A Broader View
of Medieval Castles

People have long been fascinated with medieval castles. Perhaps it is in part due to the romantic images that we have tied to these castles.

The thought of a medieval castle often brings an image of a glorious structure gleaming in the sunlight and providing protection to all those in the surrounding land.

We imagine lords and ladies dressed in the finest of clothes and looked upon in awe and beauty by the people. We imagine ourselves living in one of these castles as an honored member of its royalty.

The grandeur of the medieval times castle has also captivated us. Huge stone walls stretching skyward with a commanding view of all the land beyond; a fortress asserting its might and authority. We feel powerful when we envision ourselves in the midst of such a great building.

However, most people are unaware of what medieval castle life was really like. To get a glimpse in video format I recommed that you check out A&E's great home video called Castles & Dungeons.

To understand medieval castle life, we should first consider that the purpose of these castles extended beyond fortresses of protection. The castle was also a residence; a home for many people of the kingdom, and as such, it functioned most of the time as a household.

There was a diverse population that lived in the castle. This included knights, cooks, engineers, entertainers, commoners, and a host of other occupations and social classes.

A constable was also a very important resident of these castles. His job was to look after the castle itself. He managed the coordination of all working members of the castle and ensured that duties were fulfilled and the daily castle needs tended to.

This was an important position since the king was not always present to ensure these things himself. The Constable was the foreman and castle manager in the king’s absence.

Beyond the glory and excitement, we should also appreciate the beauty of the castle's practical and societal function.

To encompass such a variety of functions and maintain an entire community within its walls was no accomplishment to scoff at.

For an abundance of information on castle architecture and castle design styles used in the medieval era I highly recommend that you visit European Medieval Castles Design.


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