What did the motte and bailey castle look like?

What did the motte and bailey castle look like?

Motte and bailey castles had a massive, circular mound, generally up to 5m high, atop which a timber tower or keep stood. The surrounding area was cultivated farmland.

The word "motte" comes from Old English mōd, meaning "hill." Motes were used for ceremonial gatherings and as military positions. They are found in many counties of England. Bailey is an Anglo-Saxon term for a small fortified house built near a motte and bailey castle.

Bailey castles were usually constructed within easy reach of a town or village. They could be anywhere from a few hundred yards away to a mile or more. These castles often served as townships where the lord of the manor would collect taxes and duties from those living nearby.

People lived in motte and bailey castles for protection just as they do today in forts or military bases. However, they also used these castles as offices where they would store food, weapons, and other supplies. Some historians believe that the first true castles came about after the Norman conquest of England when some of the older motte and bailey castles were refortified with new designs by the Normans.

What usually protects a Motte and Bailey castle?

Motte and bailey castles were a form of early fortification. A yard, or bailey, was erected adjacent to an earth mound, or motte, with a tower or watchtower on top. Stables, a hall, workshops, a spring, and a church were all common features of a bailey. The motte and bailey were encircled by a ditch and secured by a palisade barrier.

The word "motte" comes from the Old English for "hillock". The term "bailey" comes from the Old French for "open space around a castle". In England, Scotland, and Wales, motte and bailey castles are found in the more remote areas where there was no danger of invasion from without. These castles often had their own armies made up of men-at-arms and archers who would fight for their lord inside the castle walls.

In France, Germany, and Italy, where invaders could come from anywhere on land or sea, motte and bailey castles were placed at important crossings and along trade routes. They usually consisted only of a ring of ditches and a wooden fence around an area used for parking cars or storing tools. There might be one or two towers on the enceinte but they were not meant for defense but rather for lookout posts or as places where soldiers could hide while hunting or fishing in the surrounding lands.

What did Motte and Bailey look like?

Motte and Bailey's Appearance Motte and bailey castles had a massive, circular mound, generally up to 5m high, atop which a timber tower or keep stood. The mound was ringed by a ditch, and it would have been connected to a bailey, or walled courtyard. Inside the castle walls the ground would have been flat except for some small mounds called bartons which were used as landmarks. A motte and bailey castle could be anywhere from about 30 yards to over 2 miles in diameter.

Motte and bailey castles were common in England between the years 1066 and 1540. They were built by lords who wanted to show off their power and wealth. Often these castles were expanded over time, with new buildings being constructed inside the old walls. Some of these later additions are still visible today. For example, parts of the curtain wall around the middle area of Caerphilly Castle date back to 1180 but the rest was built between 1270 and 1330.

These castles were popular with kings because they were easy to defend. Even if an attacker managed to get inside the outer walls, they would be forced out again by the guards inside the entrance gates. And although they were difficult to attack from outside the perimeter fence, lords guarding their estates knew how to get around this problem too. Sometimes they would place their own people inside the castle to act as spies or even help fight off attackers themselves.

How were English castles built?

Motte and bailey designs were popular, with a mound (the "motte") topped by a timber tower or keep and a fortified enclosure (the "bailey") nearby. The wooden defenses were frequently rebuilt with stone (like at Totnes Castle).

Other types of castle buildings included:

• Barracks - where soldiers would be housed and trained

• Clink - where prisoners would work in chains during daylight hours and be released at night

• Gatehouse - where guards could be stationed

• Kitchen - where food was prepared for the garrison

• Lodge - where officers would stay while on campaign

• Mint - where coins were made from metal extracted from old nails and other rubbish

• Privy garden - place where the king or queen had private access to grow flowers or play sports

• Watchtower - where guards could signal each other from afar

• Well - where water could be extracted underground

Castles were usually located on high ground so as to provide protection against attack from outside forces and also supply lines for siege warfare.

Is Clifford’s Tower a Motte and Bailey castle?

The castle began as two circular timber motte and bailey fortresses erected in 1068. Clifford's Tower, for example, was erected in wood on a 60-foot-high motte before being rebuilt in stone with a shell keep between 1245 and 1270, defended by a stone curtain wall with towers. The original wooden fortress was then replaced with a new one made of stone.

Motte and bailey castles are surrounded by ditches and moats to make them defensible, but they can be attacked from outside the perimeter if the situation demands it. Clifford's Tower was built to protect the town of York against invasion, so it is fitting that it has a view of the Yorkshire Moors. The entrance to the castle is through an archway called the "portcullis", which can be raised or lowered at will. This allows soldiers inside the castle to prevent anyone trying to break in while also providing protection against weather conditions.

Clifford's Tower is now just one element within the larger castle complex that includes a large central courtyard with an octagonal tower at one end. The walls surrounding this area are about 15 feet high and contain openings called "loopholes" where people could fire arrows or crossbow bolts at invaders. There are several other buildings within the complex, including a great hall, kitchen, and prison.

After the Norman conquest of England, mottes and baileys were converted into towers for defense against invading armies.

About Article Author

Jason Wilson

Jason Wilson is an expert at building structures made of concrete. He has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years and knows the ins and outs of this type of building material. His love for building things led him from a career as a civil engineer into the building industry where he's been ever since.


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