Medieval Castles And Life Of The Nobility

1417 words - 6 pages

“The majestic power of a great keep, the sweep of battlements--Castles have the power to fascinate us in a way that few buildings have,” writes Christopher Gravett in The History of Castles. Even though the majority of castles across the world have similar basic structures, each country has its own personal style and touch to it. Castles are renowned around the world for their mysteries and their association with princesses such as Cinderella, but in reality they are much more complex than one would think.
In their era, castles were centers for administration and the courtesy of authority. Through out the process of building castles, several different kinds of workers were needed. Freemasons were in charge of cutting squared ashlar, moldings, and tracery. Roughmasons laid stone while layers build walls and hewers worked in the quarries. In order to create a ditch or moat around the castle, diggers were hired. The lord of the castle and kings might hire miners, carpenders, foundation workers, smiths, lime-burners, carriers, and other types of more specific workers to add detail to the castle as well. The majority of workers were paid, and only few were labor services. The castles were built to protect the nobles and kings from opposing enemies, especially during war.
In the Medieval ages, everyone wanted to live in castles, not because they were beautiful and magical, but because they were safe and the most protective place to be during war. Every aspect of the castle was planned out strategically to defend themselves from attackers. Even the smallest of details were made so that the castle could be protected with efficiency. For example, windows near the ground were very narrow so that an enemy soldiers could not penetrate them while windows higher up were big enough to enjoy looking out of them but were still covered with bars. When approaching a castle, one would most likely first notice the impressive walls surrounding the castle. These walls were built for defensive purposes and varied in size from 6-20 feet thick, up to 45 feet high, and up to 1,500 feet long. The second thing one might notice would be the moat surrounding the walls of castle. Moats were used for defensive purposes and were either filled with water or wooden stakes in attempt to create a difficult barrier for intruders. The drawbridge might be the third thing you notice when approaching a castle. Drawbridges were used for defensive purposes as well and was usually a wooden platform that was hinged to the the floor and was held by either rope or chain. This design easily allowed or prevented entrance in the castle. The gatehouses of which there are two: the gatehouse on the outer wall and the gatehouse on the inner wall would be seen next. Usually, to prevent enemy intrusion, the outer gatehouse would not be lined up with the inner gatehouse. Should an enemy soldier get through the outer gatehouse and head towards the inner ward, the enemy would not be able to get...

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