Castles

How has castle building improved during the years?

Just after William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings in 1066, castles started being built. They were very expensive to build and were first built out of wood.  Castle’s provided protection and although they were dark and cold, everyone wanted to live in it but it was very expensive so not everyone had the chance to. Forests were destroyed just to build parts of Castles and that single part would cost thousands of dollars.  From the 10th century, Castles were then built out of stone.

Why were castles necessary?

Castles were primarily used for protection and defense. Castles played a big role in the feudal system during the late A.D 900’s and 1000’s. During the Middle Ages, Europe split into small states and local conflicts were very common. So a castle would help the King or vassal defend the land where the castle stood. Castles provided noblemen’s families and servants a home. Castles became the symbol of control, wealth and power. They were a fortress, a home and a safe place for people to take refuge in during times of danger.

What was life for a servant like in castles?

Servants made up the majority of people living in the castle. They did most of  the jobs in a castle. They cooked, cleaned, repaired stuff, gathered food and washed clothes. They worked long hours from sunrise to sunset. The workers in the castle were to ensure that life for the knights and their families ran smoothly and well. Servants got a very low pay but they would get protection offered from the knight that owned the castle.  Some jobs in the castle were coveted. Jobs in the kitchen meant the servant could have more food to eat by eating the knight and his family’s leftovers. But the jobs directly serving the knight and his family were the most desired as they held the highest potential for preferential treatment.  There were many different types of servants and workers, which were: bakers, butlers, blacksmiths, armorers, acrobats, candle makers, artists, carpenters, chaplains, clerks, cooks, gardeners, herbalists and many more.

What was the most important room in the castle?

The chapel was the most important room of the castle. They were expected to pray four times a day: during rising, at noon, in the evening and before bed. Prayer times varied between 5 minutes to 30 minutes.  During the medieval times, the church was the head and the Pope was the most powerful man. The church made all the rules and everyone had to obey them.  Everyone had to practice Christianity and everyone had to be a Christian. The strict prayer requirements explains why the chapel was built in a castle. Chapels were primarily built and used for prayers.

What did the chapel look like?

Chapels were intended for prayer and any member of the household could have access to the chapel. The chapel was usually built two stories high. The upper part was for the lord and his family and the lower part was for servants. The chapel was the most elaborately furnished room in the castle, rich in ornaments, church plates and embroidered vestments. They had glazed windows and colorful furniture. The chapel was located near the Great Hall.

Diorama of a Chapel

Bibliography

http://www.castles.me.uk/castle-chapel.htm

http://www.castles.me.uk/medieval-occupations.htm

http://www.ehow.com/facts_7577472_daily-life-servants-medieval-castles.html

http://library.thinkquest.org/J002390/castles.html

http://www.castles.me.uk/medieval-castle-life.htm

by Jun En Chong

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2 Comments on “Castles”

  1. rebeccadon says:

    good job junjun!!