Castle Project

You will soon be asked to create a medieval castle in school with a group. I suggest that you start collecting materials from around your house that may be useful for this project.

To earn omits, start researching to find information about how a medieval castle was built and why. What did the castle include? What materials were used? What type of design was common? Post what you find!

Published in: Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at2:09 pm Comments (18)


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  1. on April 15, 2010 at 11:22 pmLauren Mayer Said:

    There are many different types of castles.The first castles were made of wood, but when envaders set fire to them new ideas were made up they started using stone.The castle started ussualy with a moat but was ussualy not filled with water because it was so high up.Then there were at least 1 wall but ussualy 2 or more. Then there wa 2 gate houses and it was called the killing area because people could shoot you from any direction.Next was the entrance to the castle in it was all the rooms like the dinning hall kitchen servant chambers theere were ussualy secrert passagways and rooms that onlu few people knew about mostly royal children because they went exploring.There were royal chambers and bathrooms.Tjhere were hundreds of rooms. Then at the top was there was the gaurd towers, but they were dangerous because there were holes everywhere so they could drop down stones and hot pitch to.The castle wasn’t met for beauty but for protection.

  2. on April 16, 2010 at 12:58 ammeghan Said:

    Large stone castles were built in Europe from about the 1100’s to about the 1500’s. These huge buildings served not only to defend the country from foreign invaders but as the basic tool in preserving the king’s and the nobles’ power over the land. The social system was very rigid in the Middle Ages.
    Under Feudalism, the basic social structure in this time, all land was held by the king. The king gave pieces of this land to various high nobles, in return for their help in fighting his wars or in putting down rebellions. Not only did the higher nobles have to fight for the king themselves, they had to supply a certain number of lesser lords and other knights to help fight also. These higher nobles then gave some of their land to lesser knights, in return for their help in battle. Below all the knights were the serfs, who actually farmed the land. They gave a portion of their crops each year to the lord who ruled over them, in return for use of the land and protection.
    A man’s son inherited his lands and his obligations to fight. As time went on, inheritances became complicated, because there were lords who had no living children, who had only daughters as heiresses, and who split their inheritances among their sons and rarely daughters. When the daughter of a lord married the son of another lord the young couple inherited land from both families. If the overlord from whom they got one piece goes to war with the overlord from whom they got the other piece—on which side did they fight? If there are two possible heirs to the throne itself, for whom do they fight? If a higher lord rebels against the king, does his vassal fight for the lord, or for the king? Who is closer, and more likely to take away his castle and his land? What will the other knights do? Which families is he allied to, by marriage or other bonds?
    The castle was both a residence for the lord and his family, and a fortification. It was a strong place for the lord to defend himself against his enemies (and the king’s enemies, and his overlord’s enemies), a safe place for him and his knights to return to, and a place to live which emphasized his power. A few heavily armed knights could control a large area, if there was no organized army to go against them. Not only did knights fight against foreign enemies, they fought a lot against each other, and they put down rebellions among the peasants. Showing that you had a lot of power sometimes made actual fighting unnecessary. In Britain, many of the castles are along borders, to stop raids by the Welsh and the Scots, and as a basis for raiding in return.
    Stone and wood were about the only building materials available. Slate and thatch (bundles of reeds or other plants in a thick bundle) were used for roofs, but not for walls. Fortunately, northern Europe had large amounts of both wood and stone. Wood didn’t last as long, but, worse, it could be set on fire by the other side. Stone is very strong in compression (stone can hold up a great deal of weight).
    Castles were built to keep out enemies. When an attack was expected, the drawbridge was raised, the gates and portcullis were closed, and archers were stationed on the towers. The walls were not only high, in a well-planned castle, but they were arranged as much as possible so that anyone climbing the walls could be shot at from two directions. Many castles have strange shapes because the castle was designed to accommodate the terrain, and to catch attackers in a crossfire.
    The castle’s defenses invited a great deal of ingenuity from the attackers. Rolling wooden towers, covered with thick hides to stop arrows and kept wet so they could not be set on fire, were brought up to the walls in an attack. Sometimes they even worked. Catapults threw heavy stones at the walls to make a breach or loads of rocks (or diseased livestock, or fire bombs) over the walls. The battering ram—generally used against a door—was an old favorite.
    Thoughts of these different ‘siege engines’ were always on the minds of the castles’ designers. The castle was often built on a raised platform. Roads to the castle angled and sloped to restrict the easy use of battering rams and the like. There was often also the traditional moat (left behind from digging out the earth to make the raised platform for the castle) and drawbridge, just to keep things interesting.
    Another method of defeating a castle was laying siege to it, by trying to starve out the inhabitants, or waiting until they ran out of water. If their water could be poisoned, they had to surrender. A good well was extremely important to a castle.
    The use of gunpowder made both castles and city walls much more vulnerable, because cannon could knock down the stone walls. Before gunpowder, about the only way to bring down a stone wall was the undermine it, that is, to dig a hole under it. This would cause a portion of the wall to collapse into the hole beneath it. This kind of digging was difficult, especially since the inhabitants of the castle would be fighting to keep their enemies from doing it. A castle was both a fortress and a residence for the lord and his family. By means of a castle, the lord could extend his power out over the surrounding countryside. He offered protection to the peasants over whom he ruled, but he also exerted his power over them. In peace time, there might be only 10 or 12 knights and their horses staying in the castle, but when war threatened there would be many more.
    The knights and their servants and their mounts all had to eat, as did the lord, his family, and his servants and officials, and their families. Many castles grew certain types of food inside their walls, to add variety to the diet of those inside the castle, but it was not nearly enough to feed the people in the castle, much less their guests. Castles might have beehives, herb gardens, fruit trees or a fishpond. Because the land inside the castle walls was not enough to feed all these people, they got their food from the peasants who farmed outside, and from hunting. There were restrictions on hunting by the peasants, and sometimes it was forbidden entirely, so that the lord and his retainers would have plenty of game to hunt. Hunting was also a major recreation for the lord and his men.
    Part of the purpose of a castle was to be impressive, and to be an assertion of the lord’s power over the area. It also served as a warning to others who might want to take over that part of the land. Since a feudal lord was the vassal of the king, castles at key points in the landscape showed how powerful and in control the king was. Sometimes an entire castle was covered with a layer of whitewash to make it seem even more splendid, especially if it was on a hill, and seen from a distance. Pennants of bright colors, with the lord’s symbol, would fly over the towers. If a tournament or celebration was planned, bright flags might be hung from towers and doorways.
    Castles were usually on high ground, which was generally not flat, and there were differing risks of attack from different directions. Castles were often not symmetrical, because they were built according to an individual landscape, and the specific needs of the time. Each castle was arranged differently, and not all parts stayed as they were originally built. Successive lords, who might want more room, or a more impressive sight, added rooms, walls or towers, as they saw fit.

