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What was on top of the motte?

What was on top of the motte?

The keep on top of the motte was the castle’s last line of defense and it was the place where the lord of the castle (together with his wife) inhabited. Larger towers were often equipped with cellars and granaries, more living rooms and rooms for the watchmen and the servants appointed to keep the house.

Why couldn’t they build the new castles on top of the old motte & bailey sites?

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.

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.

Are there any Motte and Bailey castles left?

Between 350 and 450 motte-and-bailey castles are believed to remain today, although the identification of these earthwork remains can be contentious. A small number of motte-and-bailey castles were built outside of northern Europe.

What is the difference between a moat and a motte?

A moat is a broad, deep ditch that is dug around a castle or other fortress as a defense against attack. Usually, a moat is filled with water. Moat comes from the fourteenth century Old French word mote, meaning mound, hillock, embankment, castle built on a hill. A mote is a speck, a tiny substance.

Why was the Keep on top of the motte so important?

The motte was flattened on top to make place for the wooden keep. The steep embankment on the side of the motte was known as a Scarp. The keep on top of the motte was the castle’s primary defensive element. It was surrounded by a protective wall, originally made of wood.

What kind of tower is on top of a mound?

An old and simple system is the Motte and Bailey, familiar to many from school history lessons. A defensive tower built on top of a mound is surrounded by a fence and an outer ditch. The tower may be made of wood or stone and the mound may be natural or man-made.

What was the purpose of the motte and bailey castle?

The Normans brought with them new forms of military architecture, among the most important of which was the motte and bailey Castle. This consisted of two main components: the motte, an artificial mound atop which was built a fortified tower called a keep, and a bailey, which was an enclosure connected to the motte.

How did the Raiders burn down the motte castle?

Sophisticated fire-launching techniques designed to burn down the castle were developed and used with great success. Moreover, the broad base of the mottes meant that attacks could come from any direction, and raiders were quick to use this to their advantage, often surprising the defenders inside the keep.