Motte and Bailey Castle Facts for Kids

A motte & bailey castle represents an intriguing aspect of history. If you want to learn more about the way people lived in the centuries past, learning about motte & bailey castles is one element that should definitely be at the top of your to-do list. There are several facts about motte & bailey castles that are worth keeping in mind.

Facts About Motte And Bailey Castles

As the name already suggests, a castle of this type is something that is going to be made up of two key parts. The first part would be the motte, while the second part would be the bailey. The motte consists of raised mounds or earthworks, and you’ll find stones or wooden keeps at the top. With the bailey, you’re going to be talking about something that features courtyards enclosed with ditch and palisade protection. A palisade is a wall that is made from lare wooden stakes.

The above represents some of the basics on motte & bailey structures. As you can imagine, there are several other facts about these castles that are worth keeping in mind:

• The first examples of motte & bailey structures can be found through the Normans. In the wake of William the Conqueror’s conquest in the Battle of Hastings of 1066, the Normans used motte and bailey castles to more firmly establish their hold on England.
• By the late 1200s, the era of motte and bailey structures came to an end.
• Examples of motte & bailey structures could be found all throughout Europe. You could find these castles in such locations as Englan , Wales, Normandy, Anjou, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Ireland.
• Interestingly enough, during the time in which these castles were being built and utilized, they were not known as motte and bailey structures. The term itself would come much, much later.
• A motte could be manmade, but it was also possible for the motte to come from the landscape itself. In certain cases, existing mounds would be converted into a motte for a motte and bailey castle.
• The height of a motte could vary quite a bit, from one motte & bailey entity to the next. Some mottes could range as high as thirty meters. However, this was the exception to the rule. In most cases, a motte would range somewhere between five to ten meters in height.
• The bailey featured several different buildings, including the kitchen, the chapel, the barracks, the stable, the workshop, and much more.
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