What is a Motte and Bailey design?

What is a Motte and Bailey design?

A motte-and-bailey castle is a European fortress consisting of a wooden or stone keep perched on an elevated portion of land known as a motte, encircled by a defensive ditch and palisade, and accompanied by a walled courtyard, or bailey. The word "motte" comes from the Old English for "hill" or "promontory." The term "bailey" comes from the old English for "open space" or "courtyard." Thus, a motte-and-bailey castle is one with an elevated motte surrounded by a ditch and palisade, with a corresponding open area (or bailiwick) below.

Motte-and-bailey castles were popular in England from about 1100 to 1350. They are found mainly in southern England, but a few also exist in northern England and Ireland. There are about 70 surviving examples of motte-and-bailey castles in England. Of these, about 30 are true motte-and-bailey castles with full-size keeps as well as substantial living areas within the walls. The other 40 include some important royal residences such as Beaulieu Abbey and Windsor Castle, but they lack a separate guardroom with prisoners, so they are not true motte-and-baileys. Also, they do not have dry moats, so they are not considered to be authentic examples of this type of castle.

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 English for "bench". Thus, a motte and bailey castle is one built on top of an earthen hillock or mound.

These castles were commonly used in England between about 1066 and 1150. They replaced wooden towers upon ancient earthworks. There are thought to have been about 150 of these castles in England at their peak development. They provide evidence that technology had advanced to the point where stone was usable for military purposes.

Bailey castles were primarily found in northern England, while motte-and-bailey castles were most common in eastern England. The difference may be due to the availability of natural resources in different parts of the country. In addition, the social structure of society may have affected which type of castle was built most often. Baileys were typically used by noblemen while mottes were constructed by peasants who did not need walls around their dwellings to protect them from invasion.

What is the purpose of the Motte and Bailey castles?

Motte and bailey castles were a kind of castle building that allowed the new Norman conquerors of England and Wales to rapidly and cheaply secure swathes of territory. To dominate the conquered Britons, the Normans required a fortress design that could be built rapidly. The motte and bailey castle was just such a design - an earthwork mound with a timber palisade around it, within which a stone castle would be built.

Mottes are areas of land with only earth for protection, while baileys are areas of land with only a wooden fence for protection. Because soldiers needed shelter when fighting wars, these two types of fortifications were used together in many cases. They provided cover for men on the battlefield without having to build a full-scale castle structure.

The first recorded use of the term "motte and bailey" is in 1139, so they have been known by that name for nearly 120 years already! However, they have been rebuilt or altered many times since then, so it is difficult to say with certainty what exactly was constructed in each case. What is certain is that the original motte and bailey castle designs were very effective in helping the Normans take control of Britain quickly after their invasion in 1066.

There are about 150 surviving examples of motte and bailey castles in England and Wales. This makes them the most common type of early English castle.

What is the difference between a Motte and Bailey castle and a stone keep?

A motte-and-bailey castle was made up of two parts: an observation tower and a living quarters. A stone keep castle was a single residence made of rocks that made it difficult to burn or attack, and it was surrounded by a moat.

These types of castles were most common in northern Europe but also can be found in Asia and North America.

They were built after 1066 when William the Conqueror invaded England. He ordered that all powerful men should have their own personal castle so they could protect themselves from other people who might want to kill them. These new type of castles were used by many different people including priests, knights, and even ordinary people who wanted protection from harm too. They are still used today in some countries for museums or as private homes.

Have you ever been to Wales? If so, you probably saw one of these castles on the side of a hill. The town near the castle would be the warder of the castle. For example, if the lord of the castle was William I then the town would be called Caerphilly because that's where he kept his watchtower.

He would also tell others what land he owned, so they could know which area to fight over if they wanted to become the next lord of the castle.

What were the Motte and Bailey made out of?

Originally, these castles were built entirely of wood and soil; they were inexpensive and simple to make, and they didn't require any specific design. The fortress was made out of a wooden keep perched on an elevated earthwork known as a motte, overlooking an enclosed courtyard known as the bailey. As time went by, the kings and other powerful people began to build their castles using stone instead of wood for greater strength. The motte and bailey remained the standard castle layout until about 1450 when the rise of gunpowder forced a change in tactics. The stone castle was no longer safe inside its own walls so the idea arose that the best defense was a strong offense- you trap the enemy inside their own walls, bombard them from afar with artillery, and they'll leave you alone once and for all.

During the 11th century, soldiers started wearing armor when they went into battle because it made them feel safer. The metal plates worn under the skin of the body called "armors" gave protection against sword cuts and blows from heavy objects like axes and hammers. It also prevented serious injuries such as fractures. Around this same time, cannons were being invented and they were used by military leaders to destroy enemy defenses and take back towns that had been captured. Cannons are very effective weapons because they can shoot large balls of metal at high speeds which can break down thick walls and even pierce through iron gates.

About Article Author

John Lieber

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