Castles

Why castle were necessary

Castles were built for defence. If a castle was under attack, In the Middle Ages, castles were the residences of kings, queens and lords. As fortresses, castles were built for protection from enemy attacks but they also served to exhibit the owners’ wealth and status. Most of the castles were strategically built on hilltops, and even on isolated islands, to ensure safety from invasion or intrusion.

Castle Warfare

During the middle Ages, when the feudal system ruled the land, people developed ways of protecting their castles (or invading the castles of others). They often used the land to their advantage, building castles on hills, crags or rivers so the enemy could not surround them or gain easy access to the castle. High walls helped to keep attackers out, but attackers could also tunnel under the walls, breaking the foundation in the process, Gravett says. They could also try to starve the castle inhabitants. Many weapons evolved during this time, such as trebuchets, catapults and ballistas, which sent flying projectiles at the invaders. Attackers often used battering rams as well. Crossbows also remained an essential means of defense, and archers could shoot them through the arrow loops or from a rooftop.

The stairs of a castle always turned clockwise so an attacking soldier would not be able to effectively use his sword arm, as people are usually right-handed. This also gave the castle soldiers an advantage as they came down the stairs, for their sword arm would have a greater range of motion.

How they attacked castles?

Diggers were very common. They would dig a tunnel right beneath a wall. When the tunnel was dug, they would destroy it. A castle’s walls get severely damaged when this method was used. But gunpowder was the best way to destroy a castle’s walls. Castles were a great defence against an enemy. But, when gunpowder was invented the castles stopped becoming an effective form of defence.

By the end of the 1300s used gunpowder a lot. The medieval castle with its high strong walls was no longer the most invincible defence it used to be.  The use of gunpowder made both castles and city walls much more vulnerable e.g. a cannon could knock down the stone walls and the only effective way to knock down walls before the invention of gunpowder was to dig under the walls to make them unstable.  But this was a very dangerous way to do it, especially as you might get boiling hot tar poured over you from above.

  

Defending a Castles
Castles were made to give people in the castle every possible advantage that allowed them to last as long as possible in the event of attack.

Castles had enormous amounts of food in the storage. This was proportional to the castle’s population. In the event of an invasion, the gates were locked and frequently a siege took place.

The main defense a castle possessed was the numbers of wall surrounding them. From the alleys, archers could easily shoot arrows against the invaders below. The height of the castle benefits and can easily takes cover while the enemy fires. Additionally, many castles had other counter-offensive mechanisms such as catapults

Moats

Moats was a very important resource to castles. They successfully stopped most ladders and tunnels from reaching the walls and even the drawbridge, which completely stopped invaders.

Even if an attacker manages to destroy the castle’s walls with siege engines, the moat resulted to be an advantage as swimming under heavy fire was dangerous. The moat’s protection was effective against diggers.
Many castles had catapults capable of destroying the enemy’s siege weaponry. If a castle had catapults and ballistae, some enemies dared to attack it directly as battering rams and siege towers were an easy targe

Castle Dungeon

Dungeons were a dark ceil which was usually found in an underground room of one of the towers of a castle. It was different from other prisons where they were severely injured

The purpose of the castle dungeon was indeed for holding prisoner and in for extreme torture

The castle dungeon was a terrifying prison. The instruments of torture used on used on Medieval Prisoner included Branding Irons, the Rack,the Scavenger’s Daughter and the Collar. Other types of torture including being whipped, Pressing, Boiling in water or lead, Being starved and cutting off various items off body

 Bibliography

http://www.middle-ages.org.uk/history-of-castles-in-the-middle-ages.htm

http://medieval-castles.org/index.php/castle_faq_frequently_asked_questions

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

http://www.medieval-castles.net/

http://medievaleurope.mrdonn.org/castles.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment on “Castles”

  1. priscillalan says:

    Great Job! 🙂