Earliest form of castles built Made entirely of wood The Motte On a large hill a wooden keep (lookout). surrounded with a large wooden fence. The Bailey separated from the Motte by a wooden bridge could be removed if the Bailey was occupied by enemies. where people lived and animals were kept.
Better form of defense. stone keep with thick walls and few windows. might be surrounded by a ditch or moat entrance to the castle was by drawbridge.
12th and 13th Centuries Offered the best protection Center: inner wall built of thick stone with turrets positioned at intervals Outer: an equally thick but lower stone wall.
archers on the inner walls can fire over the archers on the outer walls. space between the two walls: 'death hole' surrounded with a moat and entry would be across a drawbridge.
Best way to attack the early Motte and Bailey castles bonfire against the outer wooden fence or by archers shooting fire-arrows into the castle. Fire has little effect on a stone castle.
The thick stone walls of the Stone Keep castles were difficult for men to knock down. The battering ram was particularly useful since the weight of several men would be put behind it. This could seriously weaken and possibly destroy doors or walls.
Ladders Ladders were used by those attacking a castle to climb over the walls and fight the people living in the castle. Disadvantage - leaving the man climbing the ladder subject to attack by arrow, boiling water or oil, or by being thrown to the ground if the ladder was pushed away from the wall. To prevent this type of attack the Belfry or Siege Tower was developed.
The Belfry was a large structure on wheels that could be pushed up to the castle walls. (siege tower) Ladders inside the Belfry allowed attackers to climb to the top under cover and get into the castle. Castle owners prevented this type of attack by piling earth up against the castle walls so that the Belfry, which was on wheels, could not be pushed near to the castle.
A variety of catapults or siege engines were developed during the Middle Ages to hurl: fire stones, fireballs dead sheep, cattle, or plague victims
A good way of attacking a stone castle. Attackers would dig a tunnel underground up to the castle walls. They would then set a charge and make an explosion which would make the walls crumble and collapse. Advantage - the attack could not be seen by those living in the castle. However, if those inside the castle were aware that attackers were mining underground, they would often mine from the castle to meet the attackers underground and there would be a sword battle.
Siege Good way of attacking a stone castle. Attackers would surround a castle with both men and catapults so that no one could enter or leave the castle. Sieges could last for months Usually until the inhabitants of the castle ran out of food and were starving. One of the castle owner's main line of defense against siege was to send all women, children, old, weak and sick people out of the castle. This meant that only those strong enough to fight off attackers remained in the castle and that the food supply would last much longer.
1. The best way to attack an early castle was with fire. 2. Fire was a good way to attack a stone castle. 3. Battering rams were used to knock people out of the way. 4. Pick axes were sometimes used to knock holes through thin stone walls. 5. Ladders were used to climb castle walls. 6. The belfry tower was a closed in ladder on wheels. 7. A mangonel was used underground. 8. Tunnels were often dug underground and castles exploded from underneath. 9. A siege was used to starve people out of the castle. 10. Sieges were usually over very quickly.