During the Middle Ages, a castle was the house of a nobleman or prince who ruled a small piece of land. Everyone who lived on this land had to work for that ruler every day by either farming the land, fighting, or building structures for the ruler.
The largest room inside a castle is the Great Hall. In the Great
Hall, many fabulous events took place, such as banquets, festivals, and knightings; yet,
some punishments also occurred in this room. However, most sentences took place in the
dungeon of the castle. Only the most serious offenders were punished in front of a crowd.
Several people would come and watch as the offender was whipped, decapitated, or pulled
A moat (filled with water and
sometimes alligators) encircled nearly every castle. The only way to cross the moat was to
use the castle drawbridge. Without access to the drawbridge, the castle was nearly
impregnable. Castle construction began with the inner and outer faces of the wall.
The stones were carefully fitted together and glued with mortar in horizontal layers
called courses. When the height of the wall reached three to four feet, the space
in-between the two walls was filled with rubble, or a mixture of stones and mortar. This
strengthened the walls, enabling them to withstand nearly anything, except for repeated
attacks from catapults. The walls were usually strengthened by buttresses. Atop the castle
ramparts were wooden frames designed to protect soldiers, at the same time allowing them
to fire with relative ease. Castle guards could also pour stones or hot oil on attackers
from the safety of these wooden frames.
The rooms located at the ground level were usually called the
basement. Here, food and water were stored in case the castle was under-siege. Upper rooms
were either used as offices or living quarters. A stone fireplace heated each room of the
castle, to ward off harsh winter cold. The majority of lighting came from windows, often
supported with an iron girdle, and closed when necessary by shutting wooden blinds.
If you want to see a picture of a real toilet, then follow the link.
1. Macaulay, David, Castle, 1977, Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company