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Medieval Castles by Henry and Chris for Mr Benoy 2013

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henry davitt

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of Medieval Castles by Henry and Chris for Mr Benoy 2013

Medieval castles Introduction Motte and Bailey Castles Life in a castle Concentric castles Interior Design at its Height The interior design of a castle no matter what type were always made to make the lord and lady happy. They were able to have the chisel for more detailed designs. Wainscoting was created. Wainscoting was the idea of using wooden panels for lining walls. They had the invention of fireplaces. The interior of a castle was highly colourful. Windows were a lot bigger because of the pointed arch which could support much more weight. More staircases were made; a lot of them were for the lord's private use. Carpets were put in. Different types of flowers were also put in to eliminate the death smelling castle. as most know glass windows were put in and were painted. This is famous in medieval chapels and churches. Below is a stained glass window in the 16th chapel in Rome, Italy. There was hundreds of different styles and designs to build a castle. They differed from being tiny two story houses to enormous solid stone masterpieces but they all have one thing in common, they are medieval castles. We will give you a brief summary of; the different types of castles,their designs (pros and cons of each). Go into detail on a few medieval castles that still stand today. "A castle within a castle". Concentric castle had many walls, towers, buildings and gatehouses. They were very strong defensively. They had moats that would surround the entire castle, several gate houses, solid walls, draw bridges, murder holes, and death traps. The Concentric castle had many distinct features; always had a supply of fresh water, had a polygon or circle shaped main tower or keep, wide windows. The interior of a Concentric castle was very diverse. The fireplace and chimney were added.There was a designated kitchen, that had a large oven and fireplace. There were designated jobs for each individual such as; the "ewyer"- looked after the castles wine, butler made sure the lords napkins and table cloth was clean. There was much to live for if you lived in a medieval castle. You could do a lot of sports and hobbies; people loved to go hunting. They would hunt rabbits and hares. They loved to do much falconry too. The residents of a castle loved to story tell, play chess, sing songs, and tell jokes. They also liked to dance. Many castles would have four levels in a tower. There was the wardrobe; which was the top level in the lords tower. The wardrobe was used by the lady's personal servants. There was the Solar which was the lords private living room. After dinner he would go here for a game of chess. There was the master bedroom. This is where the lord and lady would sleep. And then there was the basement. The basement was a place where weapons and many other valuables were kept. Often there were banquets. Banquets we large dinner parties. Although life in a castle sounded merry it was really quite miserable. The only heat came from fireplaces, the places were terribly ventilated, and the only light came from slight windows. There was little furniture. But then at the end of the feudal period the castle started to shape up a little... Motte and Bailey castles were the earliest version of castles. There were two parts to this type of castle; the Motte, and the Bailey. The Motte was pretty much a giant man made mound of earth. It had a small house or lookout on the top of it. The mound was built to gain high ground when there was none. If you had high ground you would be able to see far. This was a desire of a medieval lord. The Bailey was on the low ground. It was where people lived and kept the animals. It was connected to the Motte usually by a wooden bridge. Motte and Baileys were brought to England by the Normans who created the first in France on the River Loire in 990. They were usually adjoined by rivers. Very often they would overlook towns and sometimes harbours. It acted as a fortified post for cavalry. Some cons were that it was not very big and could easily be overrun. The walls were of wood so it would rot overtime. There were many techniques used to defend a castle in the middle ages. There are the most commonly known defenses; moats, walls etc. but defending a castle was a lot more than just having the biggest walls. You always wanted to have your inner castle (most commonly the lord’s house) on the top of a hill. Many times while designing a castle they would actually build a hill for the lord’s house to stand on. Having your castle on a hill was done for many purposes; you could fire arrows and throw spears much easier when throwing downhill. It was much harder to get up a hill than down a hill, you could see enemies coming from much farther away. Other defense were the placement of your castle, for example, you want to take advantage of the natural surroundings, many castles were built with one or more sides facing water so that intruders couldn’t attack from that side, other benefits of being near water was that you could easily fill a moat, or in an attack it was much easier to keep a steady supply of water coming into your castle. These were all natural defensive techniques but the true defense came from your walls. A walled castle was very hard to take. A small army of only 100 could defend against an army of 1000 if they had a walled