Ever wondered since when have those fortified structures called castles been in existence? Or probably who used to live in those huge and magnificently built residential structures? Forget these; can you count the different types of castles you have come across on your way? You will be surprised to know that the first castles consisted of a wooden tower, surrounded by a wooden palisade. It was only in medieval times that stone became the building material in Europe. The earliest castles built served as homes for the Normans in England and Middle East. Over time, the architecture, masonry, designing and other skills changed, giving rise to designer castles that we see today. Scroll through the following lines to know some of the different types of castles and their details.
Different Kinds Of Castles
Motte and Bailey Castles
A motte-and-bailey castle is a structure housed on a raised earthwork surrounded by a protective fence. A motte is an artificial mount with a wooden or stone tower on top that served as the residence of the lord of the castle. A bailey, on the other hand, is a fortified courtyard area surrounding the motte. This bailey was protected by a wooden fence called palisade or an earth mound. Such castles were built in Britain, Ireland and France in the 11th and 12th centuries. Popular examples are Windsor Castle, Stafford Castle, Bedford Castle, Durham Castle and Nottingham Castle in England
Stone Keep Castles
With the passage of time, motte-and-bailey castles proved to be less defensive. Thus, these were upgraded with stone fortifications. Furthermore, it was easier to build a stone tower on top of the motte. The wooden walls and towers also were replaced by large stones. Chepstow Castle and White Tower are famous stone-keep castles in England.
Also known as multiple castles, concentric castles have two or more curtain walls giving the illusion of a castle within a castle. These are generally rectangular or irregular polygon structures without the central tower. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the inner walls, gatehouses and towers were comparatively higher than the outer walls, making it easier for the soldiers to face the enemies at comfortable distance. Some famous concentric castles include Crusader Castle Krak des Chevaliers in Syria, and Caerphilly Castle and Beaumaris Castle in Wales.
Quadrangular castles have a central courtyard surrounded by a range of buildings, forming the curtain walls. Such castles did not have keeps or top towers. All the rooms were integrated in the curtain walls, thereby creating a central ward or quadrangle with angle towers. Quadrangular castles dated from mid to late 14th century. The most popular quadrangular castles are Bolton Castle and Bodiam Castle in England.
As the name suggests, L-plan castles were built in the shape of the letter ‘L’ from the 13th to the 17th century. Such castles were most common in Scotland, though some are found in England, Ireland, Romania, Sardinia and other locations as well. It was easier to provide covering fire at the entrance due to the presence of L-shaped adjacent walls. The walls were thick serving as a major defensive tower. The most famous L-plan castles include Muchalls Castle, Dalhousie Castle, Dunnottar Castle and Culzean Castle in Scotland, Herasti Castle in Romania, and Pisan Towers in Sardinia.
Other Types Of Castles: