Living in a Medieval Castle

Medieval Castle ~ purpose & design

In its simplest terms, the most accepted definition of a castle is "a private fortified residence". The only form of government was a Monarchy where the king or queen ruled by "divine right". That just meant the people believed that God had appointed the king or queen to rule with absolute power. That King or Queen needed a safe castle to live and rule from!

The Basics of a Medieval Era Castle
  • Castles belonged to the wealthy, important, and powerful people kings, nobles, and knights.
  • Castles were designed to be difficult to attack and easy to defend. Castles protected owners from rivals, invaders and the local citizens.
  • Castles were symbols of status during times of war and peace.
  • Castles were the seats of local power and justice.
  • Early castles were built in the 9th and 10th centuries and were constructed of earth and wood and were usually built on higher ground.
  • Castles from the 11th century and later were always built of rock and stones on high ground and often surrounded by water such as a lake of wide, deep water, called a moat.
  • Stone castles had massive walls that were between 15 and 20 feet thick.

medieval castle layout