Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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James G. Weese CastlesCastles were an important part in history. As I researched them I thought why were castles made? What did they look like? What was the life like for the people in the castles? What were their defenses? That I will tell you in the next few paragraphs.

Why were castles made? Castles were originally made to protect people from enemies. People lived around the castles in towns. Castles were also made to help kings gain and control more territory. The earlier castles were called 'mott & baileys'. The mott was a high mound of earth with a wooden tower on it. Around the tower and going down the hillside was a wooden fence called a palisade. At the bottom, the palisade spread out to a wall around a town where people lived. Later on, stone replaced wood. As castles advanced the towers and walls got larger and developed until they looked like castles everyone thinks of today.

What did castles look like on the outside? When a castle was newly built, it was very white because it was covered with whitewash. Every castle design was different, depending on the area around it and what its purpose was. The walls were over ten feet thick and toped with crenelations. The main entrance was through the gate, but their were many much smaller gates around the castle used to come or go without being easily noticed or for extra traffic. There were also lots of windows. But the ones near the ground were thin to keep people from climbing through them. Windows higher up could be bigger, since it would be hard to get up that high.

What did castles look like on the inside? An important thing to remember is that castles weren't just designed to be...