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Medieval Castle Architecture

Medieval Castle Architecture

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Published by Cristina Melania

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Published by: Cristina Melania on Jun 01, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Medieval Castle ArchitectureThe Architecture of Medieval castles were ambitious - state of the artcastles of the Middle Ages. The medieval era is also referred to as theMiddle ages and we have spanned this period of time from the NormanInvasion of 1066 to the Tudor dynasty of the Renaissance which ended in1603. Medieval architecture ranged from the Romanesque Architecturestyle of the Normans - the Motte and Bailey design castles to the massiveNorman Stone Castles with their towering stone Keeps. The Romanesquestyle of Medieval Architecture moved on to the Edwardian Concentriccastles used by the Plantagenet English King Edward I and then the moreslender and pointed style of the Gothic Medieval Architecture.Medieval Castle ArchitectureThe 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 wereavailable
New building techniques, construction methods and ideas for newstyles of Medieval Castle architecture
Symbolic reasons and designs in the style of architecture orpractical reasons for the new locations of castles
The desire for more comfort in the castle InteriorsThe History of Medieval Castle ArchitectureThe History of Medieval Castle Architecture dates back to the Normans.This was an exciting time in Medieval European history. Many Englishand European Medieval Knights had travelled to the Holy Land onCrusades. The knights had seen the magnificent solid fortresses of theByzantine Empire and these massive buildings influenced andrevolutionised Medieval castle building ideas, engineering andarchitecture. The wooden Medieval Motte and Bailey castles moved on tothe Norman stone castles and on to the massive Medieval concentriccastles of Edward I. The new Gothic Style of Medieval architecture anddecoration emerged in France. It was initially called "The French Style".The views expressed during the Renaissance period of history, followingthe Medieval era, led to a different name for the style of architecture -Gothic. Appalled at the abandonment of classical Romanesque lines andproportion Medieval Architecture was derisively called "Gothic". Thistitle alluded to the Barbaric Goths, or Visigoths, who, led by their leaderAlaric sacked Rome in 410AD which ultimately led to the fall of theRoman Empire.
Medieval Styles of Castle ArchitectureMedieval styles of architecture spanned the following periods of EnglishHistory 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 thePlantagenets
The Medieval Coastal Forts and Palaces of the Tudor dynastyduring the RenaissanceNorman Medieval Castle ArchitectureThe Medieval castles built to the design of Norman architecture hadmany problems in terms of defence which needed to be resolved in the
architecture of the Medieval Castle. The wooden Motte and Bailey castleswere 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 Normanarchitecture were weak and at risk of collapse due to miningtechniques employed by attackers
There was only one defensive wall
The Medieval Architecture featured in the Norman Castles wereextremely uncomfortable - dark, dank and cold
Norman Castles were particularly at risk from siege warfare - the
Medieval builders and architects had to address of these problemsThe weaknesses of the early Norman style of Castle Architecture had tobe addressed. Enter the Gothic Medieval Castle Architecture and theMedieval Concentric Castles!Edwardian Medieval Castle Architecture - Concentric Castles!The magnificent Welsh Medieval Castles built by the Plantagenet KingEdward I are excellent examples of the early style of Medieval CastleArchitecture. King Edward I employed the services of the best architect
and builder of this Medieval era who was called Master James of StGeorge. The innovations of Medieval Castle Architecture aredemonstrated in the design of the Concentric Castles. A good descriptionof a Concentric Castle is "a Castle within a Castle". The Medievalarchitecture of the concentric castles was effectively lots of buildings,walls, towers and gatehouses in one massive Medieval castle complexbuilt within in successive lines of defence. Concentric Castles providegreat examples of early Medieval Castle Architecture!
What is Gothic Medieval Castle Architecture?Gothic architecture is the term used to describe the building styles whichwere used in the Medieval years dating from 1200 to 1500. The differenttypes of Gothic Architecture styles, featured in Medieval Castle
Architecture, are divided into three phases:
Medieval Castle Architecture - 1200 to 1300 - Early English GothicStyle ( also called Lancet )
Medieval Castle Architecture - 1300 to 1400 - Decorated GothicStyle
Medieval Castle Architecture - 1400 to 1500 - Perpendicular GothicStyleMedieval Castle Architecture - Defining FeaturesMedieval Castle Architecture can be defined as having the followingfeatures:
The Stone featured in Medieval Castle Architecture was cut withprecision
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 whichmeant architects were able to design bigger castles
The use of the Gothic arch in Medieval Castle Architecture led tothe construction of light and airy structures - lightening andheightening of Gothic structures
Wider window openings and Gothic Rose Windows ( in Medieval
Chapels, Churches and Cathedrals)
The introduction of flying buttresses in Medieval CastleArchitecture
More Towers were featured in Medieval Castle Architecture
Decorative designs and sculptures including Gargoyles ( Excellentexamples of Medieval Gargoyles can be found at Raglan Castle)Characteristics of Early English Medieval Gothic ArchitectureThe style of Medieval Gothic Architecture described as Early English( Lancet ) used during the period of 1200 - 1300 is characterised by thefollowing elements:
The large blocks of stone used by the Normans, were replaced byshaped stone. The stone of Medieval Gothic castles was cut with
The Norman hollow walls were replaced with solid walls and
pillars - allowing them to hold far greater weights - the Gothic style

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