essays medieval castles

warm the room after the fire had burned low. Castles were drafty places, and gloomy, and usually damp. I n the earliest castles the family slept at the extreme upper end of the hall, beyond the dais, from which the sleeping quarters were typically separated by only a curtain or screen. Location: Most castles were designed to defend a location. Most peasants did not live in the castle, but when trouble came they would hurry inside the castle and close the gates. Ideally, the garderobe was sited at the end of a short, right-angled passage in the thickness of the wall, often a buttress. The ancestor of the fireplace was the central open hearth, used in ground-level halls in Saxon times and often into later centuries. But the castle didnt disappear.

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These stone fortresses were very similar to the Motte and Bailey structures of the previous century and they were often called shell-keeps. Flues ascended vertically through the walls to a chimney, cylindrical with an open top, or with side vents and a conical cap. They didnt require the massive resources that later stone castles would require. E ntrance to the hall was usually in a side wall near the lower end. Round towers were stronger, less vulnerable, and had no blind spots. life in a Medieval Castle, Joseph and Frances Gies, Harper and Row, New York, 1974. In the bailey near the kitchen the castle garden was usually planted with fruit trees and vines at one end, and plots of herbs, and flowers - roses, lilies, heliotropes, violets, poppies, daffodils, iris, gladiola.