  3. on April 23, 2010 at 2:12 pmMrs. Cheney Said:

    Meghan. You need to site this source and also put it in your own words. This is from the website http://www.yourchildlearns.com/castle_history.htm

  4. on April 28, 2010 at 10:51 pmmeghan Said:

    http://www.insecta-inspecta.com/fleas/bdeath/Black.html
    mrs cheney this is a website for black death

  5. on April 30, 2010 at 8:45 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    hey check my new website! its all about the bubonic plague and for those who dislike reading there are pictures. just go to http://www.gethrow.webs.com. yeah its a funky name but its all i could think of at the time. check it out!

  6. on April 30, 2010 at 8:47 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    still working on the website so check it out later!

  7. on April 30, 2010 at 8:57 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    the website has no pictures. sry! there was a problem uploading them to the web site. sry!

  8. on April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    this is another site about bubonic plague (not as close to as cool as mine!) http://www.themiddleages.net/plague.html

  9. on May 1, 2010 at 12:49 amlacey cirtwell Said:

    just finished the website! Check it out! NOW!

  10. on May 2, 2010 at 12:34 amlacey cirtwell Said:

    i got done upgrading it. it even has an arcade! all i have to do is finished writing the information for it. its about bubonic plague

  11. on May 2, 2010 at 7:51 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    have you checked out the website yet? you should. Its AWESOME!

  12. on May 2, 2010 at 11:02 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    MRS CHENEY
    have u checked out the website? u should! like NOW!

  13. on May 3, 2010 at 12:58 amlacey cirtwell Said:

    MRS CHENEY! CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE!

  14. on May 4, 2010 at 12:55 amTyler Bell Said:

    Castles were dark and cold, but everyone wanted to live in them. Castles offered protection from enemies. But castles were too expensive for everyone to live in. It could cost thousands of dollars to build just part of a castle. The workers might have had to destroy whole forests to build part of a castle. During the 10th century, lords began to build castles out of stone.

    There were many different kinds of castles. Castles were in lots of different countries. There were castles in Spain, Germany, Britain, Japan, and many more countries. They all had different styles.

  15. on May 4, 2010 at 11:52 pmlacey cirtwell Said:

    Hey. Has ANYONE checked out my website? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check out my website!

  16. on May 12, 2010 at 10:56 pmashley Said:

    I know we already did it but i leared a lot. I found out that the keep is the highest and safest place in the castle. Also the curtin wall is the outside wall.Also most castles had usually a small little town inside. From the book we are reading in language arts i know that hanggings were one form of having fun. Women also got sold of like pigs.

  17. on May 27, 2010 at 9:55 pmJakob Dillenbeck Said:

    The castles were bilt out of wood but and then they would make stone castles. The stone castles had sarp eges this was bad because when they got atacked the castle could be easely destroyed until they mad castles with rounded corners.

  18. on June 7, 2010 at 3:51 pmCassie Said:

    MrsCheney
    please post some new stuff on the blog(pritty please with sugar on top)

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