The full History of the English Castle provides fascinating facts and information leading up to the construction of the English Medieval Castle which can be accessed from the above links.
Understanding the History of the word 'castle'
The word 'castle' is derived from the Latin words castellum, meaning fortress, and castrum meaning a fortified place. The castle can be defined as the following:
What is a Castle?
"A safe retreat against intrusion or invasion"
Another definition is:
"A large fortified building or set of buildings"
The history of the English Castle therefore can date back to the time when people started to live in settled communities - the Stone Age!
The History of the English Castle becomes clearer!
When looking at the History of the English Castle we need to look for people who worked together to create, or build, a safe retreat against intrusion or invasion! This would apply to people living in England during the Neolithic Period, the Stone Age then on to the people of the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Romans and finally on to the Medieval era. By the time we reach the history of the Renaissance period the castle was used as a symbol of wealth and power rather than a necessary safe haven against intrusion and invasion! At this point in time and history the castle was replaced with the 'Palace', a large or splendid residence.
The History of the English Castle - The Stone Age ( 3000 - 1800 BC )
We travel back in the History of the English Castle to discover the Causewayed Camps and Stonehenge.
The History of the English Castle - The Bronze Age ( 1800 - 600 BC )
We look to Bronze Age period of history to discover the Hillforts of England, the biggest being Maiden Castle
The History of the English Castle - The Iron Age and the Romans ( 600 BC - 400 AD )
The Hillforts were developed even further during the history of the Iron Age and then the Romans invaded England and produced defensive structures such as the massive Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Forts
The History of the English Castle
The Dark Ages, also know as Anglo-Saxon England ( 400 AD - 1066 AD )
The Fall of the Roman Empire led to a time in the history of England when the Celts of England were invaded by the Scots, the Welsh, the Saxons and the Vikings. A new National Defence system was established by Alfred the Great by the formation of fortified towns called 'Burhs' (later changed to Burghs then Boroughs) The Dark Ages - Alfred the Great - the Burhs.