surrounded by a ditch. If a lord's domains were flat, he constructed an artificial mound, or motte. As medieval siege developed, walls were raised around the motte. By the 11th century outer walls gradually became thicker and were topped with wide battlemented parapets (Castle 1).
Influence on Lifestyle
"Castles must have been noisy - and smelly - places. Livestock roamed inside the stables, blacksmiths clanged out ironwork in the forges, the soldiers practiced their skills, and children played when lessons were completed. Various craftsmen worked diligently in the inner ward, including cobblers (making shoes), armorers, coopers (who made casks), hoopers (who helped the coopers build the barrels), billers (making axes), and spencers (who dispensed)" (Hull 1).
Influence on Lifestyle
"People generally bathed only once a week, if that, and the clothes were not washed often either" (Gies 117).
Thesis Statement
Castles were influential during the Medieval Times due to their unique architecture, influence on lifestyle, and role in combat.
Medieval Castles
Hayden, Kinzi, & Debra
Attacking Castles
"Fire was the best way to attack the early Motte and Bailey castles since they were made entirely of wood. The fire might be started by building a bonfire against the outer wooden fence (palisade) or, more usually, by archers shooting fire-arrows into the castle. As the fire spread through the castle those living inside would be forced to leave allowing the attackers to take them prisoner or kill them. This was one of the reasons why Motte and Bailey castles were soon replaced by Stone Keep castles. Fire has little effect on a stone castle" (Medieval Life 1).


Attacking Castles
"A variety of catapults or siege engines were developed during the Middle Ages to fire stones, fireballs or other objects such as dead sheep, cattle, or plague victims, at the castle walls or into the castle itself. This type of catapult works by twisting rope as tightly as possible so that it acts like elastic when the arm is released" (Medieval Life 1).
Thank You!
Each wall is technically two walls in one. The walls are built with a gap in between. This gap is filled with stones and mortar. The walls needed to be very strong and sturdy because they were made of stone which was extremely heavy. Walls weren't just built on top of the ground, the builders would dig a trench down into the ground all the way to the bedrock. If no bedrock was available, they would dig the trench and fill the bottom of it with compacted stone (Kalif 1).
Construction of Castle Walls
Attacking Castles
"Another good way of attacking a stone castle was by placing it under siege. Attackers would surround a castle with both men and catapults so that no one could enter or leave the castle. Sieges could last for months, usually until the inhabitants of the castle ran out of food and were starving" (Medieval Life 1).
Defending the Castle
"One of the castle owner's main line of defence against siege was to send all women, children, old, weak and sick people out of the castle. This meant that only those strong enough to fight off attackers remained in the castle and that the food supply would last much longer" (Medieval Life 1).
Defending the Castle
"Many castles were very well defended and for some attacking armies, the only way to defeat them was to surround them and starve them out. This was potentially a very long process with no guarantee of success. It was the development of mortars and cannons that brought an end to castle building as they were no longer financially viable to build as they could be easily destroyed" (Defending the Castle 1).
Defending the Castle
"The ‘curtain wall’ was the vast stone wall which wrapped around the outside of a castle. As you might imagine, it’s called a ‘curtain’ because it covered everything within" (Morris 1)
Work Cited
Allman, Toney.

Life During Medieval Times.
San Diego: Reference Point Dress, Inc, 2014. Print.
"Castle"
Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia
(2014): 1p. 1.
Funk & Wagnalls New World
Encyclopedia
. Web. 30 Oct. 2014.
“Defending A Castle.” History Learning Site. co. uk. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Gies, Joseph and Frances Gies. Life in a Medieval Castle. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell
Company, 1974. Print.
Hull, Lise. “Life in a Castle.” Castle of Britain. Castle Unlimited, 2011. Web. 4 Nov. 2014.
Kalif, Will. “The Construction of Castle Walls.” All things Medieval (2007): Web.
11 Nov. 2014.
“Medieval Life.” History on the Net. Advertical Media, LLC. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Morris, Ed. “Defending a Medieval Castle: The Formidable Features of Some of
Britain’s Strongest Castles.” Exploring Castles. n.p. 2014. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
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