castle. There were many defense mechanisms that were built into the walls of the castles such as murder holes; a hole in the ground on towers above the gate that soldiers would pour burning oil, throw large rocks and drop anything they could find on incoming invaders. Another defensive creation is a balistraria which is a crossed shape slit in the walls of castles, which would start very wide and get thinner as the hole went on, they were made so that archers within the castle could have good range but still be very well protected. A commonly recognized defense is the moat which was most commonly filled with either water or stakes. Water was preferred because it would stop tunneling and any fire attacks. Castles with moats had to have draw bridges which would be raised in the event of an attack. The gatehouse was the fortified building above the gate to the castle, there would commonly be murder holes and balistraria’s in the gate house. All these defenses would be used on large extravagant castles, but most castles that were around in the middle-ages were actually only defended by a large wooden wall with an inner wall that would defend the lords personal manor. Defending a castle Stone Keep Castles Stone Keep castles soon replaced the Motte and Bailey. It offered a much better form of defense. It had very thick walls and a small amount of windows. Although these were a huge step from the Motte and Bailey, because they had stone wall and wouldn't rot. Stone Keeps would have slits in the walls to shoot arrows out for defense. This was the beginning of an era that made castles very easy to defend. There were 'death holes' which were holes that defenders dropped rocks and such through to kill invaders. They had very high walls so that invaders couldn't fire arrows over it. Since these castles were made of stone they couldn't burn which was a one up on the Motte and Baileys which were made of wood. Although there were more advantages than disadvantages to the Stone Keep, there were disadvantages and that's never an advantage. Some of them were: first off they were extremely expensive to build. On top of that they also took fairly skilled craftsmen and took a very long time to build it. They were also able to undermine it and take off little corners. But to be fair I'd rather live in a stone keep than a Motte and Bailey. So Why Did Castles Eventually Come to an End? Cannons. Ever heard of them? Because that right there is a huge reason why this eventually happened. No matter what size it was they were all capable of tearing down walls of these stone phenomenons. Though they were fairly early editions of cannons and mortars and they were very unreliable they were capable of terror on a castle wall. For this reason it really came down to a ratio: Gunpowder > Stone. There were other reasons but if you were to google it, you would come up with all answers being the same: gunpowder outdid a castle. Famous Architectural Feats As we know there were many because there were so many completely different castles. A castle was really a defensive weapon. Stone Keeps and Concentrics would have these fifteen foot thick walls, They were built forty feet high. Another great invention was the moat. A moat was a great ditch or well of water that usually would surround the castle. They were often the first line of defense. To get over the moats there were drawbridges. These would be at the front door and made out of wood. Drawbridges were bridges that could be pulled up from a horizontal point to a vertical point by either ropes or chains. Another great invention was the gatehouse. They were several stories high. They were living spaces for soldiers and housing for the devices that controlled the sliding doors called portcullises. Portcullises were made of wood and covered with iron plating. Very big castles might have more than one gatehouses. These had to be very strong because the weakest part of a castle was always the front door. There are many medieval castles that still stand today, many are in ruin and many have been restored over the years. Alnwick Castle a large castle in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. This castle has been turned into a stately home and houses the duke of Edinburgh. It is famous for more than just being a medieval castle, it is a popular spot for movie footage, as it has been restored and renovated many times. It was built in 1096 to defend against the Scottish invasions. Dover Castle, in Dover, Kent, England is a great example of a stone keep. It is the largest castle in England and has been called the "key to England", for it amazing defensive set-up. Built in 1216, it is in very good condition. Under the castle there is a vast network of secret tunnels. That has been used all throughout history, all the way up to the 2nd world war. There are hundreds more of magnificent castles still standing in modern England today, so many no one person could ever go into detail on them all. Castles in today's world "Dover Castle - Well Preserved Norman Stone-Keep Castle in England." Castles, Chateaux, Chateaux Forts and Manor Houses: castle information. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. <http://www.castlesandmanorhouses.com/page.php?key=Dover%20Castle>. (tags: none | edit tags)
Towton, May 1463 Alnwick was in Lancastrian hands for the third time since, Sir John Astley. Astley was imprisoned, and Hungerford resumed command.. "Alnwick Castle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alnwick_Castle>. (tags: none | edit tags)
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