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Motte and Bailey Castles • The Norman Invasion & their Pre-built Castles • The Battle of Hastings in 1066 marked the end of the Anglo Saxon Kings of England the Norman Invasion led by Duke William of Normandy who became King of England, also known as William the Conqueror. His strategy of utilising Pre-Built Norman Timber Castles with Motte and Bailey structures played a highly successful role when he conquered England. Three pre-built wooden castles were built by the Norman Invaders - the Battle of Hastings and the throne of England was taken. Each of the following links to Motte and Bailey Castles will provided detailed facts and information about these famous Norman constructions. The Norman strategy of building Motte and Bailey Castles began.
The definition of the Motte and Bailey Castles are as follows: • Definition of a Motte – The Motte can be defined as a giant mound of earth with a keep, or tower, built on top • Definition of a Bailey – The Bailey consisted of the outer wall of a castle and a courtyard which surrounded the keep • Definition of a Motte and Bailey Castle – A Motte and Bailey Castle can be defined as a Medieval Norman castle which consisted of two connecting ditched stockaded mounds with the higher mound surmounted by a keep, a tower, and the other containing a courtyard, barracks, other buildings and livestock
Norman Strategy of building Motte and Bailey Castles • • • William the Conqueror employed a strategy of quickly building of wooden Motte and Bailey Castles. Timber Motte and Bailey Castles could not be viewed as permanent castles as the wood built on earth rotted quickly and they could easily be destroyed by fire. But they were of great temporary value! His aim was to build as many of these small castles as possible. A Motte and Bailey castle could be erected quickly - some only took a couple of weeks! It is believed that as many as 1000 Medieval Motte and Bailey castles were built in England by the Normans. The sites of the castles followed a pattern covering some, or all, of the following requirements: – They were built on the highest ground in the area – They often adjoined Rivers – They often overlooked Towns – They made use of existing sites of Roman or Saxon forts and Burhs – They overlooked harbours The Normans wanted their rule to be confirmed completely and quickly. Between the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Invasion in 1066 and the date that William the Conqueror died in 1087 a total of 86 stone castles had been built! Eighty-six castles in just 21 years! It is believed that as many as 1000 Medieval Motte and Bailey castles were built in England. Many of the initial wooden constructions of the Motte and Bailey Castles were fortified. The first fortification was to raise the timber buildings on stone walls and once this was complete to entirely re-build the Castle Keep in stone. Thus emerged the first Stone Castles of the Medieval Era - including, of course, the famous Tower of London.
The Purpose of the Motte and Bailey Castles • To act as a fortified post • To provide a base where men, provisions and horses could be housed • To overawe and frighten the indigenous population • Motte and Bailey Castles provided a base from which the Normans could govern the surrounding district
Storm and capture the Tower Climb, or crawl up, the embankment of the Motte - these were extremely steep and designed so that a horse could not climb it Negotiate the defences within the Bailey Storm the gate Take the gate of the Motte Negotiate the outer ditch and embankment The most successful form of attack was fire! The timber buildings would burn easily.
Life in the Motte and Bailey Castles The Normans were the victors - the invaders of the English Anglo Saxons. Life for the Normans was good. Their successful invasion of England meant wealth for the Norman invaders. Lands were divided between Norman Lords and they built the Motte and Bailey Castles. Life in the Norman Motte and Bailey Castles depended on the rank of the people who inhabited the castle. The Lord of the Castle and possibly his family would live in the most protected part of the castle - the Tower or the Keep. Servants would be expected to provide food for the Nobles and soldiers. The Soldiers were well paid and lived within the Bailey of the castle. Other occupations within the castle were the Blacksmiths - to keep a supply of arrowheads, the Stable hands to help with the horses and the kitchen staff.
The History of the Norman Stone Castles • The wooden Motte and Bailey castles were seldom occupied for long periods. Nearly 1000 wooden Motte and Bailey Castles were constructed. Their rapid construction enabled the Normans to control and subjugate the conquered English. Wooden Motte and Bailey Castles were not viewed as permanent castles as wood built on earth rotted quickly and the castle could easily be destroyed by fire. Stone Castles were the solution! But they took considerable time to build, requiring a significant labour force, and they were expensive. The location of the stone castles were therefore carefully chosen for the most advantageous political and military purposes. Then the Norman strategy of building Stone Castles began. . .
Converting wooden castles to stone castles! Many of the initial wooden constructions of the Motte and Bailey Castles were strongly fortified by converting them to stone castles. The first development and fortification was to raise the timber buildings on stone walls and once this was complete to entirely re-build the Castle Keep (tower) in stone. Thus emerged the first Stone Castles of the Medieval Era - including, of course, the famous Tower of London. William the Conqueror's chief stone castle architect and builder was called Robert, Lord of Belleme.
