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A castle of square plan surrounded by a water-filled moat. It has round corner towers and a forbidding appearance.
Bodiam Castle in England

A castle (from Latin castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a fortress, which was not a home, and from a fortified town, which was a public defence. The term has been popularly applied to structures as diverse as hill forts and country houses. Over the approximately 900 years that castles were built they took on a great many forms with many different features, although some, such as curtain walls and arrowslits, were commonplace.

A European innovation, castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries, after the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in its territory being divided among individual lords and princes. Castles controlled the area immediately surrounding them, and were both offensive and defensive structures; they provided a base from which raids could be launched as well as protection from enemies. Although their military origins are often emphasised in castle studies, the structures also served as centres of administration and symbols of power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes, and rural castles were often situated near architectural and natural features that were integral to life in the community, such as mills and fertile land.

Many castles were originally built from earth and timber, but had their defences replaced later by stone. Early castles often exploited natural defences, and lacked features such as towers and arrowslits and relied on a central keep. In the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to castle defence emerged. This led to the proliferation of towers, with an emphasis on flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defence – several stages of defence within each other that could all function at the same time to maximise the castle's firepower. These changes in defence have been attributed to a mixture of castle technology from the Crusades, such as concentric fortification, and inspiration from earlier defences such as Roman forts. Not all the elements of castle architecture were military in nature, and devices such as moats evolved from their original purpose of defence into symbols of power. Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to impress and dominate their landscape.

Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not significantly affect castle building until the 15th century, when artillery became powerful enough to break through stone walls. While castles continued to be built well into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. As a result, true castles went into decline and were replaced by artillery forts with no role in civil administration, and country houses that were indefensible. From the 18th century onwards, there was a renewed interest in castles with the construction of mock castles, part of a romantic revival of Gothic architecture, but they had no military purpose.

Contents

Definition

Etymology

A keep seen from a river, rising behind a gate. The keep is large, square in plan, and has four corner towers, three square and one round, all topped by lead cupolas
The Norman "White Tower", the keep of the Tower of London, exemplifies all uses of a castle: city defence, a residence, and a place of refuge in times of crisis. In this view from the Thames, the keep rises behind the Traitor's Gate.

The word castle is derived from the Latin word castellum which is a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, and a number of other words in other languages also derive from castellum.[1] The word castle was introduced into English shortly before the Norman Conquest to denote this type of building, which was then new to England.[2] Although these various terms derive from the same root, they are not universally applied to the same types of structures. For example, the French château is used to describe a grand country house at the heart of an estate, regardless of the presence of fortifications.[3]

Defining characteristics

In its simplest terms, the definition of a castle accepted amongst academics is "a private fortified residence".[4] This contrasts with earlier fortifications, such as Anglo Saxon burhs and walled cities such as Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East; castles were not communal defences but were built and owned by the local feudal lords, either for themselves or for their monarch.[5] Feudalism was the link between a lord and his vassal where, in return for military service, the lord would grant the vassal land and expect loyalty.[6] In the late 20th century, there was a trend to refine the definition of a castle by including the criterion of feudal ownership, thus tying castles to the medieval period, however, this does not necessarily reflect the terminology used in the medieval period. During the First Crusade (1096–1099) the Frankish armies encountered walled settlements and forts that they indiscriminately referred to as castles, but which would not be considered as such under the modern definition.[4]

A castle, seen at the end of a long avenue, lit pink by the sunset. The castle gives an impression of tremendous size, and has an imposing, twin-towered gatehouse and, to the left, a large round keep.
Windsor Castle in England was first built as a fortification of the Norman Conquest, and today is one of the principal official residences of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

Castles served a range of purposes, the most important of which were military, administrative, and domestic. As well as defensive structures, castles were also offensive tools which could be used as a base of operations in enemy territory. Castles were established by Norman invaders of England for both defensive purposes and to pacify the country's inhabitants.[7] As William the Conqueror advanced through England , he fortified key positions to secure the land he had taken. Between 1066 and 1087 he established 36 castles such as Warwick Castle, which he used to guard against rebellion in the English Midlands.[8][9] Towards the end of the Middle Ages, castles tended to lose their military significance due to the advent of powerful cannons and permanent artillery fortifications;[10] as a result, castles became more important as residences and statements of power.[11]

Sometimes misapplied, the term castle has also been erroneously used to refer to structures such as Iron Age fortifications, for example Maiden Castle, Dorset.[12] A castle could act as a stronghold and prison but was also a place where a knight or lord could entertain his peers. Over time the aesthetics of the design became more important, as the castle's appearance and size began to reflect the prestige and power of its occupant. Comfortable homes were often fashioned within their fortified walls. Although castles still provided protection from low levels of violence in later periods, eventually they were succeeded by country houses as high status residences.[13] It is generally accepted that castles are confined to Europe, where they originated, and the Middle East, where they were introduced by European Crusaders;[14] however, there were analogous structures in Japan built in the 16th and 17th centuries that evolved independently from European influence and which, according to military historian Stephen Turnbull, had "a completely different developmental history, were built in a completely different way and were designed to withstand attacks of a completely different nature".[15]

Common features

Motte

A small castle comprising a round keep surrounded by a tall encircling wall on top of a man-made hill
The wooden palisades surmounting mottes were often later replaced with stone, as in this example at Château de Gisors in France.

A motte was an earthen mound with a flat top. It was often artificial, although sometimes it incorporated a pre-existing feature of the landscape. The excavation of earth for the mound left a ditch around the motte, which acted as a further defence. Sometimes a nearby stream was diverted to flood the ditch, creating a moat. "Motte" and "moat" derive from the same Old French word, indicating that the features were originally associated and depended on each other for their construction. Although the motte is usually associated with the bailey to form a motte-and-bailey castle, this was not always the case and there are instances where a motte existed on its own. "Motte" refers to the mound alone, but it was often surmounted by a fortified structure, such as a keep, and the flat top would be surrounded by a palisade.[16] It was common for the motte to be accessed via a flying bridge (a bridge over the ditch from the counterscarp of the ditch around the motte to the edge of the top of the mound), as represented by the Bayeux Tapestry's depiction of Château de Dinan.[17] Sometimes a motte covered an older castle or hall, whose rooms became underground storage areas and prisons beneath a new keep.[18]

Bailey and enceinte

A bailey, also called a ward, was a fortified enclosure. It was a common feature of castles, and most had at least one. The keep on top of the motte was the domicile of the lord in charge of the castle and a bastion of last defence, while the bailey was the home of the rest of the lord's household and gave them protection. The barracks for the garrison, stables, workshops, and storage facilities were often found in the bailey. Water was supplied by a well or cistern. Over time the focus of high status accommodation shifted from the keep to the bailey; this resulted in the creation of another bailey that separated the high status buildings – such as the lord's chambers and the chapel – from the everyday structures such as the workshops and barracks.[19] From the late 12th century there was a trend for knights to move out of the small houses they had previously occupied within the bailey to live in fortified houses in the countryside.[20] Although often associated with the motte-and-bailey type of castle, baileys could also be found as independent defensive structures. These simple fortifications were called ringworks.[21] The enceinte was the castle's main defensive enclosure, and the terms "bailey" and "enceinte" are linked. A castle could have several baileys but only one enceinte. Castles with no keep, which relied on their outer defences for protection, are sometimes called enceinte castles;[22] these were the earliest form of castles, before the keep was introduced in the 10th century.[23]

Keep

A keep was a great tower and usually the most strongly defended point of a castle before the introduction of concentric defence. "Keep" was not a term used in the medieval period – the term was applied from the 16th century onwards – instead "donjon" was used to refer to great towers,[24] or turris in Latin. In motte-and-bailey castles, the keep was on top of the motte.[16] "Dungeon" is a corrupted form of "donjon" and means a dark, unwelcoming prison.[25] Although often the strongest part of a castle and a last place of refuge if the outer defences fell, the keep was not left empty in case of attack but was used as a residence by the lord who owned the castle, or his guests or representatives.[26] At first this was usual only in England, when after the Norman Conquest of 1066 the "conquerors lived for a long time in a constant state of alert";[27] elsewhere the lord's wife presided over a separate residence (domus, aula or mansio in Latin) close to the keep, and the donjon was a barracks and headquarters. Gradually, the two functions merged into the same building, and the highest residential storeys had large windows; as a result for many structures, it is difficult to find an appropriate term.[28] The massive internal spaces seen in many surviving donjons can be misleading; they would have been divided into several rooms by light partitions, as in a modern office building. Even in some large castles the great hall was separated only by a partition from the lord's "chamber", his bedroom and to some extent his office.[29]

Curtain wall

An angle view of the exterior walls of a fortified city
Carcassonne, France, showing the classic features of the curtain walls, defensive ditch with arched bridge, and cylindrical flanking towers, with a gatehouse and additional wooden defensive structures, here defending a walled city

Curtain walls were defensive walls enclosing a bailey. They had to be high enough to make scaling the walls with ladders difficult and thick enough to withstand bombardment from siege engines which, from the 15th century onwards, included artillery. A typical wall could be 3 m (10 ft) wide and 12 m (39 ft) tall, although sizes varied greatly between castles. To protect them from undermining, curtain walls were sometimes given a stone skirt around their bases. Walkways along the tops of the curtain walls allowed defenders to rain missiles on enemies below, and battlements gave them further protection. Curtain walls were studded with towers to allow enfilading fire along the wall.[30] Arrowslits in the walls did not become common in Europe until the 13th century, for fear that they might compromise the wall's strength.[31]

Moat

A moat was a defensive ditch with steep sides, and could be either dry or filled with water. Its purpose was twofold; to stop devices such as siege towers from reaching the curtain wall and to prevent the walls from being undermined. Water moats were found in low-lying areas and were usually crossed by a drawbridge, although these were often replaced by stone bridges. Fortified islands could be added to the moat, adding another layer of defence. Water defences, such as moats or natural lakes, had the benefit of dictating the enemy's approach to the castle.[32] The site of the 13th-century Caerphilly Castle in Wales covers over 30 acres (12 ha) and the water defences, created by flooding the valley to the south of the castle, are some of the largest in Western Europe.[33]

Gatehouse

The entrance was often the weakest part in a circuit of defences. To overcome this, the gatehouse was developed, allowing those inside the castle to control the flow of traffic. In earth and timber castles, the gateway was usually the first feature to be rebuilt in stone. The front of the gateway was a blind spot and to overcome this, projecting towers were added on each side of the gate in a style similar to that developed by the Romans.[34] The gatehouse contained a series of defences to make a direct assault more difficult than battering down a simple gate. Typically, there was one or more portcullis – a wooden grille reinforced with metal to block a passage – and arrowslits to allow defenders to harry the enemy. The passage through the gatehouse was lengthened to increase the amount of time an assailant had to spend under fire and unable to retaliate in a confined space .[35] It is a popular myth that so-called murder-holes – openings in the ceiling of the gateway passage – were used to pour boiling oil or molten lead on attackers; the price of oil and lead, and the distance of the gatehouse from fires meant that this was completely impractical. They were most likely used like machicolations, to drop objects on attackers, or to allow water to be poured on fires to extinguish them.[36] Provision was made in the upper storey of the gatehouse for accommodation so the gate was never left undefended, although this arrangement later evolved to become more comfortable at the expense of defence.[37]

During the 13th and 14th centuries the barbican was developed.[38] This consisted of a rampart, ditch and possibly a tower, in front of the gatehouse[39] which could be used to further protect the entrance. The purpose of a barbican was not just to provide another line of defence but also to dictate the only approach to the gate.[40]

Other features

Battlements were most often found surmounting curtain walls and the tops of gatehouses, and comprised several elements: crenellations, hoardings, machicolations, and loopholes. Crenellation is the collective name for alternating crenels and merlons: gaps and solid blocks on top of a wall. Hoardings were wooden constructs that projected beyond the wall, allowing defenders to shoot at, or drop objects on attackers at the base of the wall without having to lean perilously over the crenellations, thereby exposing themselves to retaliatory fire. Machicolations were stone projections on top of a wall with openings that allowed objects to be dropped on an enemy at the base of the wall in a similar fashion to hoardings.[41] Arrowslits, also commonly called loopholes, were narrow vertical openings in defensive walls which allowed arrows or crossbow bolts to be fired on attackers. The narrow slits were intended to protect the defender by providing a very small target, but the size of the opening could also impede the defender if it was too small. A smaller horizontal opening could be added to give an archer a better view for aiming.[42] Sometimes a sally port was included; this could allow the garrison to leave the castle and engage besieging forces.[43]

