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The Importance of Castles in Medieval Times

The Importance of Castles in Medieval Times

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The Importance of Castles in Medieval Times

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  1. The Importance of Castles in Medieval Times

  2. THESIS: Castles were not merely homes for the Lords and the noble class; they were built to be advanced defensive systems for Lords and Ladies in vulnerable locations

  3. Castles and the Feudal System Because communication and transportation were difficult in Europe, the King couldn’t control everything, everywhere at once….. so, the King awarded Lord’s with land in return for… allegiance and military support in time of crisis. LORD MARCO DUCHESS DULCE KING’S LAND SIR ANDY SIR ANTONIO SIR JORGE DUCHESS BLANCA

  4. The Manor • MANOR - the Lord's estate. • It included the Lord's castle, the village, the church, the water mill to grind grain, the forests, and the planting fields.

  5. KNIGHTS AND WARFARE • Without the structure of the Roman Empire, there was a lot of fighting between different Kings and Lords. • Warfare was a way of life in the Medieval Period of History.

  6. KNIGHTS AND WARFARE . • This warfare led to the development of a warrior class called the: knights. • The Lords had knights to protect their estates. KNIGHT: A mounted warrior

  7. KNIGHTS A boy who was to become a knight was, at age seven, sent away to the castle of his father’s Lord to train to become a knight. • Learned how to ride and fight. • Learned how to keep his armor and weapons in good condition. • Went through very intense training, where if they did not succeed they would be severely beaten.

  8. At age 21, the man was made into a knight, often in a public ceremony. In the name of God, Saint Michael, And Saint George, I dub thee knight; Be brave and loyal”

  9. KNIGHTS • Chivalry - code of conduct for knights during the Medieval Period. • Requires knights to be brave in battle, loyal to his word, courteous and merciful to enemy, and generous to the poor and helpless.

  10. Heraldry • Knights used a system of colors and symbols to identify who they were fighting for, so they could recognize each other in battle. • Each noble family had a coat of arms with symbols and colors • These colors were the first form of national flags.

  11. LIFE IN THE CASTLE Castles were not merely homes for the Lords and the noble class; they were built to be advanced defensive systems for Lord's and Ladies in vulnerable locations. • In times of war, the peasants, farmers, artisans, knights, and other nobles came inside the castle walls for protection.

  12. PRACTICAL MATTERS • In order to be protected in a castle, there needed to be enough food and water within the castle walls. • Food was stored in towers. • The well was located inside the castle walls, so nobody would poison it. • Animals were kept inside the walls in stables.

  13. GEOGRAPHY OF A CASTLE When building a castle they used the physical characteristics of the land to keep them safe. 1) Castles built on a mountain or a hill. - allowed them to see enemies from far away - harder work climbing up a hill to attack 2) Castles built by near a body of water - so they can escape quickly, if their castle is taken over - or they can get help from nearby friends coming in boats.

  14. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • MOAT: A Ditch, surrounding the castle usually filled with water or dangerous animals.

  15. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • WALLS: Usually very thick, 8-20 feet thick, topped with Crenellations. • CRENELLATIONS: a short wall on top of the castle wall, built with regular gaps for firing arrows.

  16. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • GATE HOUSE: The Castle’s entrance: Had a drawbridge, a PORTCULLIS (iron grid door, that dropped vertically downward) and thick wooden beams to keep intruders out.

  17. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • MURDER HOLES: Holes in the ceiling of the gate house. • If an unwanted visitor got in, castle attendants would poor boiling water, oil, dead cats or dead bodies, through the murder holes.

  18. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • ARMORY: Room for keeping weapons. • CHAPEL: For prayer and worship. • HOUSING: Private quarters were usually only for the wealthy or nobles.

  19. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • GREAT HALL: Dining/Entertainment room for everyone and sleeping quarters for servants. • KITCHEN: cooking food

  20. BASIC ELEMENTS OF A CASTLE • TOWERS: Used for watching the surrounding lands, for storing food, and keeping prisoners.

  21. Castles were equipped with several weapons and defensive features to repel attack • Crossbows and arrow loops. • Trebuchet (catapult). • Cauldrons of hot oil. • Swords & shields.

  22. Trebuchet The trebuchet appeared in both Christian and Muslim lands around the Mediterranean in the 12th century. It could fling projectiles of up to 350 pounds at high speeds into enemy fortifications. Occasionally, disease-infected corpses were flung into cities in an attempt to infect and terrorize the people under siege, a medieval form of biological warfare. The trebuchet did not become obsolete until the 13th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.

  23. CONCLUSION • As you can see from the many parts of a castle, although lords, ladies, knights and peasants lived in and around the castles, their main purpose was as a defensive fortress.