Medieval Castles 01
Castles were symbols of authority not only for the king, but also for barons.

Medieval Castles 01

This KS3 History quiz challenges you about medieval castles. Although castles existed before the medieval period, they were just fortified villages surrounded by a wooden palisade (large strong fence) and one or more ditches. After the Norman invasion of 1066, a new phase of castle building took place. Instead of housing ordinary people, castles were built to house the Norman soldiers and nobles. They showed off the power of the invaders, provided a safe place for Norman soldiers to live and reminded the British people that they had been invaded and had better watch out should they decide to rebel!

The first castles built by the Normans were of a relatively simple motte and bailey design. A motte is a tall mound of earth and stones with steep sides. A fairly simple but strong wooden structure was built on the top of the motte. The bailey was the surrounding area usually protected by a ditch and palisade. A motte and bailey castle could be constructed in less than 3 months by a team of 50 soldiers.

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  1. Castles were first built in England after which event?
    The Normans came from France where they used castles to protect themselves from invaders from further north like the Vikings
  2. Which King had the first castles built?
    He was also known as William the Conqueror
  3. William was worried about attacks by which people?
    He had defeated the Saxons at the Battle of Hastings
  4. What were the earliest castles made of?
    Using these made it possible to build a castle in just a few weeks
  5. A wooden fort built on top of a mound was called a .......
    It protected the most important people
  6. The enclosed area around the motte was the .......
    People often lived within the bailey
  7. What usually protected a motte and bailey castle?
    A wooden bridge or ladder linked the motte to the bailey
  8. The wooden fence had what special name?
    A palisade is a simple fence built from stakes of wood hammered into the ground and often sharpened at the top
  9. As well as the king, castles were symbols of authority for whom?
    By 1070 about 400 had been built
  10. What was an advantage of motte and bailey castles?
    It was reported that the motte and bailey castle at Dover was built in just eight days

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