History

Antecedents

Historian Charles Coulson states that the accumulation of wealth and resources, such as food, led to the need for defensive structures. The earliest fortifications originated in the Fertile Crescent, the Indus Valley, Egypt, and China where settlements were protected by large walls. Northern Europe was slower than the East to develop defensive structures and it was not until the Bronze Age that hill forts were developed, which then proliferated across Europe in the Iron Age. These structures differed from their eastern counterparts in that they used earthworks rather than stone as a building material.[44] Many earthworks survive today, along with evidence of palisades to accompany the ditches. In Europe, oppida emerged in the 2nd century BC; these were densely inhabited fortified settlements, such as the oppidum of Manching, and developed from hill forts.[45] The Romans encountered fortified settlements such as hill forts and oppida when expanding their territory into northern Europe.[45] Although primitive, they were often effective, and were only overcome by the extensive use of siege engines and other siege warfare techniques, such as at the Battle of Alesia. The Romans' own fortifications (castra) varied from simple temporary earthworks thrown up by armies on the move, to elaborate permanent stone constructions, notably the milecastles of Hadrian's Wall. Roman forts were generally rectangular with rounded corners – a "playing-card shape".[46]

Origins and early castles

Castles had their origins in the 9th and 10th centuries. This period saw the emergence of a social and military elite in the Carolingian Empire and the development of mounted fighting. Fighting on horseback was a costly and time-consuming endeavour, requiring specialised equipment and trained horses. For their efforts, knights were granted land by the lords for whom they fought. The link between knight and lord was the basis of feudalism, and could go higher up the social scale with loyalties between lords, dukes, princes, and kings. When the Carolingian Empire collapsed in the 9th and 10th centuries, so did effective centralised administration,[47] and it fell to the landed elite to take control. This led to the privatisation of government, and local lords assumed responsibility for the local economy and justice. Although castles were private buildings, lordship was a public office and the holder had a responsibility to protect his peasants.[48] There is a traditional view that feudalism led to the break-down of society that contributed to the downfall of the Carolingian Empire. However, modern academic opinion is that feudalism was a successor to previous government rather than a rival.[49] The building of a castle sometimes required the permission of the king or other high authority. Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald prohibited the construction of castles without his permission and ordered them all to be destroyed in 864; perhaps the earliest reference to castles being built without permission, breaking the feudal agreement between lord and vassal. However, there are very few castles dated with certainty from the mid-9th century. Converted into a donjon around 950, Châteaux Doué-la-Fontaine in France is the oldest standing castle in Europe.[50]

A section of an embroidered cloth showing a castle on a hilltop being defended by soldiers with spears while two soldiers in armour are attempting to set fire to the palisade
One of the earliest representations of a castle from the Bayeux Tapestry. It depicts attackers of Château de Dinan in France using fire, one of the threats to wooden castles.

Military historian Allen Brown asserts that the breakdown of society associated with the decline of the Carolingian Empire and the subsequent absence of a working state made feudal ties more important. The rise of castles is not solely attributed to defence of the new feudal lords' lands, but as a reaction to attacks by Magyars, Muslims, and Vikings.[47] It is likely that the castle evolved from the practice of fortifying a lordly home. The greatest threat to a lord's home or hall was fire as it was usually a wooden structure. To protect against this, and keep other threats at bay, there were several courses of action available: create encircling earthworks to keep an enemy at a distance; build the hall in stone; or raise it up on an artificial mound, known as a motte, to present an obstacle to attackers.[51] While the concept of ditches, ramparts, and stone walls as defensive measures is ancient, raising a motte to exploit the advantages of height is a medieval innovation.[52] A bank and ditch enclosure was a simple form of defence, and when found without an associated motte is called a ringwork; when the site was in use for a prolonged period, it was sometimes replaced by a more complex structure or enhanced by the addition of a stone curtain wall.[53] Building the hall in stone did not necessarily make it immune to fire as it still had windows and a wooden door. This led to the elevation of windows to the first floor – to make it harder to throw objects in – and to change the entrance from ground floor to first floor. These features are seen in many surviving castle keeps, which were the more sophisticated version of halls and contained the lord's household.[54] Castles were not just used as defensive sites, but also to enhance a lord's control over his lands. They allowed the garrison to control the surrounding area,[55] and formed a centre of administration, providing the lord with a place to hold court.[56]

From 1000 onwards, references to castles in texts such as charters increased greatly. Historians have interpreted this as evidence of a sudden increase in the number of castles in Europe around this time; their interpretation has been supported by archaeological investigation which has dated the construction of castle sites through the examination of ceramics.[57] The increase in Italy began in the 950s, with numbers of castles increasing by a factor of three to five every 50 years, whereas in other parts of Europe such as France and Spain the increase was slower. In 950, Provence was home to 12 castles, by 1000 this figure had risen to 30, and by 1030 it was over 100.[58] Despite the common period in which castles rose to prominence in Europe, their form and design varied from region to region. In the early 11th century, the motte – an artificial mound surmounted by a palisade and tower – was the most common form of castle in Europe, everywhere except Scandinavia.[58] Castles were introduced into England shortly before the Norman Conquest in 1066.[59] The motte and bailey remained the dominant form of castle in England, Wales, and Ireland well into the 12th century.[60] At the same time, castle architecture in mainland Europe became more sophisticated.[61]

A square building of grey stone with narrow vertical slits on the first floor, and wider windows on the second. The top of the castle looks decayed and there is no roof, except over a tower attached to the keep.
Built in 1138, Castle Rising in England is an example of an elaborate donjon.[62]

The donjon[63] was at the centre of this change in castle architecture in the 12th century. Central towers proliferated, and typically had a square plan, with walls 3 to 4 m (9.8 to 13 ft) thick. Their decoration emulated Romanesque architecture, and sometimes incorporated double windows similar to those found in church bell towers. Donjons, which were the residence of the lord of the castle, evolved to become more spacious. The design emphasis of donjons changed to reflect a shift from functional to decorative requirements, imposing a symbol of lordly power upon the landscape. This sometimes led to compromising defence for the sake of display.[61] Historians have interpreted the widespread presence of castles across Europe in the 11th and 12th centuries as evidence that warfare was common, and usually between local lords.[64]

In some countries, before a castle could be built it was necessary to obtain the permission of the king through a licence to crenellate, or else the builder risked it being slighted – deliberately damaged to such an extent that the castle was undefendable. This was not universal as in some countries the monarch had little control over lords, or required the construction of new castles to aid in securing the land so was unconcerned about granting permission – as was the case in England after 1066 and the Holy Land during the Crusades. Switzerland is an extreme case of there being no state control over who built castles, and as a result there were 4,000 in the country. Before the 12th century, castles were as uncommon in Denmark as they had been in England before the Norman Conquest. The introduction of castles to Denmark was a reaction to attacks from Wendish pirates, and they were usually intended as coastal defences.[65]

Innovation and scientific design

Until the 12th century, stone-built and earth and timber castles were contemporary,[66] but by the late 12th century the number of castles being built went into decline. This has been partly attributed to the higher cost of stone-built fortifications, and the obsolescence of timber and earthwork sites, which meant it was preferable to build in more durable stone.[67] Although superseded by their stone successors, timber and earthwork castles were by no means useless.[68] This is evidenced by the continual maintenance of timber castles over long periods, sometimes several centuries; Owain Glyndŵr's 11th-century timber castle at Sycharth was still in use by the start of the 15th century, its structure having been maintained for four centuries.[69][70]

In the late 12th century, there was a change in castle architecture. Until then, castles probably had few towers; a gateway with few defensive features such as arrowslits or a portcullis; a great keep or donjon, usually square and without arrowslits; and the shape would have been dictated by the lay of the land (the result was often irregular or curvilinear structures). The design of castles was not uniform, but these were features that could be found in a typical castle in the mid-12th century.[71] By the end of the 12th century or the early 13th century, a newly constructed castle could be expected to be polygonal in shape, with towers at the corners to provide enfilading fire for the walls. The towers would have protruded from the walls and featured arrowslits on each level to allow archers to target anyone nearing or at the curtain wall. These later castles did not always have a keep, but this may have been because the more complex design of the castle as a whole drove up costs and the keep was sacrificed to save money. The larger towers provided space for habitation to make up for the loss of the donjon. Where keeps did exist, they were no longer square but polygonal or cylindrical. Gateways were more strongly defended, with the entrance to the castle usually between two half-round towers which were connected by a passage above the gateway – although there was great variety in the styles of gateway and entrances – and one or more portcullis.[72]

Two round towers of light yellow stone at the bottom and dark orangy stone at the top on either side of an arched entrance. A bridge leads from the entrance to allow access.
The gatehouse to the inner ward of Beeston Castle, England, was built in the 1220s and has an entrance between two half-round towers.[73]

When seeking to explain this change in the complexity and style of castles, antiquarians found their answer in the Crusades. It seemed that the Crusaders had learned much about fortification from their conflicts with the Saracens and exposure to Byzantine architecture. There were legends such as that of Lalys – an architect from Palestine who reputedly went to Wales after the Crusades and greatly enhanced the castles in the south of the country – and it was assumed that great architects such as James of Saint George originated in the East. However, in the mid-20th century this view was cast into doubt. Legends were discredited, and in the case of James of Saint George, it was proven that he came from Saint-Georges-d'Espéranche, in France. If the innovations in fortification had derived from the East, it would have been expected for their influence to be seen from 1100 onwards, immediately after the Christians were victorious in the First Crusade (1096–1099), rather than nearly 100 years later.[74] Remains of Roman structures in Western Europe were still upstanding in many places, some of which had flanking round-towers and entrances between two flanking towers. The castle builders of Western Europe were aware of and influenced by Roman design; late Roman coastal forts on the English "Saxon Shore" were reused and in Spain the wall around the city of Ávila imitated Roman architecture when it was built in 1091.[74] It has been argued – by historian Smail in Crusading warfare – that the case for the influence of Eastern fortification on the West has been overstated, and that Crusaders of the 12th century in fact learned very little about scientific design from Byzantine and Saracen defences.[75] A well-sited castle that made use of natural defences and had strong ditches and walls had no need for a scientific design. An example of this approach is Karak Castle. Although there were no scientific elements to its design, it was almost impregnable, and in 1187 Saladin chose to lay siege to the castle and starve out its garrison rather than risk an assault.[75]

After the First Crusade, Crusaders who did not return to their homes in Europe helped found the Crusader states of the principality of Antioch, the County of Edessa, the Kingdom of Jerusalem, and the County of Tripoli. The castles they founded to secure their acquisitions were designed mostly by Syrian master-masons. Their design was very similar to a Roman fort or Byzantine tetrapyrgia which were square in plan and had square towers at each corner that did not project much beyond the curtain wall. The keep of these Crusader castles would have had a square plan and generally be undecorated.[76] While castles were used to hold a site and control movement of armies, in the Holy Land some key strategic positions were left unfortified.[77] Castle architecture in the East became more complex around the late 12th and early 13th centuries after the stalemate of the Third Crusade (1189–1192). Both Christians and Muslims created fortifications, and the character of each was different. Saphadin, the 13th-century ruler of the Saracens, created structures with large rectangular towers that influenced Muslim architecture and were copied again and again, however they had little influence on Crusader castles.[78]

A stone castle with two high curtain walls, one within the other. They are crenelated and studded with projecting towers, both rectangular and rounded. The castle is on a promontory high above the surrounding landscape.
Krak des Chevaliers is a concentric castle built with both rectangular and rounded towers. It is one of the best-preserved Crusader castles.[79]

In the early 13th century, Crusaders' castles were mostly built by Military Orders, such as the Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, and Knights of the Teutonic Order. They were responsible for the foundation of sites such as Krak des Chevaliers, Margat, and Belvoir. The forms of the castles varied not just between orders, but individually from castle to castle, although it was common for those founded in this period to have concentric defences.[80] The concept, which originated in castles such as Krak des Chevaliers, was to remove the reliance on a central strongpoint and to emphasise the defence of the curtain walls. There would be more than one ring of defensive walls, one inside the other, with the inner ring rising above the outer so that its field of fire was not completely obscured. If assailants made it past the first line of defences into the outer enclosure, they would be caught in the killing ground between the inner and outer walls and have to assault the second wall to secure the fall of the castle.[81] Concentric castles were widely copied across Europe, for instance when Edward I of England – who had himself been on Crusade – built castles in Wales in the late 13th century, four of the eight he founded were concentric.[80][81] Not all the features of the Crusader castles from the 13th century were emulated in Europe; for instance, it was common in Crusader castles to have the entrance in the side of a tower and for there to be two turns in the passageway, lengthening the time it took for someone to reach the outer enclosure. It is rare for this feature to be found in Europe.[80]

It was common for castles in the East to have arrowslits in the curtain wall at multiple levels; contemporary builders in Europe were wary of this as they believed it weakened the wall. Arrowslits did not compromise the wall's strength, but it was not until Edward I's programme of castle building that they were widely adopted in Europe.[31] The Crusades also led to the introduction of machicolations into Western architecture. Until the 13th century, the tops of towers had been surrounded by wooden galleries, allowing defenders to drop objects on assailants below. Although machicolations performed the same purpose as the wooden galleries, they were probably an Eastern invention rather than an evolution of the wooden form. Machicolations were used in the East long before the arrival of the Crusaders, and perhaps as early as the first half of the 8th century in Syria.[82]

Although France has been described as "the heartland of medieval architecture", the English were at the forefront of castle architecture in the 12th century. French historian Francois Gebelin writes:[83] "The great revival in military architecture was led, as one would naturally expect, by the powerful kings and princes of the time; by the sons of William the Conqueror and their descendants, the Plantagenets, when they became dukes of Normandy. These were the men who built all the most typical twelfth-century fortified castles remaining to-day".[84] Despite this, by the beginning of the 15th century, the rate of castle construction in England and Wales went into decline. The new castles were generally of a lighter build than earlier structures and presented few innovations, although strong sites were still created such as that of Raglan in Wales. At the same time, French castle architecture came to the fore and led the way in the field of medieval fortifications. Across Europe – particularly the Baltic, Germany, and Scotland – castles were built well into the 16th century.[85]

Advent of gunpowder

A three-storey stone structure with smooth walls and a roughly cut base. The walls are angular and have openings.
The angled bastion, as used in Copertino Castle in Italy, was developed around 1500. First used in Italy, it allowed the evolution of artillery forts that eventually took over the military role of castles.

