Wayne and Kaylea

DEFENDING A CASTLE

Structure

Castles were usually located on sites that could be easily defended, such as rocky crags, river bends, or islands. They had turrets (little towers on top of the castle walls) thick walls, battlements (and were located on sites that could easily be defended. They were set up so they could see in all directions, most castles had artificially created hills and a moat. The moat was a pond or lakelike pool that the castle was surrounded by.

Towers

Castles often had a square wooden tower called a keep or a dungeon. It was several stories high with several floors. The keep was the best protected building and served in the castle defence. Sometimes the ones who owned the castle would stay in the keep for safety. The keep was also used as a lookout and was the last refuge for defending a castle. It was usually made out of wood, but at the end of the 11th century they were made with either stone or brick. The castle also had battlements which were fighting platforms along the crest of the curtain walls. These were located on the top of the keep. They consisted of a footlock also known as an alure. They had gaps of normal size in which an archer could shoot. Mural towers were towers that cut off a section of the wall where archers could shoot at their enemies from the side. This made the walls stronger because the archers could shoot people trying to climb the walls. Round towers,situated at the corners of a square castle, were the weak point of defence against enemies battering rams and also made it difficult for archers to see around.

Taking Over A Castle

In the medieval times there were many ways of gaining control of a castle. The first way would be to knock down parts of the castle, and hope that they would surrender. People in the castle were also bribed to let soldiers enter the castle unnoticed. The third way of gaining control of a castle would be to wait and let the people in the castle run out of resources or starve to death. The enemy might poison the well if they were able to get to it.

REFERENCE LIST

Gravett, Christopher. The Medievel World Knight. New York:Peter Bedrick Books. 1996

Smith, Beth/Canevari Green, Anne. Castles. Toronto:A First Book. 1988

The World Book Encyclopaedia. Chicago:World Book Inc. 1997