Why Were Castles Used?

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William I used castles such as Rockingham to stamp his authority across England, the castles were used as a chain of command aiding him to take over England. These castles or fuelled William with the terror he needed in order to conquer England efficiently and successfully, the castles have been dubbed ‘Engines of Terror’ by Schama. Castles had to be placed in Strategic Locations in order to fulfil their full potential as symbols of power, therefore preventing revolt. These locations were chosen for a number of reasons, the height of land, the location in England and how easily accessible resources were, would all be taken into account when looking for the best place to situate a castle. There were many reasons why castles such as Rockingham were built, for example when William introduced the feudal system to England castles played a key role helping the system to run efficiently. The King allocated land to the Baron’s who then built castles on the land, this in turn allowed only 25000 Normans to control over 2 million Saxons with around 90 castles. William built the castles on sections of land which he then allocated to Normans who could then control the sections of land using the ‘fearsome’ castles. When William first arrived in England he needed to set up castles quickly that were relatively cheap to build; the castles built were Motte and Bailey Castles. Motte and Bailey Castles were made out of wood, this is what made them cheap and fast to construct. William needed to establish himself fast and by building castles quickly he sets up controlling the country just as fast. In the centre of a Motte and Bailey castle was a keep, this was the safest place in the castle and was built on a defensive mound of earth, the motte. On lower ground, there would have been a large walled area where the soldiers and animals would have lived, this part of the castle was
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