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Castles, the key to power in Medieval England

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For hundreds of years in the Middle Ages, powerful and important people believed in castles. These people believed in castles because it was the key to power, importance and triumph over the land. Before the Normans invaded England in 1066, the battle of Hastings, there were very few castles in England and its areas. By the end of Williams reign the number of castles had increased extremely rapidly. The Battle of Hastings was a very treasured part of history then, and still is today. It holds key sources of vital evidence that we rely on today to find out how people lived, worked and played in the Medieval period. We honour it because of the Normans. The French bought castles into England, created competition, battles and civil wars between different parts of the country. A primary source of evidence, one of the finest sources of evidence in the Middle Ages is the Bayeux Tapestry. Hand sewn by the Norman ladies. We value it because it shows the Normans doing things at the time it was manufactured, or this is what was said. ...read more.


There were just a couple that had a stone keep. The finest example of one of these is the White Tower in London which was built for William 1st . William's tower is more of a palace than a tower with main rooms on top of each other. The fine architect and decoration resembles the kings power and importance. Over the years castles and various points have steadily changed and improved. The castles defences, materials and general designs have changed and varied at a higher standard than the other castles points. THE CASTLE IN WAR Before settling down for a long siege, the commander may try to brike the garrison to let him in or poison the water supply. The commanders troops would surround the castle, burn down the huts of the local residents and cut off all the castles supply lines. Wagons pulled by oxen would contain different parts of siege weapons, bring them up nearer to the castle walls and the troops would assemble them. A Herald sent out from the castle may come and discuss the rules and terms of fighting. ...read more.


THE END OF GREAT CASTLES By the end of the Medieval Era, it was very rare for more castles to be built. Lords and Ladies may decorate their houses with towers and battlements in the style of a castle, but it was just for show. Many houses designed for noble people after 1400 looked very unlike Medieval castles. They had large windows, wide gateways, but no strong stone surrounding walls or defences. A reason why castle buildings stopped is because castles were no longer needed as fortresses. There were still battles, but they were being fought by soldiers in pitch battles. In most of Europe, Kings and important people had no need of castles strongholds from which to frighten enemy territory. Grand people and Lords now spent most of their time in lively conversation about music, literature or art, discussing law and politics rather than fighting one another. Most important of all castles were not hardwearing enough to withstand attack from new weapons, especially the new improved cannon. But when castle walls began to shatter and crumble under cannon fire, there was no point in sheltering behind them. The age of great castles had come to an end. ...read more.

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