The keep (also known as a donjon) was a tower enclosed by a three-metre-thick stone wall. Because they were frequently square in design, stone-keep castles were also called as "square-keep castles." Because of their square design, they were simple to build. The walls could be made of locally available materials such as rubble stone and mortar would do for binding the mixture together.
A stone keep was a military stronghold built into an isolated mountain peak or other high ground. They were popular in Europe during the 11th century. The word "keep" comes from the Old English cwep, which means "strong shelter." Thus, a stone keep was a fortified house with strong internal walls made of rock or brick that protected its occupants from harm.
These defensive structures were used by monarchs to control territory. They did not play a direct role in warfare but were important for defense purposes during wars or rebellions. The first true castles were wooden and built for protection against invasion by armies composed of soldiers bearing iron weapons. But because trees are scarce in most parts of Europe, stone became the material of choice for building castles. By the 12th century, when warfare began to include gunpowder, the stone keep came under attack from cannons and needed to be reinforced with extra layers of rock inside the shell and armored with metal on the outside.
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. A concentric castle was similar to a stone-keep castle in appearance, but it featured two walls enclosing the habitation in addition to the moat. These castles were often built as temporary defenses during war times when stone was in short supply.
Concentric castle: this type of castle has two walls, with an outer wall being higher than the inner wall. The space within the outer wall is therefore smaller than that within the inner wall, which makes the castle appear concave from outside. The word "concentric" comes from the Latin word for "circle". These castles were used mainly in Europe, especially in France and England. They can also be found in some countries of Central America such as Costa Rica.
Stone-keep castle: also known as a rock castle, this type of fortress was composed of large boulders stuck into the ground with only their tops showing above the surface. They were usually built as defensive structures during wars or raids when there was a shortage of materials.
Other types of castles include; donjon castles, shell castles, and timber castles. Donjons were large towers built as residential quarters for lords and ladies.
The keep, also known as the donjon, was the most significant structure of the castle. It was frequently chilly and drafty. It was readily guarded because I the keep's entryway was elevated above ground level. It had thick walls for defense against attack.
The stone castle came into existence around 1150 and lasted until about 1550. During that time, it became the residence of royalty and other high-status people. The best known example is Richard III's castle in England. There are still some castles that exist today that are made up entirely of stone. They are often called "rock castles" or "crag castles".
The most important part of any stone castle was its keep. It provided safe refuge for those inside when enemies attacked. Also, the view from the battlements was worth fighting for!
There were several different ways that people built stone castles. Some used dry masonry where two opposite sides of a wall were made of mismatched stones that didn't fit together very well. The top half of the wall would be made out of large rocks while the bottom half would be made out of smaller ones. This type of construction was easy to build but not very strong.
Others used wet masonry where the whole wall was made out of matched stones that fitted together very well.
A keep (from the Middle English kype) is a sort of defensive tower erected within castles by European nobles throughout the Middle Ages. Stone keepers had significant political and military significance and could take a decade or more to build.
They were built as part of the castle rebuild program initiated by King Edward I in 1275. The king wanted to make his possessions safer by building more defensible strongholds. He ordered that all his castles construct new stone keeps.
These were not small structures by today's standards; some were 90 feet high and made from large blocks of stone. They were used for protection as well as defense. Their height allowed soldiers inside them to see far and wide, while their size made it difficult for attackers to climb them.
The first recorded keeper of a stone keep was William Marshall in 1276. He held this post until his death in 1316. His son Henry then took over the position until 1330 when he too died without an heir. Then the job passed to her brother who kept the post until his death in 1354. This woman was known as the "Widow of the Stone Keep" because she never married. When she died the post went to her brother who again died without an heir so the position passed to his cousin.
Keep, an English phrase similar to the French donjon for the strongest component of a castle's defense, the final recourse in the event of siege or attack. The term was once applied to any strong fortress used by kings or other noble rulers as a place of refuge, but it is now restricted to those structures with high towers and walls built around an open courtyard.
In England, Scotland, and Ireland, the word keep also means a large fortified house, usually made of stone. These were often owned by wealthy landowners, who would use them as their main residence. They often had many rooms, large gardens, and were very elegant.
In Canada, the word keep also means a large private school.
In Germany, the word Schloss means "castle" or "palace" and can be used to refer to both small and large buildings. However, if a Schloss has a tower it is called a Turm. If there are two such towers then they are called Türme.
In India, the word fort refers to all types of protected settlements, including military bases and gazetted towns.
Richmond, Ludlow, and Newark are among the castles with a keep-gatehouse. The house keep, also known as a strong house, became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was a tall, rectangular building with towers on each corner. The pele tower and Scottish tower dwellings seem similar. However, they were defensive structures used separately or together. The pele tower was used for storing weapons and ammunition while the Scottish tower was used as a guard post.
These are the only three castles in England that have a keep-gatehouse. They are all that remain of many greater fortifications built during the English Civil War period when Richmond was held by Parliamentarians who wanted to protect their stronghold from attack by royalists (i.e., supporters of King Charles I). Ludlow was held by Parliament until 1646 when it was recaptured by Royalist forces under the command of Prince Rupert. Newark was captured by Parliamentary forces in 1644 but then re-captured by Royalist troops in 1645.
Keep-gatehouses were used by defenders to signal danger, warn of an attack, or request aid. They could also be used as prisons if need be. These important structures were usually built at the entrance to a fortress or city wall. Today, they serve as a reminder of this conflict between Parliament and King Charles I.