The process of building The stone used for building medieval castles was generally mined in quarries. However, the Romans had been great builders in Britain and local Roman structures would be pillaged for old Roman bricks to be used when building the new stone castles. Different types of other materials were used in the building and development of stone castles: – – Hard Chalk Flint Limestone Sandstone
Stone Chart Type Color Location Sandstone Purple St Asaph Wales Stone Light red Cheshire England Sandstone Yellow Flint Wales Limestone Grey Rhuddlan Wales Trassic Sandstone Brown Radyr Wales Lias Sandstone Blue-grey Glamorgan Wales Sutton Stone Conglamerate Southern Down and Sutton England
Mortar used in Stone Castles Mortar (habarcs) consists of bonding materials which are used in masonry, surfacing, and plastering that hardens in place and is used to bind together bricks or stones. The mortar used to bind together the stones when constructing medieval castles was made of water, sand, and lime mixed together.
The Purpose and sites of the Norman Stone Castles • To act as a fortified post • To provide a base where men, provisions and horses could be housed • To overawe and frighten the indigenous population • To provide a site from which the Normans could govern the surrounding district • To provide a place from which the Normans could dispense justice • They were built on the highest ground in the area • They often adjoined Rivers • They often overlooked Towns • They made use of existing sites of Roman or Anglo Saxon forts
• The Norman Stone Castles were often extensions of, or built around the existing Keeps • Ditches and banks continued to be a feature • Moats were introduced as an added defence feature • The stone for the castles were transported wherever possible via rivers • Roman bricks were also used • Limestone was used for the walls ( giving a cream-coloured finish ) • The Norman Castle Keep (tower) was built as the most protected part of the castle • Massive stone Gateways were introduced • A Barbican ( a tower or other fortification on the approach to a castle) was erected at the gate • The Norman Stone Castles had a rampart - an embankment built around a space for defensive purposes • The wooden Palisades used in the Baileys were replaced with stone walls
Life in the Norman Stone Castles The Normans were the victors - the invaders of the English Anglo Saxons. Life for the Normans was good. Their successful invasion of England meant wealth for the Norman invaders. Lands were divided between Norman Lords and they built the Norman Stone Castles. Life in the Norman Medieval Castles depended on the rank of the people who inhabited the castle. The Lord of the Castle and possibly his family would live in the most protected part of the castle - the stone Tower or the Keep. Servants would be expected to provide food for the Nobles and soldiers. Other occupations within the castle were the blacksmiths - to keep a supply of arrowheads and bolts, the Stable hands to help with the horses and the kitchen staff.
The Number of Norman Stone Castles built in the Medieval period • Between the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Invasion in 1066 and the date that William the Conqueror died in 1087, 86 stone castles and more than 1000 wooden Motte and Bailey castles had been built in England!
Characteristics of Early English Medieval Gothic Style • Large blocks of stone used by Normans were replaced by shaped stone • Norman hollow stone were replaced with solid walls and pillars • Emphasized height • Good use of the pointed arch • The pointed arch could support greater weight, allowing the walls to be thinner with wider window openings • Introduction of flying buttresses distributed the weight of roofs and walls right down to the ground
History and Description of Windsor Castle • Oldest and largest castle • 900 years old • Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal family regard Windsor Castle as their home • In 1694 a bill, in the English parliament , to demolish the castle was defeated by just one vote • Has been neglected and declared inhabitable and then transformed into a luxurious palace • Survived two World Wars, then nearly destroyed by an accidental fire • Contains about 1000 rooms • Occupies 13 acres of land • 100 feet above the river Thames • The central mound still in the same position as William the Conqueror built it
Warwick Castle • Warwick means ‘dwellings by the weir’ • A weir was a fence or wattle built across a stream to catch or retain fish • Important feature: its access to the River Avon • Equipment and building materials were easily transported by boats • The wooden castle was replaced by fortified stone castle in 1260 • Guys Tower and Ceasar’s Tower were added at the end of the fourteenth century
Interesting facts about Warwick Castle • The building of wooden Warwick Castle started in 1068 • The architecture /style – Norman Romanesque and later Medieval • Built next to the South side of the River Avon • It has over 60 acres ground • It has oubliette (várbörtön), a pit prison
The changes in Medieval Architecture were made in response to • Social and cultural changes during the Medieval era • Changing needs of population • Changes in technology, in terms of building tools, which were available • New building techniques, construction methods • The desire for more comfort in castle Interiors