Behind the Castle Gate: From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

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It allowed room for expansion, not just for lands but even administrative functions and unit garrisons. If taking a castle was the mission, most of the time a siege would be laid upon it. A direct attack could be ordered but it was better and more tactically astute to place a siege upon a castle, which would penalize the castles guards morale, food supplies and will to fight. Without relief from an external source, the defenders of the castle would eventually submit.

Matthew H. Johnson

A Siege could last weeks, months and in rare occasions the siege could last for a year, if the castles supplies permitted it so. The English Medieval Castle Windsor castle is a famous medieval castle. England is one of the best places in the world to see good examples of medieval castles, England has always been a country involved in warfare and and you can see medieval castles in great condition all over the country. Warwick Castle in Warwickshire is a fine example of a medieval castle, it was built by William the conqueror in and is a grand highly fortified castle that was very advanced in medieval times.

The tower of London is also classed as a medieval castle and it is located right in the middle of London on the north bank of the river Thames. A lesser know medieval castle is Bodiam in East Sussex, this is an almost perfect example of a late medieval castle was built with a moat. It was built as a compact but well defended medieval castle. The Bayeux Tapestry in France actually shows images of the first European castles, there was usually a wall that enclosed the Bailey.

A tower was built at the top of the mound and wooden palisade that ran around it. There are many stunning castles scattered around Europe that were built during the medieval period.

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Medieval Castles Parts Harlech Castle with castle parts indicated. Although castle design varied widely throughout Europe, there were some similar features that many castles incorporated. Medieval castles design and features differed across Europe, however there were some similarities and Castle Parts, that many castles shared. Arrow slits. As the name suggests Arrow slits were narrow gaps at the castle walls to protect the castle and allowed archers to shoot arrows at Castle attackers in relative safety from height.

Castle battlements. Battlements were basically gaps that allowed soldiers within the castles to fire upon attackers in defense of the castle whilst still having a wall to hide behind for protection.

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Curtain wall. A castles curtain wall stretched around the castle as a walkway so that people could patrol around the castle easily looking for any dangers and potential attacks. The castle wall also helped soldiers use different parts of the castle quickly and helped them move weapons to defend the castle to the areas where attacks were taking place. The Castle keep. The Castle keep was a kind of safe room, a place where soldiers, royalty and others could seek refuge if the rest of the castle had fallen into enemy hands, the keep was a large tower structure and usually a place where a last stand was made by medieval soldiers defending a castle.

Castle Gatehouse. Castle Moat. This is effectively a deep ditch which was dug out around the castle and was commonly filled with water, this extra obstacle against attackers gave the soldiers inside a castle more time to injure and kill people attacking the castle. Usually there was a drawbridge at the entrance of the castle to allow supplies, weapons, military and other personnel into the castle across the castle moat. Medieval Castles French Castle Carcassonne. Chateau Gaillard in France — a beautiful medieval castle was built in France by the famous Richard the Lion-heart. Cite de Carcassonne — Another beautiful medieval castle built in France it was started by the Romans but is still a medieval castle.

Leeds Castle — was the residence of King Edward and is a well built medieval castle it is believe it was built in in the early part of the medieval period. Windsor Castle — Windsor Castle is home to Queen Elizabeth the Queen of England, it is a beautiful medieval castle that was built by William the Conqueror after he had conquered England and become its ruler in Tower of London — This is another castle that was built by William the Conqueror in he started building the large white tower, this was the place that many traitors were executed and where torture took place, it has served as a armory prison, royal palace and Treasury amongst other things during its great history.

The great country houses, built from stone or wood in the seventeenth to twentieth century were, and always will be, castles of their day.

These famous structures have very little military use in the 21st century and almost all of the remaining castles and their features are used as tourist attractions with guided tours and detailed historical activity about their medieval pasts. Restoration of the castles was usually required if the castles were badly damaged during wars or conflicts and some were fitted with new staircases, walking path and restored towers.

There are Some lovely Illustrations in this book for Children! Medieval Castle Leeds Castle is set in a stunning location.

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Copyright - - - Medieval Chronicles. Medieval Castles The word castle comes from the latin word Castellum, they were fortified medieval structures that offered protection to nobility and other classes of people, although there were exceptions where medieval castles were used strictly for strategic positioning. Best Castle Design. Best Castles in the United Kingdom. Castle Design History. Castle Entertainment. Castle Moat — Origins, Construction and Defenses! Castle Moat Defense. Castle Weapons List.

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Deserted Villages Revisited. Dawn M Hadley. In this engaging book Matthew Johnson looks 'behind the castle gate' to discover the truth about castles in England at the end of the Middle Ages. Again, we see how attitudes towards hunting are central to projecting aristocratic status in the context of the park. The notion of the castle held an enduring romantic appeal, and the castle-style royal residence remained a model for country houses of the wealthy in the 18th and 19th centuries. His intention was carefully strategic, and his defense in depth was quite effective, but these castles in turn slowly became local centres of personalized military power, and they gained rights of private justice by the 11th century as well.

Castle, Evolution, Purpose and Design! Castles — Jobs, Staff and Roles! Castles in France — Top 9.

Castles in Ireland. Castles in Wales — Top Castles Strategic Locations.

Concentric Castles. Early Medieval Castles. Famous Medieval Castles. Late Medieval Castles. The defense of the enceinte , or outer wall, of the castle was generally by means of one or more lines of moats , which were crossed in front of the gateways by drawbridges—i. The gateway was often protected by a barbican —a walled outwork in front of the gate—and the passage through the gateway was defended by portcullises , doors, and machicolations. Portcullises were generally made of oak, were plated and shod with iron, and were moved up and down in stone grooves, clearing or blocking the passage.

Machicolations were of two kinds: some were openings in the roof of the passage through which missiles were thrown on encroaching enemies, and others were openings between the corbels of the parapets of walls and gates through which lethal missiles could be shot or dropped on the enemy below. The baileys at the foot of the mound were enclosed by palisades and later by walls and towers of masonry. Almost at the same time that the shell keep was being erected in western Europe, the rectangular keep, a more compact form of citadel, was also being built. Examples are the donjon at Loches, France c.

Medieval Weapons

The keep, or donjon, was the focal point of the castle, to which, in time of siege, the whole garrison retired when the outer works had fallen; it was therefore the strongest and most carefully fortified part of the defenses. It had a well, contained the private apartments, offices, and service rooms, and held all the appointments necessary to sustain a long siege. Often the keep stood in line with the outer line of defenses, so that while one side looked toward the bailey or succession of baileys commanding the operations of the defense there, the other side commanded the field and the approaches to the castle.

The side of the keep exposed to the field also presented a line of escape. After the Third Crusade —92 the site chosen for a new castle, where such choice was possible, was the summit of a precipitous hill, the citadel being backed against the cliff. The main defense was concentrated in the direction of approach, where there were often two or three lines of advance fortifications.

Behind the Castle Gate: From the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

The living quarters—with the hall, domestic offices, and chapel—were then built in the court of the inner bailey. The keep often no longer the residence but still the last line of defense was smaller than those built previously but was of more powerful design. Development in the use of firearms was so rapid during the 15th and 16th centuries as to require a radical change in military architecture.