Exploration of Castles Essay

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Exploration of Castles

A.D 450 saw the creation of castles. Romans were "replaced" by Anglo Saxon foes, and these did leave behind a system of castles however these were for Motte and Bailey castles built in the reign of Edward the confessor.

The Norman invasion of 1066 was one of the causes for castles to become an important part of defence. After king Harold's defeat by William the conqueror, William was concerned about how he would control the country with only a limited number of troops facing a hostile environment. He did not have enough troops to station them everywhere, so he used a very useful tactic that had worked in Normandy previously. This was a simplified castle known as a
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The pathways and ladders that allowed reach to important areas of the castle have been removed or destroyed; and the enemy are at a disadvantage because they are facing attack from a raised level.

As time progressed, the situation in England changed. The Normans were now in control of England and there was little resistance from hostile sources, therefore a concentration on the development of castles occurred.

Less time was needed for castles to be constructed quickly and therefore time could be used to search for better materials for building. This meant that stone could be used instead of wood, which was used previously. By 1100, the earth that had held Motte and bailey castles had now settles, and was capable of sustaining much larger weights. With the change to stone castles, fire was not a concern as it was when Motte and baileys were in use.

Square keeps were used when the development of stone castles were quite young. They were often built in the most important places, to show how powerful the Normans were. Square keeps were good because of the immense thickness of the walls. The walls in square keeps were often up to 5 metres thick, and 30 metres high. This added to the strength of the castle because the walls could easily withstand attacks from siege weapons such as magonels and trebuchets.

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