History of the English Castle

Medieval Castle
Picture of a Medieval Castle

History of the English Castle

English castles, as we generally recognise them, were built of stone during the Medieval era. But the history of the English castle goes back much further! Exploring the History of the English Castle takes us as far back to the Neolithic Period - to Stone Age History!

This section of the comprehensive castles site is unusual in that it describes the important milestones in the history of English castles.

(For details of specific castles such as the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, Leeds Castle, Warwick etc please click the English Castles link above)

 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.

The History of the English Castle
The Medieval Period also known as the Middle Ages ( 1066 - 1500 )

The Norman Invasion heralded the Medieval period, or the Middle Ages. The Normans introduced the wooden Motte and Bailey castles which were immediately followed by the construction of stone castles and Keeps such as the Tower of London in the History of the English Castle - . The Medieval Kings of England went on to build the magnificent Windsor Castle and Warwick Castle. The English King Edward I conquered Wales where he constructed massive fortifications called Concentric castles such as Conwy Castle, Harlech Castle and Caernarvon Castle.

English Causewayed Camps / Enclosures
Stonehenge
Hillforts
Maiden Castle
Roman Forts
The Dark Ages - Alfred the Great - the Burhs

History of the English Castle

History of the English Castle

  • The History of the English Causewayed Camps / Enclosures and Stonehenge
  • The History of the English Castle -  Hillforts and Maiden Castle
  • The History of the English Castle -  Roman Forts
  • The History of the English Castle - Burghs built by Alfred the Great
  • The History of the English Castle -  Motte and Bailey Castles and the first stone Norman Castles introduced in England by William the Conqueror


History of the English Castle - Famous - History - Facts - Information - Info - Pictures - Dark Ages - Dark Age - Old - Medieval - Mediaeval - Middle Ages - Motte and Bailey - Medevil - Medevial - Meadieval - Madieval - Meideval - Medievall - Midieval - Midevil - Mideval - Casttles - Carstles - Cassels - Cassells - History of the English CastleCarsels - Carsells - Carsels - Carstles - Carsalls - Fortress - Citadel - Court - Donjon - Dark Ages - Dark Age - Mediaeval - Medevil - History of the English CastleMedevial - Meadieval - Madieval - Meideval - Medievall - Midieval - Midevil - Mideval - Casttles - Carstles - Cassels - Cassells - Carsels - Carsells - Carsels - Carstles - CarsallsFasthold - Fort - Fortress - Garrison - Keep - King - Dark Ages - Dark Age - Knight - Mote - Motte - Palace - History of the English Castle

Copyright information Cookies PolicyGoogle+Privacy Statement