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End of Year Exams

What are the four types of medieval castle Motte and Bailey, Concentric, Shell Keep and Square Keep
Motte and Bailey Castles strengths made of wood, easy to put up and repair, large enough for soldiers to safely live there, a great height as built on a motte, Normans could see the English during the day, man-made hill so can shelter animals, easily seen by local peasants.
Motte and Bailey Castle weaknesses made from wood, castles could not be large sizes as wood would rot from being rained on. Wood becomes weaker as it ages, can burn easily and the motte could collapse with the castle’s weight if it was not large enough to hold bigger troop sizes.
Square keep castle strenghths made of stone to last longer - stone guaranteed not to rot so stronger than wooden. Because of the strength of stone it can be built up to provide better height and give a good view for miles. Walls could also be made very thick, meaning very strong
Stone keep castle strengths Stone keep castles were a lot bigger than motte and bailey castles and were able to hold more soldiers. Because of their vast size they were much harder to attack. Greater luxury for Lord. Could keep bigger fires and rain not a problem.
Stone keep and square keep castle weaknesses They had two main weaknesses - there was nothing to be done if the enemy surrounded except remain in the castle. If the enemy attacked, they could decide to just starve out and surround you - not much could be done if this happened.
Concentric castles Concentric castles were bigger than square keep castles. mainly associated with north-west Wales, where many were built. They had two walls, one inside the other - a castle within a castle. A show of great luxury.
Concentric castle strengths Had no ‘strong’ point and were instead considered to be secure the whole way round. Each of these castles did have a strongly defended entrance point though, and the core of the castle was defended by a series of curtain walls.
Concentric castle weaknesses Incredibly expensive to build. Hard for troops to engage from a safe position. If the enemy choose to avoid the castle, troops would have to decide between staying where they were and ignoring the battle or moving into open.
Why were stone castles better than wood motte and Bailey castles? Could be built inside the walls of the motte and Bailey, so the castle was still operational whilst being rebuilt. Stone keeps did not rot or go up in flames. Very expensive to build but demonstrated the wealth and power of the lord that built it.
central stone tower The most visible part of a stone castle, built at the highest point of the fortification. gave look outs and archers excellent defensive position
How can stone castles be attached? Stone castles were built on a square / rectangular plan. Attackers could tunnel under one of the corners to bring down a whole section of castle. Siege weapons (trebuchet) fire heavy rocks, if they hit a flat surface there would be major damage.
Stone castle advantages Height, strong keep, luxury, no rain rot
Stone castle weaknesses Trebuchet attack, weak at corners, expensive
Moats Attackers were easy to shoot whilst swimming or rowing across the moats filled with water. Moats reduced the risk of tunnelling under the castle.
Ramparts Ramparts were steep banks of earth or rubble. Attackers had to climb over them to get closer to the castle.
Curtain walls Tall thick curtain walls surrounded the castle buildings like a strong shield.
Flanking towers Towers built as part of the curtain wall. Castles with curtain walls with flanking towers were more difficult to capture
Battlements Top of the castle walls - protective, tooth shaped parapets with a wall walk behind for soldiers to stand on. Missiles can be fired through gaps (crenels). The raised sections between, called merlons, helped to shelter the defenders during an attack.
Crenels and merlons The gaps and raised sections in the battlements
Machicolations (murder holes) stone boxes that projected from the walls of castles and had holes in the floors for dropping stones or boiling oil on attackers.
Portcullis A spiked wooden or metal barrier, to protect the doors from fire and battering. Lowered by chains from a chamber above the gateway. The word portcullis comes from the Old French porte-coleice, meaning sliding door.
Why were round towers better than square towers? It was harder for attackers to make round towers collapse. Unlike square towers they had no corners, which collapsed if holes were dug underneath the foundations.
Created by: Frankiek
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