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Why were Motte and Bailey Castles Important?

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Presentation on theme: "Why were Motte and Bailey Castles Important?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why were Motte and Bailey Castles Important?
Learning objective: to understand what a motte and bailey castle was and what their advantages and disadvantages were. Starter - Wordsearch

2 The motte and bailey castle
The Normans built the first proper castles in England. They needed bases from which to control the countryside, and strongholds to protect them from Saxon attack. The castles had to be built in a hurry, so they were originally built of timber on an earth mound (a motte). The bailey was the living area for the soldiers. Remember, William’s troops were an invading force and not exactly secure in all parts of the country.

3 Why castles? When William invaded England he quickly set about building castles. The reason was simple – he knew he had nowhere near enough men to run England. So William built castles at important places – hills, rivers, towns – so that if the English tried to control the country they’d be forced to attack a castle – a bad move! Especially as the English did not have many castles before the Normans came along!

4 Early castles Keep – the safest place in the castle
Bridge – from the motte to the bailey Motte – defensive mound of earth Drawbridge – to the entrance to the bailey Moat – this made it harder to reach the walls Palisade – these were made of wood and formed a fence Bailey – large walled area where the soldiers and animals lived

5 Which do you think are the weakest parts of the castle? Why?
How much do you remember? Which do you think are the weakest parts of the castle? Why?

6 What would you do in William’s position?
Why the motte and bailey? So why did William build motte and bailey castles? To answer this question you have to think about William’s problems – get inside his mind to understand what he needed. A stone castle may be better for his soldiers but will it take time to build? What is better, a wooden castle that is quick to build, or a stone castle that will take years? What would you do in William’s position?


8 Advantages of the motte and bailey castle
1. The castles were quick to build. A motte and bailey castle could be up in a few weeks! This was a huge difference compared to the years it would take to build a stone castle. 2. They protected the soldiers that William used to control the country and were easy to defend. Small numbers of Norman soldiers could hold off rebellions or attacks by being in a castle.

9 Disadvantages of the motte and bailey castle
1. The biggest weakness was the material they were made of – wood. Like the story of the Three Little Pigs, wooden buildings can be burnt down by fire. They can also be affected by rot. 2. Because the castles were not built to last, they were only a temporary solution.

10 TASKS. Cut out and stick in picture of Motte and Bailey Castle.
Label the following: Motte, Bailey, Keep, Hall, Pallisades, Moat, Drawbridge, Store Huts, Stables. Write strengths & weaknesses of each: Quick to put up easy to repair wood is weak wood can rot in rain high up not big enough to house lots of troops a motte is a man made hill wood can burn the motte could collapse can keep animals

11 Extension. William needed to build castles q______. Many English people continued to rebel against the k______.He needed to construct d______ along the coast and across the c_______ in order to protect him and his followers from the angry locals. The first castles were built of wood and stone, as these building resources were easy to find in f_____areas. There were two main parts of the castle. The _______, which was an earth mound where a small w_______fort was situated. The other part was called a _________. Often, livestock, horses and soldiers families lived in this enclosure. BAILEY QUICKLY WOOD FOREST WOODEN MOTTE KING DEFENCES COUNTRYSIDE

12 Plenary: Motte and bailey: multiple-choice questions

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