Artillery powered by gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 1320s and spread quickly. Handguns, which were initially unpredictable and inaccurate weapons, were not recorded until the 1380s.[86] Castles were adapted to allow small artillery pieces – averaging between 19.6 and 22 kg (43 and 49 lb) – to fire from towers. These guns were too heavy for a man to carry and fire, but if he supported the butt end and rested the muzzle on the edge of the gun port he could fire the weapon. The gun ports developed in this period show a unique feature, that of a horizontal timber across the opening. A hook on the end of the gun could be latched over the timber so the gunner did not have to take the full recoil of the weapon. This adaptation is found across Europe, and although the timber rarely survives, there is an intact example at Castle Doornenburg in the Netherlands. Gunports were keyhole shaped, with a circular hole at the bottom for the weapon and a narrow slit on top to allow the gunner to aim.[87] This form is very common in castles adapted for guns, found in Egypt, Italy, Scotland, and Spain, and elsewhere in between. Other types of port, though less common, were horizontal slits – allowing only lateral movement – and large square openings, which allowed greater movement.[87] The use of guns for defence gave rise to artillery castles, such as that of Château de Ham in France. Defences against guns were not developed until a later stage.[88] Ham is an example of the trend for new castles to dispense with earlier features such as machicolations, tall towers, and crenellations.[89]

Bigger guns were developed, and in the 15th century became an alternative to siege engines such as the trebuchet. The benefits of large guns over trebuchets – the most effective siege engine of the Middle Ages before the advent of gunpowder – were those of a greater range and power. In an effort to make them more effective, guns were made ever bigger. By the 1450s guns were the preferred siege weapon, and their effectiveness was demonstrated by Mehmed II at the Fall of Constantinople.[90] The response towards more effective cannons was to build thicker walls and to prefer round towers, as the curving sides were more likely to deflect a shot than a flat surface. While this sufficed for new castles, pre-existing structures had to find a way to cope with being battered by cannon. An earthen bank could be piled behind a castle's curtain wall to absorb some of the shock of impact.[91] Often, castles constructed before the age of gunpowder were incapable of using guns as their wall-walks were too narrow. A solution to this was to pull down the top of a tower and to fill the lower part with the rubble to provide a surface for the guns to fire from. Lowering the defences in this way had the effect of making them easier to scale with ladders. A more popular alternative defence, which avoided damaging the castle, was to establish bulwarks beyond the castle's defences. These could be built from earth or stone and were used to mount weapons.[92]

Around 1500, the innovation of the angled bastion was developed in Italy.[93] With developments such as these, Italy pioneered permanent artillery fortifications, which took over from the defensive role of castles. From this evolved star forts, also known as trace italienne.[10] The elite responsible for castle construction had to choose between the new type that could withstand cannon-fire and the earlier, more elaborate style. The first was ugly and uncomfortable and the latter was less secure, although it did offer greater aesthetic appeal and value as a status symbol. The second choice proved to be more popular as it became apparent that there was little point in trying to make the site genuinely defensible in the face of cannon.[94]

A low, two-storey building with a crenellated frontage. A four-storey crenellated tower is in the centre of the frontage.
Fortaleza Ozama in the Dominican Republic was the first castle built in the Americas.

Some true castles were built in the Americas by the Spanish, English, and French colonies. The first stage of Spanish fort construction has been termed the "castle period", which lasted from 1492 until the end of the 16th century.[95] Starting with Fortaleza Ozama, "these castles were essentially European medieval castles transposed to America".[96] Among other defensive structures (including forts and citadels), castles were also built in New France towards the end of the 17th century.[96] In Montreal the artillery was not as developed as on the battle-fields of Europe, some of the region's outlying forts were built like the fortified manor houses of France. Fort Longueuil, built from 1695–1698 by a baronial family, has been described as "the most medieval-looking fort built in Canada".[97] The manor house and stables were within a fortified bailey, with a tall round turret in each corner. The "most substantial castle-like fort" near Montréal was Fort Senneville, built in 1692 with square towers connected by thick stone walls, as well as a fortified windmill.[98] Stone forts such as these served as defensive residences, as well as imposing structures to prevent Iroquois incursions.[99]

Although castle construction faded towards the 16th century, castles did not necessarily all fall out of use. Some retained a role in local administration and became law courts, while others are still handed down in aristocratic families as hereditary seats. A particularly famous example of this is Windsor Castle in England which was founded in the 11th century and is home to the monarch of the United Kingdom.[100] In other cases they still had a role in defence. Tower houses, which are closely related to castles and include pele towers, were defended towers that were permanent residences built in the 14th to 17th centuries. Especially common in Ireland and Scotland, they could be up to five storeys high and succeeded common enclosure castles and were built by a greater social range of people. While unlikely to provide as much protection as a more complex castle, they offered security against raiders and other small threats.[101][102]

Later use and revival castles

A castle of fairy-tale appearance sitting high on a ridge above a wooded landscape. The walls are of pale stone, the roofs are of steep pitch and there are a number of small towers and turrets.
Neuschwanstein is a 19th-century neo-romantic castle built by Ludwig II of Bavaria.

According to archaeologists Oliver Creighton and Robert Higham, "the great country houses of the seventeenth to twentieth centuries were, in a social sense, the castles of their day".[103] Although there was a trend for the elite to move from castles into country houses in the 17th century, castles were not completely useless. In later conflicts, such as the English Civil War (1641–1651), many castles were refortified, although subsequently slighted to prevent them from being used again.[104]

Revival or mock castles became popular as a manifestation of a Romantic interest in the Middle Ages and chivalry, and as part of the broader Gothic Revival in architecture. Examples of these castles include Chapultepec in Mexico,[105] Neuschwanstein in Germany,[106] and Edwin Lutyens' Castle Drogo (1911–1930) – the last flicker of this movement in the British Isles.[107] While churches and cathedrals in a Gothic style could faithfully imitate medieval examples, new country houses built in a "castle style" differed internally to their medieval predecessors. This was because to be faithful to medieval design would have left the houses cold and dark by contemporary standards.[108]

Artificial ruins, built to resemble remnants of historic edifices, were also a hallmark of the period. They were usually built as centre pieces in aristocratic planned landscapes. Follies were similar, although they differed from artificial ruins in that they were not part of a planned landscape, but rather seemed to have no reason for being built. Both drew on elements of castle architecture such as castellation and towers, but served no military purpose and were solely for display.[109]

Construction

A half finished circular tower with scaffolding near the top. There are holes in the tower and workers on top.
Construction of a large tower, with scaffolding and masons at work. The holes mark the position of the scaffolding in earlier stages of construction.

Once the site of a castle had been selected – whether a strategic position or one intended to dominate the landscape as a mark of power – the building material had to be selected. An earth and timber castle was cheaper and easier to erect than one built from stone. The costs involved in construction are not well-recorded, and most surviving records relate to royal castles.[110] A castle with earthen ramparts, a motte, and timber defences and buildings could have been constructed by an unskilled workforce. The source of man-power was probably from the local lordship, and the tenants would already have the necessary skills of felling trees, digging, and working timber necessary for an earth and timber castle. Possibly coerced into working for their lord, the construction of an earth and timber castle would not have been a drain on a client's funds. In terms of time, it has been estimated that an average sized motte – 5 m (16 ft) high and 15 m (49 ft) wide at the summit – would have taken 50 people about 40 working days. An exceptionally expensive motte and bailey was that of Clones in Ireland, built in 1211 for £20. The high cost, relative to other castles of its type, was because labourers had to be imported.[110]

The cost of building a castle varied according to factors such as their complexity and transport costs for material. It is certain that stone castles cost a great deal more than those built from earth and timber. Even a very small tower, such as Peveril Castle, would have cost around £200. In the middle were castles such as Orford, which was built in the late 12th century for £1,400, and at the upper end were those such as Dover, which cost about £7,000 between 1112 and 1191.[111] Spending on the scale of the vast castles such as Château Gaillard (an estimated £15,000 to £20,000 between 1196 and 1198) was easily supported by The Crown, but for lords of smaller areas, castle building was a very serious and costly undertaking. It was usual for a stone castle to take the best part of a decade to finish. The cost of a large castle built over this time (anywhere from £1,000 to £10,000) would take the income from several manors, severely impacting a lord's finances.[112] Costs in the late 13th century were of a similar order, with castles such as Beaumaris and Rhuddlan costing £14,500 and £9,000 respectively. Edward I's campaign of castle-building in Wales cost £80,000 between 1277 and 1304, and £95,000 between 1277 and 1329.[113] Renowned designer Master James of Saint George, responsible for the construction of Beaumaris, explained the cost:

In case you should wonder where so much money could go in a week, we would have you know that we have needed – and shall continue to need 400 masons, both cutters and layers, together with 2,000 less skilled workmen, 100 carts, 60 wagons and 30 boats bringing stone and sea coal; 200 quarrymen; 30 smiths; and carpenters for putting in the joists and floor boards and other necessary jobs. All this takes no account of the garrison ... nor of purchases of material. Of which there will have to be a great quantity ... The men's pay has been and still is very much in arrears, and we are having the greatest difficulty in keeping them because they have simply nothing to live on.[114]

Not only were stone castles expensive to build in the first place, but their maintenance was a constant drain. They contained a lot of timber, which was often unseasoned and as a result needed careful upkeep. For example, it is documented that in the late 12th century repairs at castles such as Exeter and Gloucester cost between £20 and £50 annually.[115]

Medieval machines and inventions, such as the treadwheel crane, became indispensable during construction, and techniques of building wooden scaffolding were improved upon from Antiquity.[116] Finding stone for shell keeps and castle walls was the first concern of medieval builders, and a prominent concern was to have quarries close at hand.[117] There are examples of some castles where stone was quarried on site, such as Chinon, Château de Coucy and Château Gaillard.[117]

Brick-built structures were not necessarily weaker than their stone-built counterparts. In England, brick production proliferated along the south-east coast due to an influx of Flemish weavers and a reduction in the amount of available stone, leading to a demand for an alternative building material. Brick castles are less common than stone or earth and timber constructions, and often it was chosen for its aesthetic appeal or because it was in fashion, encouraged by the brick architecture of the Low Countries. For example, when Tattershall Castle was built between 1430 and 1450, there was plenty of stone available nearby, but the owner, Lord Cromwell, chose to use brick. About 700,000 bricks were used to built the castle, which has been described as "the finest piece of medieval brick-work in England".[118] Many countries had both timber and stone castles,[119] however Denmark had few quarries, and as a result, most of its castles are earth and timber affairs, or later on built from brick.[120] Also, most Spanish castles were built from stone, whereas castles in Eastern Europe were usually of timber construction.[121]

An orange brick castle with a curtain wall and a central keep. The site is surrounded by water. The gateway is flanked by two round towers with high peaked roofs. Aside from the keep, there is another building within the castle rising above the curtain wall.
The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork, Poland, is an example of brick-built castle and was built in a style different to that of castles in Western Europe and the Near East.[122]

Social centre

A young woman in a medieaval-style dress of cream satin ties a red scarf to the arm of a man in armour and mounted on a horse. The scene is set at the portal of a castle.
God Speed! by Edmund Blair Leighton, 1900: a late Victorian view of a lady giving a favour to a knight about to do battle

Due to the lord's presence in a castle, it was a centre of administration from where he controlled his lands. He relied on the support of those below him, as without the support of his more powerful tenants, a lord could expect his power to be weakened. Successful lords regularly held court with those immediately below them on the social scale, but absentee lords found their power weakened. Larger lordships could be vast, and it would be impractical for a lord to visit all his properties regularly so deputies were appointed. This especially applied to royalty, who sometimes owned land in different countries.[123] To allow the lord to concentrate on his duties regarding administration, he had a household of servants to take care of chores such as providing food. The household was run by a chamberlain, while a treasurer took care of the estate's written records. Royal households took essentially the same form as baronial households, although on a much larger scale and the positions were more prestigious.[124] An important role of the household servants was the preparation of food; the castle kitchens would have been a busy place when the castle was occupied, called on to provide large meals.[125] Without the presence of a lord's household, usually because he was staying elsewhere, a castle would have been a quiet place with few residents, focused on maintaining the castle.[126] As social centres castles were important places for display. Builders took the opportunity to draw on symbolism to evoke a sense of chivalry that was aspired to in the Middle Ages amongst the elite through the use of motifs. Later structures of the Romantic Revival would draw on elements of castle architecture such as battlements for the same purpose. Castles have been compared with cathedrals as objects of architectural pride, and some castles incorporated gardens as ornamental features.[127] The right to crenellate, when granted by a monarch – though it was not always necessary – was important not just as it allowed a lord to defend his property but because crenellations and other accoutrements associated with castles were prestigious through their use by the elite.[128]

The purpose of marriage between the medieval elites was to secure land, not for love; girls were married in their teens, but boys did not marry until they came of age.[129] There is a popular conception that women played a peripheral role in the medieval castle household, and that it was dominated by the lord himself. This derives from the image of the castle as a martial institution, but most castles in England, France, Ireland, and Scotland were never involved in conflicts or sieges, so the domestic life is a neglected facet.[130] The lady was given a "marriage portion" of her husband's estates – usually about a third – which was hers for life, and her husband would inherit on her death. It was her duty to administer them directly, as the lord administered his own land.[131] Despite generally being excluded from military service, a woman could be in charge of a castle, either on behalf of her husband or if she was widowed. Because of their influence within the medieval household, women influenced construction and design, sometimes through direct patronage; historian Charles Coulson emphasises the role of women in applying "a refined aristocratic taste" to castles due to their long term residence.[132]

Courtly love was the eroticisation of love between the nobility, who often resided in castles. Emphasis was placed on restraint between lovers. Though sometimes expressed through chivalric events such as tournaments, where knights would fight wearing a token from their lady, it could also be private and conducted in secret. The legend of Tristan and Iseult is one example of stories of courtly love told in the Middle Ages.[133] It was an ideal of love between two people not married to each other, although the man might be married to someone else. It was not uncommon or ignoble for a lord to be adulterous – Henry I of England had over 20 bastards for instance – but for a lady to be promiscuous was seen as dishonourable.[134]

Castle landscapes

As castles were not simply military buildings but centres of administration and symbols of power, they had a significant impact on the landscape around them. Rural castles were often associated with mills and field systems due to their role in managing the lord's estate,[135] which gave them greater influence over resources.[136] Others were adjacent to or in royal forests or deer parks and were important in their maintenance. Fish ponds were a luxury of the lordly elite, and many were found next to castles. Not only were they practical in that they ensured a water supply and fresh fish, but they were a status symbol as they were expensive to build and maintain.[137]

Although sometimes the construction of a castle led to the destruction of a village, such as at Eaton Socon in England, it was more common for the villages nearby to have grown as a result of the presence of a castle. Sometimes planned towns or villages were created around a castle.[135] The benefits of castle building on settlements was not confined to Europe. When the 13th-century Safad Castle was founded in Galilee in the Holy Land, the 260 villages benefitted from the inhabitants' newfound ability to move freely.[138] When built, a castle could result in the restructuring of the local landscape, with roads moved for the convenience of the lord.[139] Settlements grew naturally around a castle, rather than being planned, due to the benefits of proximity to an economic centre in a rural landscape and the safety given by the defences. Not all such settlements survived, as once the castle lost its importance – perhaps succeeded by a manor house as the centre of administration – the benefits of living next to a castle vanished and the settlement depopulated.[140]

During and shortly after the Norman Conquest of England, castles were inserted into important pre-existing towns to control and subdue the populace. They were usually located near any existing town defences, such as Roman walls, although this sometimes resulted in the demolition of structures occupying the desired site. In Lincoln, 166 houses were destroyed to clear space for the castle, and in York agricultural land was flooded to create a moat for the castle. As the military importance of urban castles waned from their early origins, they became more important as centres of administration, and their financial and judicial roles.[141] When the Normans invaded Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in the 11th and 12th centuries, settlement in those countries was predominantly non-urban, and the foundation of towns is often linked with the creation of a castle.[142]

The location of castles in relation to high status features, such as fish ponds, was a statement of power and control of resources. Also often found near a castle, sometimes within its defences, was the parish church.[143] This signified a close relationship between feudal lords and the Church, one of the most important institutions of medieval society.[144] Even elements of castle architecture that have usually been interpreted as military could be used for display. The water features of Kenilworth Castle in England – comprising a moat and several satellite ponds – forced anyone approaching the castle entrance to take a very indirect route, walking around the defences before the final approach towards the gateway.[145] Another example is that of the 14th-century Bodiam Castle, also in England; although it appears to be a state of the art, advance castle it is in a site of little strategic importance, and the moat was shallow and more likely intended to make the site look more impressive than as a defence against mining. The approach was long and took the viewer around the castle, ensuring they got a good look before entering. Moreover, the gunports were impractical and unlikely to have been effective.[146] This also demonstrates that licenses to crenellate were not solely about a desire to defend oneself, but to have proof of a relationship with or favour from the monarch, who was the one responsible for granting permission.[147]

A castle on two islands surrounded by a lake. A stone curtain wall runs along the edge of the first island and access is provided by a stone bridge and gatehouse. The second island has a square stone keep.
The landscape around Leeds Castle in England has been managed since the 13th century. The castle overlooks artificial lakes and ponds and is within a medieval deer park.[148]

Warfare

A tall wooden structure with a throwing arm counter balanced by a large weight

As a static structure, castles could often be avoided, as their immediate area of influence was about 400 metres (1,300 ft) and their weapons had a short range even early in the age of artillery. However, leaving an enemy behind the army would allow them to interfere with communications and to make raids in the landscape to harry the army. Garrisons were expensive and as a result often small unless the castle was important.[149] In peace time garrisons were smaller due to the cost of upkeep, and small castles were manned by perhaps a couple of watchmen and gate-guards. Even in war garrisons were not necessarily large as too large a defending force would impair the castle's ability to withstand a long siege; in 1403 a force of 37 archers successfully defended Caernarfon Castle against two assaults by Owain Glyndŵr's allies during a long siege.[150] Early on, manning a castle was a feudal duty of vassals to their magnates, and magnates to their kings, however this was later replaced with paid forces.[150][151]

If it was necessary to control the castle for strategic reasons, an army could either assault a castle, or lay siege to it. For the most heavily fortified sites, it was more efficient to starve the garrison out than to assault it. Without relief from an outside source, the defending army would eventually submit; but sieges could last weeks, months, and in rare cases years if the supplies of food and water were plentiful. A long siege could slow down the army, allowing help to come or for the enemy to prepare a larger force for later.[152] Such an approach was not confined to castles, but was also applied to the fortified towns of the day.[153] On occasion, siege castles would be built to defend the besiegers from a sudden sally.[154]

If forced to assault a castle, there were many options available to the attackers. For wooden structures, such as early motte-and-baileys, fire was a real threat and attempts would be made to set them on fire.[153] Projectile weapons had been used since antiquity and the mangonel and petraria – from Roman and Eastern origins respectively – were the main two that were used into the Middle Ages. The trebuchet, probably evolved from the petraria in the 13th century, was the most effective siege weapon before the development of cannons. These weapons were vulnerable to fire from the castle as they had a short range and were large machines. Conversely, weapons such as trebuchets could be fired from within the castle due to the high trajectory of its projectile, and would be protected from direct fire by the curtain walls.[155] Eventually cannons developed to the point where they were more powerful and had a greater range than the trebuchet, and became the main weapon in siege warfare.[90] Walls could be undermined by the creation of a sap; a mine would be dug to conceal the attackers' approach to the wall, with wooden supports to prevent the tunnel from collapsing. When the target had been reached, the supports would be burned, caving in the tunnel and bringing down the structure above.[156] Battering rams were also used, usually in the form of a tree trunk given an iron cap. They were used to batter down the castle gates, although they were sometimes used against walls, but with less effect.[157] As an alternative to creating a breach in the walls, an escalade could be attempted to capture the walls, with fighting along the walkways on the curtain walls;[158] in this instance, attackers would be very vulnerable to arrowfire, particularly from crossbows or the English longbow.[159]

See also

References

Notes
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  17. ^ Cathcart King 1988, pp. 55–56.
  18. ^ Barthélemy 1988, p. 397.
  19. ^ Friar 2003, p. 22.
  20. ^ Barthélemy 1988, pp. 408–410, 412–414.
  21. ^ Friar 2003, pp. 214, 216.
  22. ^ Friar 2003, p. 105.
  23. ^ Barthélemy 1988, p. 399.
  24. ^ Friar 2003, p. 163.
  25. ^ Cathcart King 1988, p. 188.
  26. ^ Cathcart King 1988, p. 190.
  27. ^ Barthélemy 1988, p. 402.
  28. ^ Barthélemy 1988, pp. 402–406.
  29. ^ Barthélemy 1988, pp. 416–422.
  30. ^ Friar 2003, p. 86.
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  32. ^ Friar 2003, p. 208.
  33. ^ Friar 2003, pp. 210–211.
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  127. ^ Coulson 1979, pp. 74–76.
  128. ^ Coulson 1979, pp. 84–85.
  129. ^ McNeill 1992, pp. 19–21.
  130. ^ Coulson 2003, p. 382.
  131. ^ McNeill 1992, p. 19.
  132. ^ Coulson 2003, pp. 297–299, 382.
  133. ^ Schultz 2006, pp. xv–xxi.
  134. ^ Gies & Gies 1974, pp. 87–90.
  135. ^ a b Creighton & Higham 2003, pp. 55–56.
  136. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 181–182.
  137. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 184–185.
  138. ^ Smail 1973, p. 90.
  139. ^ Creighton 2002, p. 198.
  140. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 180–181, 217.
  141. ^ Creighton & Higham 2003, pp. 58–59.
  142. ^ Creighton & Higham 2003, pp. 59–63.
  143. ^ Creighton 2002, p. 221.
  144. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 110, 131–132.
  145. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 76–79.
  146. ^ Liddiard 2005, pp. 7–10.
  147. ^ Liddiard 2005, p. 9.
  148. ^ Creighton 2002, pp. 79–80.
  149. ^ Cathcart King 1983, pp. xx–xxiii.
  150. ^ a b Friar 2003, pp. 123–124.
  151. ^ Cathcart King 1988, pp. 15–18.
  152. ^ Liddiard 2005, p. 84.
  153. ^ a b Friar 2003, p. 264.
  154. ^ Friar 2003, p. 263.
  155. ^ Cathcart King 1988, pp. 125–126, 169.
  156. ^ Friar 2003, pp. 254, 262.
  157. ^ Friar 2003, p. 262.
  158. ^ Friar 2003, p. 107.
  159. ^ Cathcart King 1988, p. 127.
Bibliography
  • Allen Brown, Reginald (2004) [1954], Allen Brown's English Castles, Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, ISBN 1843830698 
  • Aurell, Martin (2006), Daniel Power, ed., "Society", The Central Middle Ages: Europe 950–1320, The Short Oxford History of Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press), ISBN 0-19-925312-9 
  • Barthélemy, Dominique (1988), Georges Duby, ed., "Civilizing the fortress: eleventh to fourteenth century", A History of Private Life, Volume II: Revelations of the Medieval World (Belknap Press, Harvard University): 397–423, ISBN 978-0674400016 
  • Buse, Dieter (2005), The Regions of Germany: a reference guide to history and culture, Greenwood Press, ISBN 978-0313324000 
  • Cathcart King, David James (1983), Castellarium Anglicanum: An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands. Volume I: Anglessey–Montgomery, London: Kraus International Publications, ISBN 0-527-50110-7 
  • Cathcart King, David James (1988), The Castle in England and Wales: an Interpretative History, London: Croom Helm, ISBN 0-918400-08-2 
  • Chartrand, René (2005), French Fortresses in North America 1535–1763, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1841767147 
  • Chartrand, René; Spedaliere, Donato (2006), The Spanish Main 1492–1800, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1846030055 
  • Coulson, Charles (1979), "Structural Symbolism in Medieval Castle Architecture", Journal of the British Archaeological Association (London: British Archaeological Association) 132: 73–90 
  • Coulson, Charles (2003), Castles in Medieval Society: Fortresses in England, France, and Ireland in the Central Middle Ages, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-927363-4 
  • Creighton, Oliver (2002), Castles and Landscapes, London: Continuum, ISBN 0-8264-5896-3 
  • Creighton, Oliver; Higham, Robert (2003), Medieval Castles, Shire Archaeology, ISBN 0-7478-0546-6 
  • Cunliffe, Barry (ed) (1998), Prehistoric Europe: An Illustrated History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-288063-2 
  • Duffy, Christopher, Siege Warfare: The Fortress in the Early Modern World 1494–1660, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, ISBN 0-7100-8871-X 
  • Erlande-Brandenburg, Alain (1995), The Cathedral Builders of the Middle Ages, Thames & Hudson Ltd, ISBN 0500300526 ISBN 978-0500300527 
  • Friar, Stephen (2003), The Sutton Companion to Castles, Stroud: Sutton Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7509-3994-2 
  • Gebelin, Francois (1964), The châteaux of France, Presses Universitaires de France 
  • Gies, Joseph; Gies, Frances (1974), Life in a Medieval Castle, New York: Harper & Row, ISBN 0-06-090674-X 
  • Herlihy, David (1970), The History of Feudalism, London: Humanities Press, ISBN 0-391-00901-X 
  • Higham, Robert; Barker, Philip (1992), Timber Castles, London: B. T. Batsford, ISBN 0-7132-2189-4 
  • Liddiard, Robert (2005), Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500, Macclesfield: Windgather Press Ltd, ISBN 0-9545575-2-2 
  • McNeill, Tom (1992), English Heritage Book of Castles, London: English Heritage and B. T. Batsford, ISBN 0-7134-7025-9 
  • Norris, John (2004), Welsh Castles at War, Stroud: Tempus, ISBN 0-7524-2885-3 
  • Schultz, James (2006), Courtly love, the love of courtliness, and the history of sexuality, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 9780226740898 
  • Smail, R. C. (1973), The Crusaders in Syria and the Holy Land, London: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 0-500-02080-9 
  • Stephens, W.B. (ed) (1969), "The castle and castle estate in Warwick", A History of the County of Warwick 8, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16051 
  • Thompson, Michael (1987), The Decline of the Castle, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-32194-8 
  • Turnbull, Stephen (2003), Japanese castles 1540–1640, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1841764290 
  • Ward, Simon (2009), Chester: A History, Chichester: Phillimore, ISBN 978-1-86077-499-7 

