Essay about The Medieval Castle

1685 Words Jun 17th, 2006 7 Pages
The Medieval Period lasted from the 10th century to the 17th century; this was the time of castles. The word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum which means fort. Castles still stand today as one of the most magnificent structures ever built. Not only are people fascinated with their grand splendor, but with their luminous presence of authority. Castles were not built for defense alone; they were symbols of social status, wealth, power, and intimidation. Kings and queens were not the only people to inhabit castles; noblemen could also construct their own castles. Castles were the main form of protection for most people living during the Medieval Period. The main purpose of the castle was for the defense of the …show more content…
These walls would have a terrace for walking and parapets and crenellations for fighting. A parapet is the jagged part of the wall which could be used for cover from arrows and the crenellation which is the opening in between the parapets would be used for shooting arrows through. The gatehouse and the walls were the primary sources for defense; if the walls were breeched a castle could be expected to fall. Towers were built in many different shapes including square, round, rectangular, polygonal, and D-shaped. Round towers became popular because of their ability to deflect arrows as well as to with stand the effects of undermining. A tower would serve many purposes such as living quarters to chapels. Many towers housed latrines and baths and also dungeons. These dungeons served as a prison, they would be very dark and damp. Some dungeons were shaped so that a prisoner could neither stand up nor sit down. Towers also made a castle look more impressive. These towers would open up into the inner ward. The inner ward was the courtyard that would usually house the keep and the kitchens. The bailey sometimes called the outer ward was an additional courtyard used for stables and kennels for hunting dogs. Both wards were located inside the curtain wall. The keep, which was positioned inside the inner ward, would be used for multiple purposes including housing the lord and his family. The keep would have many floors

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