Medieval Castle Architecture

 

Medieval Castle Architecture

  • What were the styles of Medieval Castle Architecture in Enland an Wales?
  • Design and  layout of Welsh and English Medieval Castle Architecture
  • Gothic Architecture of the Medieval Castle - Early English, Decorative and Perpendicular

Medieval Castle Architecture

Medieval Castle Architecture
The Architecture of Medieval castles were ambitious - state of the art castles of the Middle Ages.
The medieval era is also referred to as the Middle ages and we have spanned this period of time from the Norman Invasion of 1066 to the Tudor dynasty of the Renaissance which ended in 1603. Medieval architecture ranged from the Romanesque Architecture style of the Normans - the Motte and Bailey design castles to the massive Norman Stone Castles with their towering stone Keeps. The Romanesque style of Medieval Architecture moved on to the Edwardian Concentric castles used by the Plantagenet English King Edward I and then the more slender and pointed style of the Gothic Medieval Architecture.

Medieval Castle Architecture
The changes in Medieval Architecture were made in response to:

  • Social and cultural changes during the Medieval era
  • Changing needs of the population
  • Changes in technology, in terms of the building tools, which were available
  • New building techniques, construction methods and ideas for new styles of Medieval Castle architecture
  • Symbolic reasons and designs in the style of architecture or practical reasons for the new locations of castles
  • The desire for more comfort in the castle Interiors

The History of Medieval Castle Architecture
The History of Medieval Castle Architecture dates back to the Normans. This was an exciting time in Medieval European history. Many English and European Medieval Knights had travelled to the Holy Land on Crusades. The knights had seen the magnificent solid fortresses of the Byzantine Empire and these massive buildings influenced and revolutionised Medieval castle building ideas, engineering and architecture. The wooden Medieval Motte and Bailey castles moved on to the Norman stone castles and on to the massive Medieval concentric castles of Edward I. The new Gothic Style of Medieval architecture and decoration emerged in France. It was initially called "The French Style". The views expressed during the Renaissance period of history, following the Medieval era,  led to a different name for the style of architecture - Gothic. Appalled at the abandonment of classical Romanesque lines and proportion Medieval Architecture was derisively called "Gothic". This title alluded to the Barbaric Goths, or Visigoths, who, led by their leader Alaric sacked Rome in 410AD which ultimately led to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Medieval Styles of Castle Architecture
Medieval styles of architecture spanned the following periods of English History from 1066 - 1603:

  • Romanesque Medieval Architecture of the Normans
  • The Edwardian Medieval Architecture of the Concentric Castles
  • The Medieval Gothic style of Architecture favoured by the Plantagenets
  • The Medieval Coastal Forts and Palaces of the Tudor dynasty during the Renaissance

Norman Medieval Castle Architecture
The Medieval castles built to the design of Norman architecture had many problems in terms of defence which needed to be resolved in the architecture of the Medieval Castle. The wooden Motte and Bailey castles were at risk of fire and their towers were quickly replaced by the Stone Keeps - which also had their own problems!

  • The corners of the Square Keeps featured in Medieval Norman architecture were weak and at risk of collapse due to mining techniques employed by attackers
  • There was only one defensive wall
  • The Medieval Architecture featured in the Norman Castles were extremely uncomfortable - dark, dank and cold
  • Norman Castles were particularly at risk from siege warfare - the Medieval builders and architects had to address of these problems

The weaknesses of the early Norman style of Castle Architecture had to be addressed. Enter the Gothic Medieval Castle Architecture and the Medieval Concentric Castles!

Edwardian Medieval Castle Architecture - Concentric Castles!
The
magnificent Welsh Medieval Castles built by the Plantagenet King Edward I are excellent examples of the early style of Medieval Castle Architecture. King Edward I employed the services of the best architect and builder of this Medieval era who was called Master James of St George. The innovations of Medieval Castle Architecture are demonstrated in the design of the Concentric Castles.  A good description of a Concentric Castle is "a Castle within a Castle". The Medieval architecture of the concentric castles was effectively lots of buildings, walls, towers and gatehouses in one massive Medieval castle complex built within in successive lines of defence. Concentric Castles provide great examples of early Medieval Castle Architecture!

What is Gothic Medieval Castle Architecture?
Gothic architecture is the term used to describe the building styles which were used in the Medieval years dating from 1200 to 1500. The different types of Gothic Architecture styles, featured in Medieval Castle Architecture, are divided into  three phases:

  • Medieval Castle Architecture - 1200 to 1300 - Early English Gothic Style ( also called Lancet )
  • Medieval Castle Architecture - 1300 to 1400 - Decorated Gothic Style
  • Medieval Castle Architecture - 1400 to 1500 - Perpendicular Gothic Style

Medieval Castle Architecture - Defining Features
Medieval Castle Architecture can be defined as having the following features:

