A castle was a fortified site, which was made in
wood and clay, enclosed by a fence. The simplest
ones were just walled dwellings. In the Mid Middle
Ages (around the year one thousand), the castles
were built with stones and bricks, other homes
were built around outside the fortification.
Types of castles
There are different types of castles, which can be
listed into categories:
Motte and Bailey Castle
The Rectangular Keep (dungeon)
The Shell Keep
The Concentric Castle
The Motte and Bailey is the first type of
European castle. Around the onstruction two
circular ditches were dug one smaller and one
larger in order to defend it. The soil removed
was used to build up the Motte and to form a
bank around the ditches. Finally a stockade
fence and a keep were built to protect the castle.
Motte and Bailey Castle (10th and 12th centuries)
The Rectangular Keep was the early type of castles
we are more familiar with it today. They were built
in stone and had very high and thick walls. And
they were often surrounded by some kind of a
curtain walls made of stone.
The Rectangular Keep (11th and 12th centuries
The Basic structure of a Shell keep was a circular
or semi-circular shell of stone walls with various
buildings inside it. Sometimes a Motte and Bailey
were upgraded into a stone shell keep. The
Stockade fence around the keep would be replaced
with a stone wall.
The Shell Keep (13th century)
As weapons got more powerful the castle fortress
became less effective. This ended the building of
castles as fortresses. The focus now was less on
defense and more on lavish living quarters or
centers for governing. Many Fortresses were re
habilitated and re purposed as living quarters.
The Palace or Royal Quarters (14th and 16th
It is a keep surrounded by a wall which in turn
is surrounded by another wall. Sometimes there
were moats in between these concentric circles
or on the very outside. These moats are in
themselves further concentric lines of defense.
These lines of defense finished at the center of
the grounds with the keep.
Round towers were much stronger and able to
resist agaist attacks.
The square towers caused angles that formed
blind spots where attackers could hide in.
The Concentric Castle (13th and 14th Centuries)