Further reading

  • Cathcart King, D. J. (1983). Castellarium Anglicanum: An Index and Bibliography of the Castles in England, Wales and the Islands (two vols). New York: Kraus International Publications. ISBN 0-527-50110-7. 
  • Gravett, Christopher (1990). Medieval Siege Warfare. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-947-8. 
  • Johnson, M. (2002). Behind the Castle Gate: From Medieval to Renaissance. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-26100-7. 
  • Kenyon, J. (1991). Medieval Fortifications. Leicester: Leicester University Press. ISBN 0-7185-1392-4. 
  • Mesqui, Jean (1997). Chateaux-forts et fortifications en France. Paris: Flammarion. ISBN 2080122711. 
  • Monreal Y Tejada, Luis (1999). Medieval Castles of Spain (English ed.). Konemann. ISBN 3829022212. 
  • Morris, Marc (2004). Castle: A History of the Buildings that Shaped Medieval Britain. London: Channel Four Books. ISBN 0752215361. 
  • Pounds, N. J. G. (1994). The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-45828-5. 
  • Thompson, M. W. (1991). The Rise of the Castle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37544-4. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Castle (TV series) article)

From Wikiquote

Castle is an American comedy-drama television series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, produced by ABC Studios. A mid-season replacement, its ten-episode first season premiered on ABC on March 9, 2009.

Contents

Season 1

[1.1] Flowers For Your Grave

Castle: [to his daughter Alexis] I just want someone to like come up to me and say something new.
Beckett: Mr. Castle?
Castle: [turning around holding a pen ready to give an autograph] Where would you like it?
Beckett: [holding badge] Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD. We need to ask you a few questions about a murder that took place earlier tonight.
Alexis: [taking the pen from him] That's new.

Ryan: [pointing to inscription on Castle's book] From the library of Katherine Beckett.
Beckett: Do you have a problem with reading, Ryan?
Esposito: Yo, check it, girl, you're totally a fan!
Beckett: Right? Of the genre?
Ryan: Right, the genre, that's why you're blushing.
Beckett: What are you, twelve?

Castle: [to Beckett] Well, you're not bridge and tunnel. No trace of the boroughs when you talk, so that means Manhattan, that means money. You went to college, probably a pretty good one. You had options. Yeah, you had lots of options, better options, more socially acceptable options, and you still chose this. That tells me something happened. Not to you. No, you're wounded, but you're not that wounded. No, it was somebody you cared about. It was someone you loved. [Beckett's expression drops] And you probably could have lived with that, but the person responsible was never caught. And that, Detective Beckett, is why you're here.
Beckett: Cute trick. Don't think you know me.
Castle: [hesitant] The point is, there's always a story... you just have to find it.

Beckett: Half of the guys are waiting for prints. You don't just jump the line.
Castle: Oh, I think somebody feels threatened.
Beckett: I'm not threatened.
Castle: No, no, I get it. I can call the mayor and you can't.
Beckett: We have procedure. Protocol.
Castle: Yeah, and you always come to a complete stop at a red light and you never fudge your taxes. Tell me something: do you ever have any fun? Let your hair down? Drop your top? A little "cops gone wild"?
Beckett: You do know that I'm wearing a gun?

Beckett: You wanted to see me, sir?
Montgomery: Yeah. I just got a call from the mayor's office. Apparently, you have a fan.
Beckett: A fan, sir?
Montgomery: Rick Castle. Seems he's found the main character for his next set of novels: a tough but savvy female detective.
Beckett: ... I'm flattered?
Montgomery: Don't be. He says he has to do research.
Beckett: Oh no.
Montgomery: Oh yes.
Beckett: No way.
Montgomery: Beckett, listen.
Beckett: Sir, he is like a nine-year-old on a sugar rush, totally incapable of taking anything seriously.
Montgomery: But he did help solve this case. And when the mayor's happy, the commissioner's happy. And when the commissioner's happy, I'm happy.
Beckett: How long, sir?
Montgomery: [motioning to his door] It's up to him.
[Beckett turns to find Castle standing in the doorway, smirking]

[1.2] Nanny McDead

Castle: Three men huddled around a computer... that better not be porn. And if it is, I want in.

Castle: Well, apparently, in an actual homicide, they don't know who did it until the guy gets caught.

Police rep: Mr. Castle, be advised: if you get injured following Detective Beckett to research your next novel, you cannot sue the city. If you get shot, you cannot sue the city. If you get killed...
Castle: My lifeless remains cannot sue the city?

Beckett: Mrs. Peterson? Detective Kate Beckett, NYPD. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about Sarah Manning.
Mrs. Peterson: Of course. Please come in.
Beckett: Thank you.
Castle: Richard Castle, just... N.Y.

Castle: [his murder theory] You see him every day, only you never notice him. But he noticed Sara. She's young, beautiful, the kind of girl that a guy like him would never have a chance with. We all know girls like that don't we? Well, at first, it's just a game. Figure out her schedule. When does she do her laundry? When is she alone? Until it becomes something more, something that he can't control. Well, he uses the stairs, obviously, to avoid the elevator's cameras. And then he just waits, concealed in the shadows. When she comes into that laundry room, he pounces. When he looked into her vacant, lifeless eyes, he wanted to tell her he never meant to kill her. All he ever wanted was to be noticed. That's when he felt the heat of that dryer on his skin. So he picks up her limp body in his arms and gently places it inside. He almost smiled at his good fortune when he found the quarter in his pocket, slipping it into the slot. Buying him the time to do what he does best... disappear.
[pauses, then continues] Just saying, better story. Coffee?

[1.3] Hedge Fund Homeboys

Castle: Who was murdered, and was it gruesome?

Castle: [after getting pinched on the ear by Beckett] Next time, put it on speakerphone.

[1.4] Hell Hath No Fury

Beckett: [interrogating a suspect] Witnesses don't place you in the club until one in the morning, and Horn was murdered between eleven and twelve.
Castle: [watching Beckett from behind one-way glass] Here it comes, and...
Beckett: So, where were you between eleven and twelve, Mr. Creason?
Castle: Booyah.
Creason: I was asleep.
Castle: Asleep? You are lame! [heard from other side of glass] You are so lame! You're a lamey, McLamester! You're so l-l-l- [back in room] LAME!

Castle: [describing his character based on Beckett] She's going to be really smart, very savvy, haunting good looks, really good at her job...and kinda slutty.

Ryan: You're telling me you've lived in New York your whole life, and you've never scored a piece of roadkill?
Esposito: "Roadkill?"
Ryan: It's an accepted practice, bro. You're done with your old stuff, you leave it on the street for those less fortunate. Artists, students, former hedge-fund managers... it's trickle-down economics at its finest.
Esposito: Yeah, well I prefer not to be trickled on.
Ryan: ...you know that red couch I have? The one you like so much?
Esposito: Don't you say it, bro.
Ryan: 54th and Lex.
Esposito: That's gross. Gross. We are never playing Madden at your place again.

Lanie: Getting a drink with me after work instead of getting your freak on with writer boy?
Beckett: What? He is annoying, self-centered, egotistical, and completely-
Lanie: Fun. And take it from me, girlfriend, you need some fun. I mean, how bad can he be?
Beckett: [answers phone] Beckett.
Castle: [excitedly] Guess who's got a date with a prostitute!

Beckett: What kind of a name is "Nikki Heat"?
Castle: A cop name.
Beckett: It's a stripper name.
Castle: Well, I told you she was kind of slutty.
Beckett: Change it, Castle.
Castle: Wait. Hang on a second. Think of the titles. "Summer Heat", "Heat Wave", "In Heat"...
Beckett: Change the name!

[1.5] A Chill Goes Through Her Veins

Beckett: [about a frozen body] She's melting.
Castle: Maybe we should be looking for ruby slippers.

Castle: Alright, so you and I are married.
Beckett: We are not married.
Castle: Relax, it's just pretend.
Beckett: I don't wanna pretend.
Castle: Scared you'll like it?
Beckett: Okay, if we're married, I want a divorce.
': Are you two like this all the time?
Castle & Beckett: Yes.

[parked outside the home of a grandfather who killed his daughter's murderer]
Castle: You could just leave it like this. Sam's dead. The captain's happy. Those kids look pretty happy.
Beckett: That's the difference between a novel and the real world, Castle. A cop doesn't get to decide how the story ends.

Always Buy Retail

Beckett: If she's so bad, why did you have sex with her this morning?
Castle: Let me tell you something about crazy people. The sex is unbelievable.
Beckett: How shallow are you?
Castle: Very.

[hiding behind a kitchen island while getting shot at]

Beckett: [to Castle] Stay down!
Castle: You stay down!
Beckett: If I stay down, I can't shoot him.
Castle: Yeah, and he can't shoot you either!

Home Is Where The Heart Stops

Ryan: Why do you writers always call them "perps?"
Castle: Isn't that what you call them?
Ryan: Ah, we've got a whole lot of names for them. Pipehead, pisshead, orc, creep...
Esposito: ...crook, knucklehead, chucklehead...
Ryan: ...chud, turd...
Esposito: ...destro, scall...
Ryan: ...skexy, slicko, slick...
Esposito: ...mope...
Ryan: ...sleestak...
Castle: [writing in notepad] Slow down, slow down!
Beckett: Suspects. We call them suspects.
Montgomery: I'm old-school. I like "dirtbag."
Castle: Classic.

Beckett: The next time you show up at a crime scene without me, I'll show you how my taser works.
Castle: Promise?

