When William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings in 1066 he had to find some way of keeping control of the defeated Saxons. He introduced the idea of castles and of using them as safe bases from which to target other areas.
The Motte and Bailey castle was quick to build ( a motte could be built in just over a week!) - it also had deep ditches and at first there was a wooden tower called a keep. The Motte was reached by steep steps.
|Take a look at the diagram to the left. "X" shows the area known as the Bailey. "Y" shows the Motte. There would have been a tower built on this steep mound for the Norman lord to live in. A wooden palisade surrounded it and the Bailey.|
Quiz question 1: What would make these castles hard to attack?
Quiz question 2: What disadvantage can you see did Motte and Bailey Castles have? - if you can't think follow this link and find the answer at http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk/motteandbaileycastles.htm.
If you keep your eyes open you sometimes can see archaeological remains of these castles - the picture above shows you the type of site to keep an eye out for. Visit the site below for more pictures http://www.castlewales.com/motte.html -