Castles with Concentric Rings The area between the two walls was dubbed the "death hole" since being caught within it would almost likely end in the attacker's death. The entire castle was typically enclosed by a moat, with entrance by a drawbridge. When not in use, the bridge was usually pulled up into a vertical position across the entrance.
In 1088, William II ordered the construction of his new castle at Malmesbury. He wanted a fortress that would be as secure as a city wall, so he had the existing town wall rebuilt inside the new castle grounds. This new section was just as strong as the old one, but it had no gate or entrance and was therefore called a "dead ring." This is why dead rings and other incomplete castles are sometimes called "concentric castles."
Concentric castles were very common in England and elsewhere in Europe. They were often built by wealthy landowners as personal residences when they needed more security than a small town could provide. There are still several concentric castles in England today. One of the best-known is Warwick Castle, which was built by Richard Beauchamp in 1138. He wanted a safe home for himself and his family while he fought in battle against the enemies of England!
Warwick is an English county located about 60 miles west of London.
Drawbridges on castles. Medieval castles were often fortified with a ditch or moat that was traversed by a wooden bridge. The bridge in early castles would have been constructed to be damaged or removed in the case of an attack, but drawbridges became quite prevalent. A common configuration would be for the drawbridge to be located just outside of a gatehouse,...
Castle in Medieval Times Murder Holes were a simple but vital element of a medieval castle. Murder holes were typically located in regions where the castle was most susceptible, typically surrounding the weakest component of the fortress, which was typically the castle's entryway. They could be large open pits or small rooms with only one exit. The idea was that an enemy warrior falling into one of these death traps would be killed instantly.
In order for a castle to be considered medieval it must have been built before the 14th century. Therefore, all those famous castles such as King's Landing, Winterfell, and Qarth etc. - they're not real medieval castles because they were built after this arbitrary cutoff point. They are called "medieval castles" because they resemble the castles of Europe during this time period.
During the early stages of development of a castle, it is common practice for builders to insert wooden stakes into the ground around the perimeter of the site. These are known as "castling stakes" and their purpose is to help builders determine how much space needs to be cleared around the outer walls in order to build them correctly. The problem with castling stakes is that they can also be used as offensive weapons when pulled from the ground. This is why they're usually made of wood instead of metal or stone. If a warrior caught off guard by one of these stakes fell into a murder hole then he would be killed instantly.
Because of the many walls erected around the central tower, concentratic castles were difficult to conquer and penetrate. Moats, battlements, and gatehouses provided extra security.
Concentric castle design proved to be effective defense architecture because it could not be attacked from outside the perimeter wall unless a breach was made first. This makes them excellent defensive structures because there are not easy entry points like there are in open-field fortifications.
A concentric castle has the advantage of being able to put its resources in one place, making it more efficient than dividing those resources between several sites. Concentric castles are also useful for limiting access to certain areas of the site. For example, an owner of a concentric castle might want to prevent anyone from entering or leaving certain rooms or buildings on the property.
Finally, concentric castle design is useful when space is limited. Because they use less land than linear forts, they can be situated closer together which means that they can protect more people on less land.
Concentric castles were popular in Europe during the 11th century. They were used as military strongholds as well as royal residences. The most famous concentric castle is Château de Versailles, which was built by Louis XIV of France.
Essentially, the castle is surrounded by two distinct rings of curtain walls; the inner wall was always taller than the outer wall, allowing archers to fire at the enemy from a vantage position (as you can see in the image below). The significant breakthrough was that the outside wall was not merely employed to support the inner one. It was also used as a weapon itself!
Archers would line both walls with their sights set on the opposing forces below. As the soldiers approached, the arrows on the inside wall would be removed and replaced by large stones that could maim or kill those within range. This method of defense proved very effective and soon became popular throughout Europe.
There were two types of castles: those built by the king under royal protection and those built by private individuals for self-defense. The latter type is known as a "man's castle" because its defenders were usually men who could afford to hire guards.
King's castles were often made up of several components designed to confuse an attacker. For example, they might have been built with multiple towers and gates for the defender to move to different parts of the castle without having to surrender all his weapons. These castles were usually huge structures made of stone where rooms could be added on later if needed. They could occupy hundreds of acres and include living quarters, storage areas, and even gardens.
Man's castles were usually smaller and less well-defended.
Battlements The battlements were the tops of the castle walls, a defensive, tooth-shaped parapet with a wall walk behind it for the troops to stand on. Missiles might be fired through gaps by the defenders (crenels). The elevated parts in between, known as merlons, provided protection for the defenders during an enemy onslaught.
Citadel A fortress or strong place built for defense against attack from without or within; a stronghold.
Keep A large fortified residence or palace; a lord's mansion. Also called a dun, it was one of the most important buildings in medieval castles.
Motte A hilltop fort used by soldiers under their own leader; a military post.
Norman architecture is characterized by its simple forms and straight lines, which make it easy to build. Normans borrowed many ideas from other cultures, but they also developed their own style. They built with stone, sometimes including wood, in areas where wood is usually used for construction. Towns and cities that were rebuilt after damage caused by wars or earthquakes are often described as "Norman" because of the presence of many towers and turrets.
Castle culture was popular in Europe when Norman knights conquered towns and regions across the continent. They brought their castles designs with them from England, where they were first built. Under the Knights Templar and Hospitaller orders, castles were used as centers for religious teaching and healing.