Medieval Castle Floor Plans Provide Comfort and Safety
Castle floor plans, regardless of the time period and geographical area they are located in; there are various places needed for different functions.
The castle layout and defense of the castle did not stop at the castle walls, the area outside the castle itself was an important part of the defense of the castle, from the land cleared around it to the wet or dry moat and interior defenses that allowed the defenders to survive siege warfare, that often lasted a lengthy span of days or months.
The first castle plans were not as advanced as the later ones built when the need for defensive structures was paramount for the survival of the inhabitants.
Moat and outer defenses: the outer defenses consisted of a moat, either dry or filled with water and assorted garbage thrown into it. The area around the moat was built up by an outer curtain wall, often with towers used for observation of the cleared area around the castle.
Doorways, outer and inner doorways were the main entryways into the inside of the castle, but they were often not in a straight line and were enclosed by a inner wall or corridor, complete with a portcullis, and holes for boiling oil or water to be poured on invaders. A drawbridge provided access across the moat.
The inner part of the castle layout contained the living quarters for the lord and lady of the castle as well as any guards and servants. Common rooms consisted of the areas to prepare food, the kitchens, the great hall, where the guests ate.
Stairs were used to provide access to the different levels of the castle, these were often designed so that the defenders could effectively defend the castle from attack.
The privy was a necessary part of the castle, a place for the inhabitants to relieve themselves.
The bailey was the place where livestock was brought during siege times and where food was often stored.
The southward facing rooms built into the towers were called solar, and provided a place for the lady of the castle to work on her weaving and other needlework as well as a place for the family to gather.
The other areas of the castle included the places for the entertainment and lodging of those who kept the castle safe or served those who lived there; from lowest page or stable hand to the highest of the reeves who was a steward entrusted with making sure the castle affairs ran smoothly and all the supplies were gathered when they were supposed to be from the tenants or villagers that supported the lord of the castle.
Medieval castle floor plans served multiple purposes. From catering to the needs of the everyday inhabitants to providing protection in times of war.
Castles were the center of life in the medieval era and often were different then our imagination and romantic eyes see, but they had an important place in the development of Britain and other areas for defense and establishment of a secure place to run to in case of foreign invasion.
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