Alexis: My, dad, nervous for a date?
Castle: It's not a date - it's an undercover operation.
Martha: I don't know why you won't tell me where the party is.
Castle: Because you'll show up.

Castle: [after a fistfight] I tried to stay in the car. I really did!

Ghosts

[talking about a poker game]

Judge: [to Beckett] Do us a favor. Beat his pants off.
Castle: Yes, beat my pants off if you dare.

[talking about a poker game]

Beckett: I'm gonna make you hurt.
Castle: Oh, you're gonna get hurt.
Beckett: What are we playing for?
Castle: Pride...or clothing.

Little Girl Lost

Beckett: It's Sunday morning. Shouldn't you be slinking home from a scandalous liaison?
Castle: Wouldn't you be jealous if I were?
Beckett: In your dreams.
Castle: Actually, in my dreams, you're never jealous. In my dreams, you just join-- [Beckett shoves bear claw in Castle's mouth]

Beckett: Oh, do you want to see grumpy? How about the cover art for your new novel?
Castle: Nikki Heat cover art? That's only available to... [Beckett starts walking away] oh my God, you subscribed to my website? Wait a minute... are you Castlefreak1212? Castlelover45?
Beckett: You do realize that most people would be creeped by crazy anonymous fans?
Castle: Like you?
Beckett: It was strictly professional curiosity.
Castle: So what did you think of your alter ego Nikki? Very sweet, right?
Beckett: "Sweet?" She's naked!
Castle: She's not naked! She's holding a gun... strategically.

Beckett: [Castle and Beckett in elevator at the police station] Six months.
Castle: Six months what?
Beckett: [about FBI agent Will Sorenson] We dated for six months.
Castle: I didn't ask.
Beckett: Yeah, I know. You were not asking very loudly.
Castle: I know. I'm like a Jedi like that.

Beckett: Oh, for God's sake. [referring to Sorenson and Castle] Why don't you both just drop your pants and get it over with?
Castle: I'm game.

Sorenson: He's quite a guy. If only he knew how big a fan you really are.
Beckett: Yeah, well, he's not going to know.
Sorenson: You never told him how you stood in line for an hour just to get your book signed? How his novels got you through your mother's death?
Beckett: Is there anything you don't remember?
Sorenson: Not when it comes to you.

A Death in the Family

Beckett and Castle find the plastic surgeon's office; she and Castle walk past a well-endowed woman; Castle stares
Beckett: Well, this must be the place. [clears throat] What is it with men and boobs, anyway?
Castle: Biological. We can't help it.
Beckett: But doesn't it bother you that they're so obviously not real?
Castle: Santa's not real. We still love opening his presents.

Season 2

Richard Castle: [Season tagline] There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people: psychopaths and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better.

Deep in Death

Esposito: [About the bachelor-party cop twins' uniforms at the photo shoot] Hey, Beckett, how come you don't wear a uniform like that?
Beckett: Because I don't want to be paid in singles.

Ryan: Guy in a tree; Mom and Dad bickering. Seems like old times!
Esposito: Mm-hmm!

Castle: [About what he found about Beckett's mother] What was I suppose to do? Not tell her what I found?
Lanie: [Surprised] What you found?
Castle: Oh she didn't tell you, did she? Three people were killed the same way her mother was, right about the same time. One of them was a former law student of hers, another one a documents clerk, the third one a lawyer for a non-profit.
Lanie: Wait, the M.E. at the time didn't make the connection?
Castle: If he did, he buried it.
Lanie: Did you talk to him?
Castle: He died four years ago. So you see why I had to tell her.

Esposito: You know what I don't get? Who would steal a dead body?
Castle: Oh, plenty of people. Organ harvesters, cadaver-less med students, Satanists. [pause] Mad scientists looking to create their own monster.
Beckett: Or the guys who killed him might have left some evidence behind.
Castle: Boring. How about a spy having swallowed a microchip that the enemy spies murder him over before the CIA can get ahold of him?

Castle: She may have built up a wall between us, but I am going to build a door in that wall. Or put up a ladder. [thinking] Or dig a hole.

The Double Down

Beckett: [written on a therapist's body] "Psycho the rapist your out of time"?
Lanie Parish: Looks like a patient lost their patience.
Castle: Also his command of grammar. "Your" should be You-apostrophe-R-E as in "you are." That's not even a tough one, not like when to use "who" or "whom."
Beckett: You really think that's the take-away here, Castle?
Castle: I'm just saying - whoever killed her also murdered the English language.

[After Beckett discovers that Castle placed a bet with Esposito and Ryan over who would solve their murder first]
Castle: Listen, I'm sorry. I know it was wrong, I just-
Roselyn: Beckett, you are never gonna believe this.
Beckett: Oh, the bar on "unbelievable" is pretty high right now.
Roselyn: The vic's husband took out a three-million dollar life insurance policy on his wife last month.
Beckett: [to Castle] $100 on us.

[After Ryan and Esposito catch a break in their case]
Castle: I've got a bad feeling about this.
Beckett: Are we really rooting against solving a murder?
Castle: Well, I don't want to shave my head! Do you?
Beckett: Why would I shave my head?
Castle: You're in on the bet, aren't you?
Beckett: Yeah, but I didn't realize-
Castle: [imitates electric razor]

Inventing the Girl

[A murder calls Castle away from an ad-hoc play rehearsal with his mother]
Alexis: Take me with you!
Castle: To a crime scene?
Alexis: It'd be educational. Please?
Castle: Find your own hiding place.

Fool me Once

Castle: You don't think Fletcher's telling Jerry the truth?
Beckett: That he's suddenly a con-man with a heart of gold? No. That's just another con.
Castle: Wait, you don't think people can change?
Beckett: No. I've seen too many repeat offenders to believe for one second that a guy who promises never to beat his wife again actually won't.
Castle: That's a pretty bleak attitude.
Beckett: Not bleak - realistic.

Castle: [on CIA Agent Gray] This man is a machine. I've interviewed serial killers, hitmen. Agent Gray?
Beckett: Mm-hmm?
Castle: By far, the most dangerous man I've ever met. [looks around and whispers] He once killed a North Korean agent with a melonballer.
Agent Gray: [suddenly appearing behind them] It was an ice cream scoop, Castle. And that information was supposed to remain private.
Castle: Sorry.

When the Bough Breaks

[Castle has arrived late to a crime scene]
Esposito: Yeah, it's too bad, too. Your kind of case, bro'.
Castle: Yeah?
Ryan: Yeah, body was found down that manhole over there. Half eaten.
Castle: Eaten?
Ryan: Yeah, it was covered in some kind of green slime.
Castle: Whoa...
Esposito: Yeah, it was creepy. It's as if someone or some thing is down there.
Castle: [Catching on] Ha, that's... okay. Very funny. Great. [To Beckett] Was there a body down the manhole?
Beckett: Yeah.
Castle: Okay, thank you. An adult.
Beckett: Yeah, you should have seen what else was down there. Two metal canisters with biohazard stickers and yellow power inside of them.
Castle: You opened the... [the detectives smirk] Alright. Will someone please tell me what's really going on here?
Ryan: We're gonna check nearby trash cans for the murder weapon.
Castle: What was the murder weapon, by the way?
Ryan: Some kind of death ray.
Esposito: Turns your insides out.

Vampire Weekend

[Castle enters the room, dressed as Mal from Firefly]
Alexis: Hey.
Castle: Hey... I was just trying on my Halloween costume.
Alexis: What exactly are you supposed to be?
Castle: Space cowboy.
Alexis: Okay. A: there are no cows in space. B: didn't you wear that, like, five years ago?
Castle: So?
Alexis: So, don't you think you should move on?
Castle: I like it.

Castle: [to Alexis] If any of those senior boys bother you... father won't be quite himself. [activates pumpkin drill, laughs maniacally, coughs]

[Castle relates a traumatizing childhood experience that spurred him to become a mystery writer]
Castle: It must have just happened, because the tide hadn't washed away the blood. We had just played hide-and-go-seek the day before.
Beckett: What happened to him?
Castle: They never found out.
Beckett: I'm so sorry, Castle. [he smirks] ... you made that up?
Castle: It's what I do!
Beckett: You know what? You are so getting it for that one!

Famous Last Words

Castle: What?
Beckett: Nothing... it's just I'm so used to seeing you act like a 12-year-old all the time, it's refreshing to see you as a father.
Castle: It makes you want me, right?
Beckett: ...And there's the 12-year-old again.

Kill the Messenger

[After a SWAT team breaks into an apartment]
Esposito: Where's Nidal Metar? Shakir Nidal Metar! Where is he?
Tenant: There's no Shakir Nidal Metar here! Only Sally Neidermeyer!
Beckett: Ma'am, did you send a package by bike courier this morning?
Tenant: Yes, I did!
Beckett: "S. Nidal Metar?" S. Neidermeyer! Some bozo at the courier company wrote the name wrong.
Castle: Our bad. Uh, we can -
Ryan: - Yeah, we can fix this.
Castle: [lifting the door] Sorry.
[They screw the door back into its frame]

[as Det. Beckett speaks with the victim's sister]
Castle: How does she do that?
Montgomery: Better than anyone I know.

[M.E. Perlmutter eats his lunch on an examination table in the morgue]
Castle: Are you sure it's sanitary to be eating here?
Perlmutter: Do you know the strength of the disinfectants we use here? This is the cleanest room in the city. [offers his sandwich to Castle]
Castle: I couldn't.
Perlmutter: Homemade.
Castle: I couldn't.

Montgomery: If there's one thing I hate, it's a dirtbag in uniform.

Love Me Dead

Jessup: [Regarding his handcuffs] Hey, you guys mind if I take these things off? I'm starting to feel like a stereotype riding around in the back of a police car wearing them.
Beckett: Sure. Do you want my key?
Jessup: Nah, I got it. Thanks. [Undoes his handcuffs]
Castle: How did you do that?
Jessup: I've always been good with locks. When I was in the joint, I was thinking how can I take this and make it more productive, you know? So, I've been applying for locksmith schools, but, you know, they won't let me in on account that I'm a felon. Can you believe that?
Beckett: A felon who wants to be a locksmith. What could possibly go wrong there?
Jessup: You don't have to be mean about it.
Castle: Yeah. Wow.
[Beckett glares, beat, Castle relocated to back seat with Jessup]

One Man's Treasure

Castle [after seeing Alexis dressed maturely for work]: Did that ever happen to you with me? One day you look and see your boy all grown up?
Martha: I’m still waiting for that moment, actually.
Castle: ...I set you up for that, didn’t I?

Castle [to Beckett]: That was pretty cool, the way you filled in the story there. I think I must be rubbing off on you... That sounded dirtier than I meant it.

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Castle article)

From Wikisource

The Castle
by George MacDonald
The Castle, published in The Portent and Other Stories in 1864, is a short story about children living in a castle, waiting for the return of their father.

On the top of a high cliff, forming part of the base of a great mountain, stood a lofty castle. When or how it was built, no man knew; nor could any one pretend to understand its architecture. Every one who looked upon it felt that it was lordly and noble; and where one part seemed not to agree with another, the wise and modest dared not to call them incongruous, but presumed that the whole might be constructed on some higher principle of architecture than they yet understood. What helped them to this conclusion was, that no one had ever seen the whole of the edifice; that, even of the portion best known, some part or other was always wrapped in thick folds of mist from the mountain; and that, when the sun shone upon this mist, the parts of the building that appeared through the vaporous veil were strangely glorified in their indistinctness, so that they seemed to belong to some aerial abode in the land of the sunset; and the beholders could hardly tell whether they had ever seen them before, or whether they were now for the first time partially revealed.

Nor, although it was inhabited, could certain information be procured as to its internal construction. Those who dwelt in it often discovered rooms they had never entered before—yea, once or twice,—whole suites of apartments, of which only dim legends had been handed down from former times. Some of them expected to find, one day, secret places, filled with treasures of wondrous jewels; amongst which they hoped to light upon Solomon's ring, which had for ages disappeared from the earth, but which had controlled the spirits, and the possession of which made a man simply what a man should be, the king of the world. Now and then, a narrow, winding stair, hitherto untrodden, would bring them forth on a new turret, whence new prospects of the circumjacent country were spread out before them. How many more of these there might be, or how much loftier, no one could tell. Nor could the foundations of the castle in the rock on which it was built be determined with the smallest approach to precision. Those of the family who had given themselves to exploring in that direction, found such a labyrinth of vaults and passages, and endless successions of down-going stairs, out of one underground space into a yet lower, that they came to the conclusion that at least the whole mountain was perforated and honeycombed in this fashion. They had a dim consciousness, too, of the presence, in those awful regions, of beings whom they could not comprehend. Once they came upon the brink of a great black gulf, in which the eye could see nothing but darkness: they recoiled with horror; for the conviction flashed upon them that that gulf went down into the very central spaces of the earth, of which they had hitherto been wandering only in the upper crust; nay, that the seething blackness before them had relations mysterious, and beyond human comprehension, with the far-off voids of space, into which the stars dare not enter.

