Until the late 1800s, the majority of buildings in Northern Europe were made of wood. Buildings elsewhere were generally composed of wood or, where possible, stone. Medieval stone walls were built with cut blocks on the exterior and rubble filling, with a weak lime mortar. Wood was used for most construction, with some exceptions such as castles.
In the absence of iron tools, builders had to use locally available materials to construct their buildings. For example, they would use stones that could be found on site or in nearby fields or woods. Sometimes, builders even took advantage of natural barriers such as rivers or hills. They might use the rocky cliffs for building material or, if necessary, build bridges over them.
Buildings in medieval times were not designed to last forever. Their main purpose was to provide shelter from the elements, while also allowing room for people to live. Thus, builders made their structures as light as possible while still providing adequate protection from the weather. This usually meant using thin layers of wood, which would decay over time.
The appearance of new technologies and materials may have helped to preserve what buildings there were at the time they were constructed. For example, architects began using brick instead of wood because it did not decompose as easily. Bricks are also very durable and can stand up to harsh conditions. They're still used today to build many structures such as skyscrapers and dams.
Wood and stone were often utilized by medieval builders, and timber framing remained the primary technique in many regions of England throughout the Middle Ages. Brick and tile were also used in their place when necessary.
The most common wood used for construction was oak, but other species such as beech, maple, sycamore, and pine were also employed depending on the region. Oak is hard to find in cold climates so other types of wood are used instead. Beech is a light weight wood that's easy to work with and durable enough for most applications. It can grow up to 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide if left undisturbed which makes it suitable for large buildings. Maple is similar to beech but more brittle and less dense. Sycamore is commonly used for items that require strong lightweight boards such as panels and veneers while pine is ideal for making wooden utensils because it's flexible even after it dries and doesn't crack or split like other woods do. Wood is usually harvested from old-growth trees unless you have access to a forest clearing. If that's the case, then you should try to utilize as much of the material as possible since future generations will need these resources too.
Originally, these defenses were basic wood and earthen structures that were eventually replaced by mixed constructions of stones heaped on top of each other without mortar. The Romans built enormous, mortar-bound stone walls to fortify their towns. These walls were an important part of any city's defense system. In addition, many cities also had wooden palisades outside the wall for defensive purposes.
The city walls of Rome were made of limestone rocks carried in from nearby hills and mountains. They covered about a square mile around the original settlement near the Tiber River. The walls were over 20 feet high and up to 10 feet thick at the base. There were two main entrances into the city via the Roman gates: one through which visitors entered today and another that was originally used by soldiers moving between their posts inside the wall.
When the Germanic tribes invaded Italy, they killed or captured most of the inhabitants of cities such as Rome because they thought that the people there could be useful as slaves. This violence is what caused many cities to build their own defenses in order to protect themselves. Sometimes this protection took the form of new walls, but more often it included hiring military guards to protect against attack.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, many areas of Europe began building new cities, some large and some small.
Foundations For stone-constructed castles, the foundations would be built directly onto the bedrock wherever feasible. To make a sturdy foundation, the builders would dig a deep and broad trench, then fill it with debris that was packed down as tightly as possible. The compacted debris would be the foundation for the wall stones. A smaller version of this method was used for timber castles.
The main problem with this type of foundation is that it can't be changed once it's been laid. If the bottom turns out to be too shallow or too deep, it's difficult if not impossible to correct the problem. Also, bedrock is hard to find near settlements where castles are being built today; therefore, the majority are constructed on soil or gravel beds. But even though modern builders have access to many types of materials, they usually still use some form of this technique for their foundations.
The next type of foundation is a simple slab or platform built against an existing wall. This is what most castles had before the arrival of steel beams and concrete foundations. The advantage of this type of foundation is that it can be easily altered in size or depth to match any changes in floor plans. It's also easy to add weight to these kinds of structures by building up the walls behind them. Disadvantages include the fact that they aren't very stable and can't withstand high winds or earthquakes well.
The final type of foundation is made from concrete.