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THE MOTTE AND BAILEY
the Motte was a tall mound of earth built from a circular ditch and Earth was
piled up in the center and packed down hard by laborers. The flattened top
served as a platform for a wooden wall.
This wooden wall was called the Bailey. Whole or split timbers (part of a tree)
were pounded on top of the Motte. Their tops were sharpened so that it enforced
safety. Inside the Bailey a tower was built to house the baron and his family.
the twelfth century a large number of castles built by earth and wood were
replaced by stone castle. Wood only lasted for about 20 years, and could be
easily damaged by a battering ram or a catapult. Once earth banks are hardened,
it was safe to replace the wooden walls with stone. The weakest part of the
castle was the entrance. Castle builders worked hard to make sure gateways were
secure as possible. Stone Castles were better than wood castles not only for war
but wood rotted more easily.
THE STONE KEEP
Stone keep was a strong stone tower. This was so heavy it was built on hard
ground rather than on a Motte. Keeps were often very high and some had walls as
thick as 20ft. (6m). It was usually built in the inner
bailey. The keep was the
safest place in the castle. It was also the home of the Nobleman and his family.
The keep contained a chapel, another bedroom, and an office as well. The stone
keep was also called the dongeon.
THE KEEP GATEHOUSE
Since the weakest point of any castle was usually the gate, a keep gatehouse was invented. It was as strong as a keep in an older castle and soldiers would continue to defend the castle from the gatehouse even though the rest of castle was over run. Like a keep, the gatehouse was also the home of a constable. To ensure security, visitors to the castle would have to pass through a strongly guarded outer gate called the barbican. The drawbridge would be lowered before they could cross the moat to the gatehouse
An outer wall was added to many castles in the 13th century. It was lower than the outer wall so that several soldiers could shoot arrows at the same time. Although the keep was the safest place in the attack, people preferred to live in houses in the courtyard or in rooms in the walls.
CONCENTRIC CASTLESA Concentric Castle had two sets of walls. A wide moat surrounded the castle. A keep gatehouse guarded the entrance to a concentric castle. The lower, outer wall was sometimes strengthened with towers. If enemy soldiers broke through this wall into the outer Bailey, archers surrounded them. For within the outer Bailey was a stronger, taller wall containing massive gatehouses and towers. It was very difficult for an attacking enemy or army to break into and capture a concentric castle. Although somehow the people would be forced to surrender through hunger (during a siege).
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