At the foot of the cliff whereon the castle stood, lay a deep lake, inaccessible save by a few avenues, being surrounded on all sides with precipices which made the water look very black, although it was pure as the nightsky. From a door in the castle, which was not to be otherwise entered, a broad flight of steps, cut in the rock, went down to the lake, and disappeared below its surface. Some thought the steps went to the very bottom of the water.

Now in this castle there dwelt a large family of brothers and sisters. They had never seen their father or mother. The younger had been educated by the elder, and these by an unseen care and ministration, about the sources of which they had, somehow or other, troubled themselves very little—for what people are accustomed to, they regard as coming from nobody; as if help and progress and joy and love were the natural crops of Chaos or old Night. But Tradition said that one day—it was utterly uncertain when—their father would come, and leave them no more; for he was still alive, though where he lived nobody knew. In the meantime all the rest had to obey their eldest brother, and listen to his counsels.

But almost all the family was very fond of liberty, as they called it; and liked to run up and down, hither and thither, roving about, with neither law nor order, just as they pleased. So they could not endure their brother's tyranny, as they called it. At one time they said that he was only one of themselves, and therefore they would not obey him; at another, that he was not like them, and could not understand them, and therefore they would not obey him. Yet, sometimes, when he came and looked them full in the face, they were terrified, and dared not disobey, for he was stately and stern and strong. Not one of them loved him heartily, except the eldest sister, who was very beautiful and silent, and whose eyes shone as if light lay somewhere deep behind them. Even she, although she loved him, thought him very hard sometimes; for when he had once said a thing plainly, he could not be persuaded to think it over again. So even she forgot him sometimes, and went her own ways, and enjoyed herself without him. Most of them regarded him as a sort of watchman, whose business it was to keep them in order; and so they were indignant and disliked him. Yet they all had a secret feeling that they ought to be subject to him; and after any particular act of disregard, none of them could think, with any peace, of the old story about the return of their father to his house. But indeed they never thought much about it, or about their father at all; for how could those who cared so little for their brother, whom they saw every day, care for their father whom they had never seen?—One chief cause of complaint against him was that he interfered with their favourite studies and pursuits; whereas he only sought to make them give up trifling with earnest things, and seek for truth, and not for amusement, from the many wonders around them. He did not want them to turn to other studies, or to eschew pleasures; but, in those studies, to seek the highest things most, and other things in proportion to their true worth and nobleness. This could not fail to be distasteful to those who did not care for what was higher than they. And so matters went on for a time. They thought they could do better without their brother; and their brother knew they could not do at all without him, and tried to fulfil the charge committed into his hands.

At length, one day, for the thought seemed to strike them simultaneously, they conferred together about giving a great entertainment in their grandest rooms to any of their neighbours who chose to come, or indeed to any inhabitants of the earth or air who would visit them. They were too proud to reflect that some company might defile even the dwellers in what was undoubtedly the finest palace on the face of the earth. But what made the thing worse, was, that the old tradition said that these rooms were to be kept entirely for the use of the owner of the castle. And, indeed, whenever they entered them, such was the effect of their loftiness and grandeur upon their minds, that they always thought of the old story, and could not help believing it. Nor would the brother permit them to forget it now; but, appearing suddenly amongst them, when they had no expectation of being interrupted by him, he rebuked them, both for the indiscriminate nature of their invitation, and for the intention of introducing any one, not to speak of some who would doubtless make their appearance on the evening in question, into the rooms kept sacred for the use of the unknown father. But by this time their talk with each other had so excited their expectations of enjoyment, which had previously been strong enough, that anger sprung up within them at the thought of being deprived of their hopes, and they looked each other in the eyes; and the look said: "We are many and he is one—let us get rid of him, for he is always finding fault, and thwarting us in the most innocent pleasures;—as if we would wish to do anything wrong!" So without a word spoken, they rushed upon him; and although he was stronger than any of them, and struggled hard at first, yet they overcame him at last. Indeed some of them thought he yielded to their violence long before they had the mastery of him; and this very submission terrified the more tender-hearted amongst them. However, they bound him; carried him down many stairs, and, having remembered an iron staple in the wall of a certain vault, with a thick rusty chain attached to it, they bore him thither, and made the chain fast around him. There they left him, shutting the great gnarring brazen door of the vault, as they departed for the upper regions of the castle.

Now all was in a tumult of preparation. Every one was talking of the coming festivity; but no one spoke of the deed they had done. A sudden paleness overspread the face, now of one, and now of another; but it passed away, and no one took any notice of it; they only plied the task of the moment the more energetically. Messengers were sent far and near, not to individuals or families, but publishing in all places of concourse a general invitation to any who chose to come on a certain day, and partake for certain succeeding days of the hospitality of the dwellers in the castle. Many were the preparations immediately begun for complying with the invitation. But the noblest of their neighbours refused to appear; not from pride, but because of the unsuitableness and carelessness of such a mode. With some of them it was an old condition in the tenure of their estates, that they should go to no one's dwelling except visited in person, and expressly solicited. Others, knowing what sort of persons would be there, and that, from a certain physical antipathy, they could scarcely breathe in their company, made up their minds at once not to go. Yet multitudes, many of them beautiful and innocent as well as gay, resolved to appear.

Meanwhile the great rooms of the castle were got in readiness—that is, they proceeded to deface them with decorations; for there was a solemnity and stateliness about them in their ordinary condition, which was at once felt to be unsuitable for the light-hearted company so soon to move about in them with the self-same carelessness with which men walk abroad within the great heavens and hills and clouds. One day, while the workmen were busy, the eldest sister, of whom I have already spoken, happened to enter, she knew not why. Suddenly the great idea of the mighty halls dawned upon her, and filled her soul. The so-called decorations vanished from her view, and she felt as if she stood in her father's presence. She was at one elevated and humbled. As suddenly the idea faded and fled, and she beheld but the gaudy festoons and draperies and paintings which disfigured the grandeur. She wept and sped away. Now it was too late to interfere, and things must take their course. She would have been but a Cassandra-prophetess to those who saw but the pleasure before them. She had not been present when her brother was imprisoned; and indeed for some days had been so wrapt in her own business, that she had taken but little heed of anything that was going on. But they all expected her to show herself when the company was gathered; and they had applied to her for advice at various times during their operations.

At length the expected hour arrived, and the company began to assemble. It was a warm summer evening. The dark lake reflected the rose-coloured clouds in the west, and through the flush rowed many gaily painted boats, with various coloured flags, towards the massy rock on which the castle stood. The trees and flowers seemed already asleep, and breathing forth their sweet dream-breath. Laughter and low voices rose from the breast of the lake to the ears of the youths and maidens looking forth expectant from the lofty windows. They went down to the broad platform at the top of the stairs in front of the door to receive their visitors. By degrees the festivities of the evening commenced. The same smiles flew forth both at eyes and lips, darting like beams through the gathering crowd. Music, from unseen sources, now rolled in billows, now crept in ripples through the sea of air that filled the lofty rooms. And in the dancing halls, when hand took hand, and form and motion were moulded and swayed by the indwelling music, it governed not these alone, but, as the ruling spirit of the place, every new burst of music for a new dance swept before it a new and accordant odour, and dyed the flames that glowed in the lofty lamps with a new and accordant stain. The floors bent beneath the feet of the time-keeping dancers. But twice in the evening some of the inmates started, and the pallor occasionally common to the household overspread their faces, for they felt underneath them a counter-motion to the dance, as if the floor rose slightly to answer their feet. And all the time their brother lay below in the dungeon, like John the Baptist in the castle of Herod, when the lords and captains sat around, and the daughter of Herodias danced before them. Outside, all around the castle, brooded the dark night unheeded; for the clouds had come up from all sides, and were crowding together overhead. In the unfrequent pauses of the music, they might have heard, now and then, the gusty rush of a lonely wind, coming and going no one could know whence or whither, born and dying unexpected and unregarded.

But when the festivities were at their height, when the external and passing confidence which is produced between superficial natures by a common pleasure was at the full, a sudden crash of thunder quelled the music, as the thunder quells the noise of the uplifted sea. The windows were driven in, and torrents of rain, carried in the folds of a rushing wind, poured into the halls. The lights were swept away; and the great rooms, now dark within, were darkened yet more by the dazzling shoots of flame from the vault of blackness overhead. Those that ventured to look out of the windows saw, in the blue brilliancy of the quick-following jets of lightning, the lake at the foot of the rock, ordinarily so still and so dark, lighted up, not on the surface only, but down to half its depth; so that, as it tossed in the wind, like a tortured sea of writhing flames, or incandescent half-molten serpents of brass, they could not tell whether a strong phosphorescence did not issue from the transparent body of the waters, as if earth and sky lightened together, one consenting source of flaming utterance.

Sad was the condition of the late plastic mass of living form that had flowed into shape at the will and law of the music. Broken into individuals, the common transfusing spirit withdrawn, they stood drenched, cold, and benumbed, with clinging garments; light, order, harmony, purpose departed, and chaos restored; the issuings of life turned back on their sources, chilly and dead. And in every heart reigned the falsest of despairing convictions, that this was the only reality, and that was but a dream. The eldest sister stood with clasped hands and down-bent head, shivering and speechless, as if waiting for something to follow. Nor did she wait long. A terrible flash and thunder-peal made the castle rock; and in the pausing silence that followed, her quick sense heard the rattling of a chain far off, deep down; and soon the sound of heavy footsteps, accompanied with the clanking of iron, reached her ear. She felt that her brother was at hand. Even in the darkness, and amidst the bellowing of another deep-bosomed cloud-monster, she knew that he had entered the room. A moment after, a continuous pulsation of angry blue light began, which, lasting for some moments, revealed him standing amidst them, gaunt, haggard, and motionless; his hair and beard untrimmed, his face ghastly, his eyes large and hollow. The light seemed to gather around him as a centre. Indeed some believed that it throbbed and radiated from his person, and not from the stormy heavens above them. The lightning had rent the wall of his prison, and released the iron staple of his chain, which he had wound about him like a girdle. In his hand he carried an iron fetter-bar, which he had found on the floor of the vault. More terrified at his aspect than at all the violence of the storm, the visitors, with many a shriek and cry, rushed out into the tempestuous night. By degrees, the storm died away. Its last flash revealed the forms of the brothers and sisters lying prostrate, with their faces on the floor, and that fearful shape standing motionless amidst them still.

Morning dawned, and there they lay, and there he stood. But at a word from him, they arose and went about their various duties, though listlessly enough. The eldest sister was the last to rise; and when she did, it was only by a terrible effort that she was able to reach her room, where she fell again on the floor. There she remained lying for days. The brother caused the doors of the great suite of rooms to be closed, leaving them just as they were, with all the childish adornment scattered about, and the rain still falling in through the shattered windows. "Thus let them lie," said he, "till the rain and frost have cleansed them of paint and drapery: no storm can hurt the pillars and arches of these halls."

The hours of this day went heavily. The storm was gone, but the rain was left; the passion had departed, but the tears remained behind. Dull and dark the low misty clouds brooded over the castle and the lake, and shut out all the neighbourhood. Even if they had climbed to the loftiest known turret, they would have found it swathed in a garment of clinging vapour, affording no refreshment to the eye, and no hope to the heart. There was one lofty tower that rose sheer a hundred feet above the rest, and from which the fog could have been seen lying in a grey mass beneath; but that tower they had not yet discovered, nor another close beside it, the top of which was never seen, nor could be, for the highest clouds of heaven clustered continually around it. The rain fell continuously, though not heavily, without; and within, too, there were clouds from which dropped the tears which are the rain of the spirit. All the good of life seemed for the time departed, and their souls lived but as leafless trees that had forgotten the joy of the summer, and whom no wind prophetic of spring had yet visited. They moved about mechanically, and had not strength enough left to wish to die.

The next day the clouds were higher, and a little wind blew through such loopholes in the turrets as the false improvements of the inmates had not yet filled with glass, shutting out, as the storm, so the serene visitings of the heavens. Throughout the day, the brother took various opportunities of addressing a gentle command, now to one and now to another of his family. It was obeyed in silence. The wind blew fresher through the loopholes and the shattered windows of the great rooms, and found its way, by unknown passages, to faces and eyes hot with weeping. It cooled and blessed them.—When the sun arose the next day, it was in a clear sky.

