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.