Why have castles?

Honestly going into this class I knew nothing about castles and really the only interaction I had with a castle was the one I saw in Harry Potter. Little did I know that in England alone there is about fifteen thousand castle sites whether that be full castles or old locations. Castles have many different applications, but as of now they are almost rendered useless due to the advancement in civilization. Now castles are mostly used to house expensive antiques, and as a historical landmark to teach the younger generations(us). One of the biggest reasons castles were developed by the lords of England was to protect them during times of war. Although many of the original castles, that were made of wood, are no longer there due to the fact that they were not very effective in actually defending the residents. When the stone age started to bloom people started to build the castles we see today. Although they still weren’t the best at this time because they still lacked in the tools needed to construct such a powerful fortress. Once the castles evolved into a necessary warfare weapons it caused improvements to be something that had to be done, not just for luxury. One key improvement made to castles was the addition of turrets for extra protection. Quoins were primarily used for decoration, but this is the primary place to put lookout towers. These towers could be used to locate enemies trying to sneak into the premises, and see battle formations in the opposing troops. Moats were used many times to surround the castles and this allowed only one entrance into the castles besides the postern. This gave a big advantage to the castles allowing them to isolate themselves. The drawbridge was the main entrance to the castle and this is where in many of the good defense castles they put many traps like death holes and murder holes. These could take out many enemies as a last resort. As the age of war started to decrease, it was apparent that these castles were meant as trophies for the conquering lords. Some of them would tear them down and replace them with a more elegant castle made from the rubble of the previous castle. Once the times of concurring were done it was observed that these castles were used to start early settlements and places of business. The castles that were placed in different areas that could not be industrialized, they became places of prayer and agricultural dependency. Owning a castle is the ultimate class barrier that was set in place to separate the privileged upper class from the weak and poor lower class. For many years these families owned castles or gave them to their relatives. This very quickly became too expensive of a luxury to afford and these castle evolved into what they are used for today. I am personally very excited to see these amazing castles and see in person how they have evolved into today’s castles.


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