By degrees, everything fell into the regularity of subordination. With the subordination came increase of freedom. The steps of the more youthful of the family were heard on the stairs and in the corridors more light and quick than ever before. Their brother had lost the terrors of aspect produced by his confinement, and his commands were issued more gently, and oftener with a smile, than in all their previous history. By degrees his presence was universally felt through the house. It was no surprise to any one at his studies, to see him by his side when he lifted up his eyes, though he had not before known that he was in the room. And although some dread still remained, it was rapidly vanishing before the advances of a firm friendship. Without immediately ordering their labours, he always influenced them, and often altered their direction and objects. The change soon evident in the household was remarkable. A simpler, nobler expression was visible on all the countenances. The voices of the men were deeper, and yet seemed by their very depth more feminine than before; while the voices of the women were softer and sweeter, and at the same time more full and decided. Now the eyes had often an expression as if their sight was absorbed in the gaze of the inward eyes; and when the eyes of two met, there passed between those eyes the utterance of a conviction that both meant the same thing. But the change was, of course, to be seen more clearly, though not more evidently, in individuals.

One of the brothers, for instance, was very fond of astronomy. He had his observatory on a lofty tower, which stood pretty clear of the others, towards the north and east. But hitherto, his astronomy, as he had called it, had been more of the character of astrology. Often, too, he might have been seen directing a heaven-searching telescope to catch the rapid transit of a fiery shooting-star, belonging altogether to the earthly atmosphere, and not to the serene heavens. He had to learn that the signs of the air are not the signs of the skies. Nay, once, his brother surprised him in the act of examining through his longest tube a patch of burning heath upon a distant hill. But now he was diligent from morning till night in the study of the laws of the truth that has to do with stars; and when the curtain of the sunlight was about to rise from before the heavenly worlds which it had hidden all day long, he might be seen preparing his instruments with that solemn countenance with which it becometh one to look into the mysterious harmonies of Nature. Now he learned what law and order and truth are, what consent and harmony mean; how the individual may find his own end in a higher end, where law and freedom mean the same thing, and the purest certainty exists without the slightest constraint. Thus he stood on the earth, and looked to the heavens.

Another, who had been much given to searching out the hollow places and recesses in the foundations of the castle, and who was often to be found with compass and ruler working away at a chart of the same which he had been in process of constructing, now came to the conclusion, that only by ascending the upper regions of his abode could he become capable of understanding what lay beneath; and that, in all probability, one clear prospect, from the top of the highest attainable turret, over the castle as it lay below, would reveal more of the idea of its internal construction, than a year spent in wandering through its subterranean vaults. But the fact was, that the desire to ascend wakening within him had made him forget what was beneath; and having laid aside his chart for a time at least, he was now to be met in every quarter of the upper parts, searching and striving upward, now in one direction, now in another; and seeking, as he went, the best outlooks into the clear air of outer realities.

And they began to discover that they were all meditating different aspects of the same thing; and they brought together their various discoveries, and recognised the likeness between them; and the one thing often explained the other, and combining with it helped to a third. They grew in consequence more and more friendly and loving; so that every now and then one turned to another and said, as in surprise, "Why, you are my brother!"—"Why, you are my sister!" And yet they had always known it.

The change reached to all. One, who lived on the air of sweet sounds, and who was almost always to be found seated by her harp or some other instrument, had, till the late storm, been generally merry and playful, though sometimes sad. But for a long time after that, she was often found weeping, and playing little simple airs which she had heard in childhood—backward longings, followed by fresh tears. Before long, however, a new element manifested itself in her music. It became yet more wild, and sometimes retained all its sadness, but it was mingled with anticipation and hope. The past and the future merged in one; and while memory yet brought the rain-cloud, expectation threw the rainbow across its bosom—and all was uttered in her music, which rose and swelled, now to defiance, now to victory; then died in a torrent of weeping.

As to the eldest sister, it was many days before she recovered from the shock. At length, one day, her brother came to her, took her by the hand, led her to an open window, and told her to seat herself by it, and look out. She did so; but at first saw nothing more than an unsympathising blaze of sunlight. But as she looked, the horizon widened out, and the dome of the sky ascended, till the grandeur seized upon her soul, and she fell on her knees and wept. Now the heavens seemed to bend lovingly over her, and to stretch out wide cloud-arms to embrace her; the earth lay like the bosom of an infinite love beneath her, and the wind kissed her cheek with an odour of roses. She sprang to her feet, and turned, in an agony of hope, expecting to behold the face of the father, but there stood only her brother, looking calmly though lovingly on her emotion. She turned again to the window. On the hilltops rested the sky: Heaven and Earth were one; and the prophecy awoke in her soul, that from betwixt them would the steps of the father approach.

Hitherto she had seen but Beauty; now she beheld Truth. Often had she looked on such clouds as these, and loved the strange ethereal curves into which the winds moulded them; and had smiled as her little pet sister told her what curious animals she saw in them, and tried to point them out to her. Now they were as troops of angels, jubilant over her new birth, for they sang, in her soul, of beauty, and truth, and love. She looked down, and her little sister knelt beside her.

She was a curious child, with black, glittering eyes, and dark hair; at the mercy of every wandering wind; a frolicsome, daring girl, who laughed more than she smiled. She was generally in attendance on her sister, and was always finding and bringing her strange things. She never pulled a primrose, but she knew the haunts of all the orchis tribe, and brought from them bees and butterflies innumerable, as offerings to her sister. Curious moths and glow-worms were her greatest delight; and she loved the stars, because they were like the glow-worms. But the change had affected her too; for her sister saw that her eyes had lost their glittering look, and had become more liquid and transparent. And from that time she often observed that her gaiety was more gentle, her smile more frequent, her laugh less bell-like; and although she was as wild as ever, there was more elegance in her motions, and more music in her voice. And she clung to her sister with far greater fondness than before.

The land reposed in the embrace of the warm summer days. The clouds of heaven nestled around the towers of the castle; and the hearts of its inmates became conscious of a warm atmosphere—of a presence of love. They began to feel like the children of a household, when the mother is at home. Their faces and forms grew daily more and more beautiful, till they wondered as they gazed on each other. As they walked in the gardens of the castle, or in the country around, they were often visited, especially the eldest sister, by sounds that no one heard but themselves, issuing from woods and waters; and by forms of love that lightened out of flowers, and grass, and great rocks. Now and then the young children would come in with a slow, stately step, and, with great eyes that looked as if they would devour all the creation, say that they had met the father amongst the trees, and that he had kissed them; "And," added one of them once, "I grew so big!" But when the others went out to look, they could see no one. And some said it must have been the brother, who grew more and more beautiful, and loving, and reverend, and who had lost all traces of hardness, so that they wondered they could ever have thought him stern and harsh. But the eldest sister held her peace, and looked up, and her eyes filled with tears. "Who can tell," thought she, "but the little children know more about it than we?"

Often, at sunrise, might be heard their hymn of praise to their unseen father, whom they felt to be near, though they saw him not. Some words thereof once reached my ear through the folds of the music in which they floated, as in an upward snowstorm of sweet sounds. And these are some of the words I heard—but there was much I seemed to hear which I could not understand, and some things which I understood but cannot utter again.

"We thank thee that we have a father, and not a maker; that thou hast begotten us, and not moulded us as images of clay; that we have come forth of thy heart, and have not been fashioned by thy hands. It must be so. Only the heart of a father is able to create. We rejoice in it, and bless thee that we know it. We thank thee for thyself. Be what thou art—our root and life, our beginning and end, our all in all. Come home to us. Thou livest; therefore we live. In thy light we see. Thou art—that is all our song."

Thus they worship, and love, and wait. Their hope and expectation grow ever stronger and brighter, that one day, ere long, the Father will show Himself amongst them, and thenceforth dwell in His own house for evermore. What was once but an old legend has become the one desire of their hearts.

And the loftiest hope is the surest of being fulfilled.


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From BibleWiki

a military fortress (1Chr 11:7), also probably a kind of tower used by the priests for making known anything discovered at a distance (1Chr 6:54). Castles are also mentioned (Gen 25:16) as a kind of watch-tower, from which shepherds kept watch over their flocks by night. The "castle" into which the chief captain commanded Paul to be brought was the quarters of the Roman soldiers in the fortress of Antonia (so called by Herod after his patron Mark Antony), which was close to the north-west corner of the temple (Acts 21:34), which it commanded.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

File:Castle Bodiam1
Bodiam Castle in England surrounded by a water-filled moat.

A castle (from the Latin word castellum) is a fortified structure made in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages. People argue about what the word castle means. However, it usually means a private structure of a lord or noble. This is different from a fortress, which is not a home, and from a fortified town, which was a public defence. For about 900 years that castles were built they had many different shapes and different details.

Castles began in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. They controlled the places surrounding them, and could both help in attacking and defending. Weapons could be fired from castles, or people could be protected from enemies in castles. However, castles were also a symbol of power. They could be used to control the people and roads around it.

Many castles were built with earth and wood at first often using manual labour, and then had their defences replaced by stone instead. Early castles often used nature for protection, and did not have towers. By the late 12th and early 13th centuries, though, castles became longer and more complex.

Europe began using gunpowder in the 14th century. It did not stop castle building at first. But by the 15th century, shots became powerful enough to break through stone walls. Castles were still built, but new ways to protect castles from cannons and guns made them uncomfortable places to live in. Because of this, people stopped building true castles. Instead, country houses or military forts were built. From the 18th century, people began building castles again from new interest in Gothic architecture, but they were not used for fighting.

Contents

Definition

Etymology

File:Tower of London, Traitors
The Norman "White Tower", has all the uses of a castle: city protection, a place to live in, and a safe place in dangerous times.

The word castle comes from the Latin word castellum, which is a diminutive of the word castrum, meaning "fortified place". The Old English castel, French château, Spanish castillo, Italian castello, and many other words in other languages also come from castellum.[1] The word castle became a part of the English language soon after the Norman Conquest to describe this new type of building.[2] However, though these words all came from the same basic meaning, they can describe different types of structures. For example, the French château can simply be used to describe a great country house in the middle of an estate.[3]

Important details

A castle is seen by most to be "a private fortified residence" (place to stay).[4] This makes it different from earlier fortifications, such as walled cities like Constantinople and Antioch in the Middle East. Castles were not made to protect the community. They were built and owned by lords, either for themselves or for their ruler.[5][6]

Wall

A castle's main defense was a wall. A wall was used to block the offensive side from breaking into a castle. The tops of the walls were cleverly made. Imagine a mouth smiling, but with every other tooth missing. The soldiers could hide behind the stone teeth and be safe, while they fired down at the soldiers attacking the castle. This feature was called battlements. The rooms inside the castle sometimes had small holes, or slits, cut in the walls, so the soldiers could fire out through them without being hit. These were called arrowloops. The way a person or thing got into a castle was through a gate. A gate was a mostly wooden structure with a heavy metal gate behind it. This was used for two purposes: To let allies in or out, To keep enemies out. If the offense did get past a gate, the offense would be littered with missiles and other objects through a murder hole in the upper part of the gate. The gate was also one of the most protected objects in a castle. Some castles also had moats which were water filled ditches encircling the whole castle where the only way in was over a drawbridge which was a heavy wooden door that could be pulled up by chains to protect the main gate and let down to act as a bridge over the moat to allow access to the castle. The soldiers attacking the castle sometimes tried to knock down the castle walls, or dig under them. A siege was when the attackers just sat outside and waited. When the people inside were starving they had to give up and come out, which is called surrender. A siege could go on for months, if the castle had plenty of food and water.

Castles were built for defense until about 500 years ago, at the end of the Middle Ages. After that people still built very big stone buildings. They looked like castles, but they had bigger windows and more fireplaces and were much more comfortable. Really they were just great big houses. When castles were built to be homes instead of fortresses, the word 'Castle' was often put at the front of the name. One example is Castle Oliver in Ireland. This had 215 windows and 65 chimneys, as well as dozens of bedrooms. It was built about 150 years ago. It is very light and bright inside, because it was built to have parties, not to keep out soldiers.

Many castles are very beautiful and are public. Sometimes you can see furniture and clothes, armour, musical instruments, carpets, cannon and other weapons that once belonged to the people who lived there. Some castles have legends of ghosts. Some had very famous owners, like mad King Ludwig of Bavaria. Some, only a very few, are still lived in by the families who built them. Many others have become hotels or museums.

Castles seem romantic and mysterious to us now, but they were cold, dark places to live, often damp. Because the walls were so thick, sometimes 12 feet (4 metres) or more, they never got warm. Their windows also had no glass in them. Castles might have been safe, but they were not very comfortable.

References

Notes
Bibliography
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