  • The Stone featured in Medieval Castle Architecture was cut with precision
  • Medieval Castle architecture featured solid walls and pillars - allowing them to hold far greater weights - the Medieval style of Castle Building and Architecture provided much bigger castles!
  • The Medieval Gothic Castle was able to hold greater weights which meant architects were able to design bigger castles
  • The use of the Gothic arch in Medieval Castle Architecture led to the construction of light and airy structures - lightening and heightening of Gothic structures
  • Wider window openings and Gothic Rose Windows ( in Medieval Chapels, Churches and Cathedrals)
  • The introduction of flying buttresses in Medieval Castle Architecture
  • More Towers were featured in Medieval Castle Architecture
  • Decorative designs and sculptures including Gargoyles ( Excellent examples of Medieval Gargoyles can be found at Raglan Castle)

Characteristics of Early English Medieval Gothic Architecture
The style of Medieval Gothic Architecture described as Early English ( Lancet ) used during the period of 1200 - 1300  is characterised by the following elements:

  • The large blocks of stone used by the Normans, were replaced by shaped stone. The stone of Medieval Gothic castles was cut with precision
  • The Norman hollow walls were replaced with solid walls and pillars - allowing them to hold far greater weights - the Gothic style of Medieval Castle Building and Architecture provided much bigger castles!
  • The Medieval 'Early English' Gothic architecture emphasized height and made good use of the pointed arch
  • The pointed arch could support greater weight, allowing the walls of the Medieval Castle to be thinner with wider window openings
  • The introduction of flying buttresses in Medieval Castle Architecture distributed the weight of roofs and walls right down to the ground
  • Gothic Medieval architecture and design allowed architects to spread the weight to different points of the castle
  • Towers were often surmounted with very slender towers
  • Improved Medieval tools such as the chisel, as opposed to axes, led to more decorative designs
  • Sculptures of Stone Gargoyles were introduced as waterspouts protecting the foundations from rain

Characteristics of the Decorated Medieval Gothic Architecture
The style of the Gothic Medieval style of Architecture described as 'Decorated' was  used during the Medieval period of 1300 - 1400  is characterised by the following elements:

  • The Decorated Gothic Medieval Architecture Castle style was characterised by wider windows
  • The wider windows were decorated with tracery (a system of window decoration) and ornamentation
  • Gothic Rose Windows are associated with great Gothic Churches and Cathedrals however some small Rose Windows were featured in the Chapels of Medieval Castles. Rose Windows were a decorative by-product of the development of stained glass.

Characteristics of Perpendicular Medieval Gothic Architecture
The style of the Gothic Medieval style of Architecture described as 'Perpendicular' was  used during the period of 1400 - 1500,  is characterised by the following elements:

  • Fan vaulting
  • Hammerbeam roofs
  • Towers featured in Welsh Medieval Castle Architecture were often surmounted with very slender towers
  • Improved Medieval tools such as the chisel, as opposed to axes, led to more decorative designs

 

Medieval Castle Architecture


Medieval Castle
Architecture

Castle Architecture
Neolithic Architecture
Iron and Bronze Age Architecture
Roman Architecture
Romanesque Architecture & the Norman Architects
Gothic Architecture


Medieval Castle Architecture - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Famous - Design - Layout - Architecture - Building - Consentric - Strengths and Weaknesses - Advantages - Disadvantages - King Edward I - Master James of St George - Siege - Warfare - Concentrex - Concentrek - Concentrick - Consentric - North - Wales - Welsh - History - Facts - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Information - Info - Pictures - Middle Ages - Old - Medieval - Gothic Castle Architecture - Medieval Castle Architecture - Mediaeval - Middle Ages - Medevil - Medevial - Meadieval - Madieval - Meideval - Medievall - Midieval - Midevil - Mideval - Casttles - Carstles - Cassels - Cassells - Carsels - Carsells - Carsels - Carstles - Carsalls - Fortress - Citadel - Gothic Castle Architecture - Design - Layout - Architecture - Building - Consentric - Strengths and Weaknesses - Advantages - Disadvantages - King Edward I - Master James of St George - Siege - Warfare - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Gothic  - Medieval Castle Architecture - Medieval Castle Architecture - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Famous - Design - Layout - Architecture - Building - Consentric - Strengths and Weaknesses - Advantages - Disadvantages - King Edward I - Master James of St George - Siege - Warfare - Concentrex - Concentrek - Concentrick - Consentric - North - Wales - Welsh - History - Facts - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Information - Info - Pictures - Middle Ages - Old - Medieval - Gothic Castle Architecture - Medieval Castle Architecture - Mediaeval - Middle Ages - Medevil - Medevial - Meadieval - Madieval - Meideval - Medievall - Midieval - Midevil - Mideval - Casttles - Carstles - Cassels - Cassells - Carsels - Carsells - Carsels - Carstles - Carsalls - Fortress - Citadel - Gothic Castle Architecture - Design - Layout - Architecture - Building - Consentric - Strengths and Weaknesses - Advantages - Disadvantages - King Edward I - Master James of St George - Siege - Warfare - Rose Windows - Flying buttresses - Stained glass windows - Gargoyles - Pointed Arch - Towers - Concentric Castles - Perpendicular - Decorated - Early English - Lancet - Gothic  - Medieval Castle Architecture

Copyright information Cookies PolicyGoogle+Privacy Statement