Why were motte and bailey castles so good for Defence?

What were two key features of a Motte and Bailey castle?

The castle is made up of two parts. The motte is a raised mound or earthwork which would have a stone or wooden keep on top. A keep is a kind fortified tower. The bailey is an enclosed courtyard that was protected by a ditch and a palisade – which is a wall made from wooden stakes.

What are the disadvantages of a bailey castle?

At a glance: disadvantages of Motte and Bailey castles 1 Timber burns easily -and attackers quickly learned that firing flaming arrows could defeat the castle 2 Timber rots, to0 – castles quickly ran into disrepair, and often became abandoned by their owners 3 Mottes often had a broad base.

Why are motte and bailey castles so popular?

Motte and Bailey castles were an attractive design for many reasons. They could be built extremely quickly, and only needed basic materials for their construction (such as earth, and wood). This meant that they were very cheap to make.

What is the purpose of a motte?

A motte was an earth mound, forming a defensible raised platform on which a tower – a keep – could be built. The earth for the motte would be taken from around its own base, forming a deep ditch, aiding the builders’ ability to defend.

How did William keep control of England with castles?

Unlike Anglo-Saxon fortified towns, a Norman motte and bailey castle could be built very quickly, in some cases it only took a few days. William had 8000 men to try and consolidate his power in England. Building motte and bailey castles were an effective way of securing towns that had submitted to his power.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a motte and bailey?

The last advantage was the ditch. Digging the earth to form the motte resulted in a trench that could be dry or water filled. The disadvantages were several. The living quarters were crowded with little privacy. They were somewhat tiny, meaning room for possessions was limited. They were not comfortable as we think of comfort today.

What was the problem with motte and bailey castles?

The major weakness of the motte and bailey castle was the likelihood of the keep rotting or burning down. The solution was to build stone keeps but these could not always be built on the same site since the weight of the stone would sink into the motte.

Why were motte and bailey castles so good for Defence?

For man-made mottes the earth needed to build it was taken from the surrounding ditch to create another defensive feature. Motte and Bailey castles were built in Britain, Ireland and France in the 11th and 12th centuries. They were relatively cheap but effective defensive fortification that could repel small attacks.

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