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Caerphilly Castle picture gallery

Castles

There are a number of different types of Castle. This page outlines very briefly the basics behind the development of the Castle. Use the links to different parts of the Castles section to see more detailed descriptions.

When the Normans invaded England one of the first things they did was build a castle. This wasn't a new idea, far from it Castles of a fashion had existed prior to the Roman invasion a thousand years previous, but the pace at which Castle building developed as a result of the conquest was breathtaking and the result was a series of apparently impregnable defensive structures spread around the country. 

The earliest form of Castle, as built by the Normans in England, was the Motte and Bailey castle. This simple construction of earth and wood could be built in just a few weeks: although many of them were later transformed into stone keeps (Clifford's tower at York being a good example of this). 

From these humble origins the Castle quickly began to take new forms in England. The Stone keep, such as the White Tower (Tower of London) replaced the Motte and Bailey as the favoured structure. It's high walls making scaling the battlements incredibly difficult. Soon though even this structure was deemed unsatisfactory as methods of laying siege to the Stone keep rendered it virtually worthless: with a few notable exceptions such as Conway Castle. A new, more advanced method of defending oneself was required. The answer came in the shape of the Concentric Castle

The Concentric Castle takes a variety of shapes. Basically it was a method of making sure that the attacker could be seen by as many defenders as possible: with the defenders as well hidden as possible. Circular towers and maze like inner wards made attacking these constructions very dangerous, for once within the walls the attacking warrior would inevitably be faced with yet more walls, more towers and numerous death holes. Classic examples of the Concentric Castle are Caerphilly Castle and Beaumaris Castle, both built by the English in Wales. These castles still remained in use throughout the Civil War, and compare favourably with contemporary defensive structures.

A Glossary or Castle Words

 

Other pages in this section.

Castles Homepage

Overview of Castle development, Iron Age and Roman Fortifications, Motte and Bailey Castles, The Stone Keep Castle, The Normans in Yorkshire, Concentric Castles, Castle Links, Castle Activities, Caerphilly Castle Images, Skipton Castle images

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Recommended Resources

Medicinethroughtime.co.uk - new site. Including Blog and use of twitter for free text / IM revision tips.

   

 

SchoolsHistory.org.uk highly recommends these sites:

gcsehistory.org.uk - new site aiming to provide an accessible narrative for GCSE History pupils.
Schoolhistory.co.uk - fantastic range of interactive games, revision materials and links.
ActiveHistory.co.uk - outstanding use of ICT to engage pupils.
Thinkinghistory.co.uk - a brilliant range of learning activities from Ian Dawson
JohnDClare.net - simply the best for Modern World GCSE students
History.org.uk - resources and CPD materials from the Historical Association.
Historyboxes.com - make your lessons 'real' with artefacts and living history provided by experts
Schoolshistory.com - same author as this site, just put together in a slightly different way!
Medicinethroughtime.co.uk - all new resources for teachers and pupils of the SHP Medicine course
Crimeandpunishmentthroughtime.co.uk - A new site providing resources for teachers and pupils of the Crime and Punishment unit
Rouseabout.co.uk - excellent range of photographs of Yorkshire scenery.
Wallarms.com Militaria - a range of interesting pieces of militaria is available via tihs site
The Turkey Inn, Goose Eye, Oakworth - great historical public house with loads of great beer and a lovely atmosphere