Castles first came to England in 1066 when William, Duke of Normandy, won the battle of Hastings. The Normans needed castles because they had taken control of England by force and were hated by many English people. The Normans had to protect themselves from English rebellions and they needed to keep power over and show strength to the English people. William made sure that castles were built all over England in major towns. The first castles were built very quickly and were very simple, but during the reign of William and throughout the rest of the Middle Ages (1066-1500) the design of castles changed. In this essay I will talk about how much castles changed during the Middle Ages and the reasons for this.
Castles are huge, strong houses, where kings and lords once lived with their families, soldiers and servants. They were built to provide safety from attack and to display the owner's wealth. The first proper castles were built in England after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They were introduced by William the Conqueror, when he invaded England from his homeland in France.
Castles in the medieval time period were more than just a home, but rather a safe haven for the whole town. The first castles were built in the tenth century in Western Europe. Castles played a crucial role in European history. However, by the end of the thirteenth century they had lost their military, political, and social significance and were being abandoned. Castles in the medieval and Anglo Saxon times, especially in European area, were built entirely for proper function towards protection from the outside world.
Castles were extremely important during 1066 – 1500 and they changed overtime to get more protection. A castle is a fortification that was used in the middle ages to protect territory against an invasion. They were important during these times because many kings and lords wanted to show off how wealthy they are and they used them as bases, controlling their land and people from a higher point.
At first knights and soldiers in the armies were of little social status. “Many knights in fact possessed little more than peasants” (Spielvogel 244). War was looked as kind of a barbaric act in the beginning and many knights could be found fighting each other. While some of this was tolerated, as they were seen as “defenders of society”, the Catholic Church decided that there should be some ground rules. At the start of the eleventh century, the church urged knights to take an oath to protect churches, and to not harm noncombatants. These rules allowed for battles to follow a civil path and to be carried out in a noble way.
The castles played an important role in the middle ages. The castles structure was built to fortify and maintain control over an area. The architecture that was put into building the castles, was designed to hold back any enemies with heavy weaponry and stronger armies then them. Source 1 states “The earliest medieval castles were built with mottes and baileys.” Mottes were built with wooden walls around the edges, in the process formed a ring-work fort. This sort of protective structure was used in the late twelfth century. The Motte was one of the most defensible areas, while the bailey was one of the main places where the battle took place.
During the Middle Ages, castles were extremely important. Castles were either a peaceful home for nobles, knights and their servants or a busy military command centre. Because castles were such important features of the Middle Ages, it makes sense that they would last nearly the whole period of time and beyond. The Middle Ages lasted from 476ce through to the renaissance, which lasted from the 14th- 17th century. Throughout the Middle Ages the styles of fighting and defence changed, which also meant that the designs of castles changed to support the new techniques of war. Castles were introduced after William the Conqueror introduced feudalism after winning the battle of the Hastings in 1066ce. Feudalism was the social organization of Medieval
Back in the middle ages, they had something called the Manors. The Manors were a roll of people back in the middle ages. The Roman Catholic Church played an important role in practically every area of life during the middle ages. First, the Roman Catholic Church was the only church at this time. As such, it was felt to have a monopoly on religious knowledge and on the relationship between Europeans and God.
At the height of the Medieval Ages, life existed mainly in two different forms: the Feudal system and the Manorial System. Barbarian attacks created many dangers for the common citizen, generating a need for personal protection of both their lands and their lives. It is true that kings still did exist at this time, but due to the decentralization of the government, the king became a distant and ambiguous figure. The lord of the manor then became the authoritative figure for the people of medieval society. Society now subsisted on the self-governing basis of the manor.
At the fall of Rome, new culture, technologies, weapons, society, and life formed with the beginning of the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages was in Europe and was very dangerous in which many countries try to gain power and wealth. Many countries built castles to provide as base for their quests to gain power and wealth. And with this quest, it brought a new technique for warfare. This technique would involve a change in “military tactics and the role of cavalry and artillery” ("Medieval Warfare", 2016). This technique would further European civilization in a time some would call the “Dark Ages”. And this technique involves and revolves around the rise of new weapons and armor, the rise of knights, and the beginning of infamous medieval tournaments.
Medieval manors were self-sustaining parts of feudalism. Manors contained the lord’s mansion, called the manor house, the lord’s demesne, cruck houses for the peasants, barns, a mill, orchards, woodlands, fish ponds, an outdoor oven, and a place to keep bees. The manor was split up into farmland, woodlands, pastureland, meadows, and at least one village (Jovinelly and Netelkos 9). The villages weren’t very large, they usually had less than 600 people (Cels 6); but, “Each village had peasants’ homes, a church, a mill where grain was ground into flour, ovens in which bread was baked, and a forge, where a blacksmith made horseshoes and iron tools” (Cels 4). There wasn’t much need to leave the manor, as the people had just about all they needed to live.
Motte and bailey castles have been built all over Europe during the Middle Ages, especially in England, Wales, and Scotland. They were extremely popular for almost 200 years, and motte castles continued to be built until the 13th century. They were very innovative during the Medieval time period. Motte and bailey castles were hard work to construct and eventually evolved into impressive, more advanced fortresses.
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.
Landowners called lords built castles. They gave land to followers called knights. In return, the lords called on their knights to defend them in battle. People called serfs or peasants actually farmed the land. Serfs were not much better off than slaves.
Living in the medieval time period was not as glamorous as it is often portrayed; peasants and serfs led hard lives, however, kings, lords, and knights lived lavishly and at the expense of those under them. In this paper you will read about all of these lifestyles, as well as the castles in which these lords and kings lived in. Mainly castle designs, fortifications, and siege tactics will be revealed to you; yet there are several sections, dealing with the lifestyles of the above mentioned, leading up to that.