• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain what has caused the main changes in castle design over time

Extracts from this document...


Hayley Lawler Q3- Explain What Caused the Main Changes in Castle Design Castles were introduced to England in the 11th century after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Since then, castles have developed dramatically in design. There were many reasons that caused the designs to change throughout the centuries; weakness with design against attacking forces, advances in technology and warfare strategies, a change of power and new ideas from crusaders. It was William the Conqueror's victory that meant the introduction of a major castle building programme. When he invaded England, he needed something to show off his power and to mark out his territory, but he needed something that was quick and easy. His answer was the Motte and Bailey castles. The Motte and Bailey castles met the needs of William the Conqueror because they could be built in under a week, they were cheap and could be built on a man-made mound or a natural terrain. The common features of a Motte and Bailey was the motte; which was a mound usually no higher than five metres, the bailey; which was an enclosed fortified area that surrounded the base of the motte (sometimes a ditch, bank and palisade would defend the bailey) and lastly, the keep; which was made of wood and provided residence for lords and nobles. ...read more.


Warfare became more sophisticated, enabling those attacking to beat the castles defences in a variety of ways. Scaling ladders and siege towers allowed attackers to go over the wall, catapults and battering rams could breach the wall and, worst of al, undermining could bring a section of the wall crashing down. Finally, the early thirteenth century saw improvements in the defenses of the battlements to make better use of the crossbow. The castle design was improved by increasing the number of embrasures and narrowing the merlons. At the same time, arrow slits were incorporated into the merlons so that the bowman could fire whilst remaining under cover. Significant as these adaptions were, there was one which led eventually to a fundamental rethinking in castle design and the obsolescence of the keep. This was the adoption of the flanking tower which developed from the concerns of the defense of the bailey. This new design, called the Enclosure castles, was usually built to enclose a coutyard containing the residence of an Earl. An example of an enclosure castle is Framlingham, Suffolk. The building of the castle started in 1190 after Earl Roger Bigod obtained permission to rebuild his father's castle that was demolished by order of Henry II. Within the wall, at intervals, were built thirteen projecting towers and there was no keep at all. ...read more.


Edward consciously chose to suppress elements of Welsh tradition and heritage. Conwy Castle was built over the traditional burial place of Llewelyn the Great, and the monastery at Aberconwy was destroyed and the monks moved to a new foundation at Maenan. Throughout this essay, I have stated the reasons that caused the designs of castles to change throughout the centuries. The reason for building the first type of castle, the Motte and Bailey, was for William the Conqueror to show off his power. The reason why those designs were later adapted was due to weakness in design against attacking forces and weather. The Stone Keep design was ruled out and the enclosed design was brought in because of, again, weakness in design but also advances in technology and warefare strategies, a change of power and new ideas from crusaders. Similar reasons are what caused Concentric castles to be built after the Enclosure castles. I personally think that the main reason for the change in design of castles over the centuries was that there were weaknesses in the designs but all the reasons I stated are very closely linked and caused eachother. For example, change of power caused new ideas which caused development in warfare stategies and technology which then caused weakness in designs. Nowadays, castles are enjoyed by many as they are used as tourist attractions and the process of decay for most castles have temporarily been halted. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. WW1 - technology and trench warfare.

    German defences in this region were very strong and soldiers faced appalling conditions as the battle continued throughout August. The rain continued and by the end of the month nearly double the usual amount of water had fallen. To make matters worse constant bombardment by shell fire in this area

  2. History - Castles Coursework

    The next source I used was a picture source, it shows me that the Normans had made most of the castles around England; the picture source shows that about 35 castles around England were built and owned by the Normans.

  1. Outline Main Religion Changes During The Reigns

    After Henry VIII had a son from his third wife Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's dream came true, but there was a problem, his son Edward VI would not live for long. Things for HenryVIII started going from bad to worse, the pope wanted revenge for Henry VIII creating a new

  2. Roosevelt's New Deal

    This source is useful in every way as it a way of Roosevelt's supporters expressing their opinions towards him. At the end of the letter it mentions how the old man and his wife will "join millions of others in praying for him every night."

  1. Reichstag Fire

    to persuade people to believe communists were responsible for the Reichstag Fire and used it to signal the beginning of a revolution. Propaganda was as important as the Reichstag Fire. This is because the fire fuelled most of the Nazi propaganda, allowing them to discredit the communists and use it

  2. Medieval castles - features and development

    Sometimes, very few soldiers were needed to defend a well built castle. Again, the thickness of castle walls can be seen even if this castle, like so many others, is falling into ruin. This also shows the wall walk (parapet)

  1. WW1 and Changes In Weapons Technology.

    5-foot earth parapet; the ability to cross a 8-foot gap; a vehicle that could house ten crew, two machine guns and a 2-pound gun. However in the end the tank could only house eight crew: one commander, one driver, four gunners, and two gearsman.

  2. St.David's effect on Christianity in Wales

    Other time, some of St. David?s monks turned against him, and decided to poison his food. But a friend of his in Ireland foresaw this in a dream and he sent St. Scuthyn to warn him. There were no ships ready, to carry Scuthyn across the Irish sea to Wales, but he waded into the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work