Castles were originally built of wood and lumber. They were later replaced with stone to make them stronger. Castles were frequently erected on the tops of hills or where natural characteristics of the terrain could be used to aid in defense.
During the 11th century, when knights in armor were common sights at tournaments and other public events, it was necessary to house and feed these soldiers while they were staying in a castle. As such, prisons were often included in the design of new castles, usually located in remote areas away from civilian population centers. These prisons were usually not intended for long-term incarceration, but rather as a place where prisoners could be held until they could be released or traded back to their home country.
In time, prisons came to be viewed as an embarrassment by medieval society and thus began a decline in quality of prison buildings. By the late 13th century, many castles were being constructed using only labor intensive methods, like digging a large hole and filling it in again. This type of construction is easy to build and cheap, but not very strong.
The first prisons that we would consider modern are finally starting to appear around this time. They tend to be small, isolated structures with thick walls and a single entrance/exit. The primary purpose of these prisons is to prevent witnesses from escaping and to protect civilians from violent inmates.
Castles were not erected as often after the Middle Ages, owing to the development of heavier weaponry and cannon that could easily take down their walls. However, several castles still stand today that show that castle building was not only important during medieval times, but also has survived into modern days.
There are two main reasons why people built castles on hillsides or other elevated locations: for defense against attack and for viewing defenses. During medieval times, when armor was not as effective as it is today, guards at castles would need clear views of the surrounding area in order to detect an attacker before they reached the safety of the castle walls. This is why many castles have large expanses of land around them even after they have been abandoned. These areas may have been used for farming or as hunting grounds, but they allow the castle occupants to stay aware of threats near their home while still having some space to move about.
It wasn't just farmers and hunters who found benefits in building castles on hillsides, but also rulers who wanted to be able to see attacks approaching their fortress from a distance. If an enemy army approached a town along a road flanked by hills, they would be forced to divide their forces between the two sides. The hilltops would offer good vantage points from which to watch what was happening on both roads leading up to the town.
Stone walls and towers replaced the timber defenses of motte and bailey castles. Because stone is more robust and resistant than wood, it became the chosen material for castle construction. Stone castles were higher and provided superior defense against attack, fire, and cold rainy weather. The new castles were also easier to defend - soldiers could better see approaching enemies.
They also tended to be larger and cover greater areas of land than their wooden counterparts. A soldier stationed within a stone tower would have had a wider view and could shoot attackers with greater precision. In addition, there were usually no civilians living in or near these castles who might call out an attack; they were primarily used by kings as defensive strongholds.
The first stone castles appeared around 1100 and quickly became popular among Europe's monarchs. They were most often built by merchants who wanted to protect their shops from attack. These castles were not as large or well-defended as those built by kings but they were still important tools for trade. There was also a growing need for military protection as kingdoms expanded their territories. By 1350, nearly all of Europe was under some form of monarchy - except for France which had been continuously ruled by members of the House of Valois since 1457. Even though they lacked a royal family of their own, the other countries of Europe had grown weary of sending troops to fight each other when they could instead use that money to build more powerful armies.
Many castles exploit natural characteristics of the area in which they are built to strengthen their defensive power—some are built on lakes and islands, while others use rivers as moats. Some are high on hills, while others build lower towers near roads so they can stop enemy troops before they reach the main castle.
Castles on cliffs allow defenders to attack enemies at a distance with crossbows or other weapons, give them better views, and provide more storage space for their supplies. There are several ways that castles on cliffs differ from those on plains or elsewhere: often there are only one or two floors high, the walls are thicker, the gate is usually not open to the outside world, and there may be no tower at the entrance (only a wall with guards).
People build castles on cliffs for many reasons. If you want to defend your land against invaders, then these cliff castles are easy to defend because attackers must get past many obstacles before reaching their target. They are also good places for storing food in case of a long siege because there is less chance of it being spoiled by rain or snow.
Motte and bailey castles were originally built with wood, but stone keeps and walls were later added since stone is a stronger material. It does not burn like wood and is more difficult to bring down than a wooden wall. The castle housed many individuals, not simply monarchs and nobility. Craftsmen would have lived inside the walls, as well as soldiers if the castle was a military stronghold.
People began building larger and larger castles over time because: 1 They were easier to build 2 They provided better security for their inhabitants 3 They could be used as displays of power &; wealth
In Europe, the first true castles were built around 1000 AD. At first they were simple structures used as shelters until firebombs became available around 1100. After this point, they began to take shape as we know them today with high walls, large gates, and towers. These early castles were very dangerous places because they were not well protected inside and out. A king or prince might lose his life if he went to battle or traveled far from home.