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First post - Castle Types

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First post - Castle Types

Postby Murgen » Fri Apr 15, 2005 6:08 pm

Being a lurker for many years, I finally decided to get moving and get building. My son is finally old enough to get interested in Legos, so this is the moment I have been waiting for.

But I thought I would post a parts of a paper I wrote for a college class some time ago, to see what the community thinks.

Types of Castles:

Fort: The most basic type of castle. Essentially and outer wall surrounding a military’s compound. The wall itself serves as little more than a barrier into and out of the facility, and is not designed to withstand modest assaults by enemy forces. It serves as a guard perimeter and to limit access to a compound. The simplest form of this is simply a trench and log-wall design used to fortify a position [hence the term] up through the beginning of the 20th century.

Mott and Bailey: The next logical expansion of the Fort principle. It features a large enclosed area and a secondary elevated structure. The enclosed area is similar to a fort, but usually with very limited access – one or two gates. This is where the main body of supplies and animals are kept, and serves as a troop marshalling area. The secondary structure, the bailey, is elevated and is accessible only through the mott. It serves as a lookout post, and a place for archers and primitive artillery pieces to defend the fort. Mott and Baileys are often surrounded by a moat for added security.

Keep: A keep is A fortification where the living quarters for the defenders are enclosed within the primary defensive structures. The primary structures are heavy walls, few if any low windows, and fortified entry points. A keep may be a large building with few doors and high, narrow windows. This does not exclude the keep having open spaces in its interior, however. It may also be a thick walled structure with a central courtyard. If the living quarters are attached to the outer wall and the open courtyard is only for drayage, then it is a keep.

Castle: A castle is a fortification where the primary living quarters is NOT attached to the primary defensive structures. A heavy outer wall surrounding self-contained buildings is the common castle design. These interior buildings generally are not designed to withstand enemy assault. Castles tend to be larger than keeps, as walls can be easily extended or added as the needs of the castle grows. This leads to concentric castles, with multiple defensive walls and overlapping fields of fire.

Fortress: A fortress is a combination of Castles, keeps, and forts. Large integrated structures, keeps with outer walls, walled cities with fortified troop posts scattered throughout all qualify as fortresses. Fortresses are usually defined by their scale.
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Postby Aviah102 » Tue May 17, 2005 8:07 pm

Murgen, do you have any personal Mocs of any of those fortifications listed?
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Postby eNiGMa » Tue May 17, 2005 9:11 pm

I learned a lot from that. I always thought the fortress was smaller than the castle :) .
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Postby Murgen » Mon May 23, 2005 5:44 pm

No MOC's yet.

I am working on a Mott and Bailey, but having trouble with the hill being big enough. Will post when I can.

I hope that my generic definitions spark some cool castle designs!
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Postby LEGOFREAK » Thu May 26, 2005 6:27 pm

Murgen I am sorry it took me so long to respond. this is a great post, and it would be awesome to see some lego creations attached to those. Maybe one of our admins could help develop it into a main page article.

:D
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Postby ezehogan » Mon May 30, 2005 6:14 am

I plan on building a MOC structure for the Lion Knight's which I was going to erroneaously name a "castle". Now I know that, unless I make changes to the plans, it will be a keep.

I enjoyed this post, and found it very educational.
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Postby ottoatm » Mon May 30, 2005 3:42 pm

Nice 1st post - I actually copied and pasted your info into a txt file for reference.

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Postby DarkDotDotDotMan » Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:34 am

... I hope that someone stickies this topic or have it quickly availble for quick reading cause this is a very good source of infomation...
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Postby venvorskar » Wed Jun 29, 2005 7:33 pm

I thought it was very informitave and interesting report. I am going to save it for reference. I wance wrote a report on monks once.
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castle types

Postby Magnus » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:35 am

There were certainly different kinds of castles, but I'm not sure the distinctions were always so black and white.

I may be wrong, but I thought that bailey was the lower area and the motte was the often man made hill that the big towere was on.

I didn't realize that regular keeps could have open spaces inside them. Shell keeps are a different thing altogether though.

A definition of a castle which I heard was: a fortification (usally of stone, but sometimes wood or brick)) which was built in the Middle Ages, and was designed to be held by a small garrison against a much larger army for an extended period of time.
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Postby Aviah102 » Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:08 pm

As far as real castles and castle lego are concerned, real castles are obviously a good way to help classify a moc you make. At the same time, however, the "definition" of a castle or another fortification (in history or with a moc) can sometimes be very loose and opinionated.

Ps-everyone keep posting I love these kind of discussions
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Postby Murgen » Fri Jul 15, 2005 8:08 pm

Excellent point, Magnus.

I did not intend that my little article be the 'end-all-and-be-all' of castle classification. Indeed, I am certainly no expert on the subject of fortifications, merely a life-time admirer of them. The text was from a 10 page term paper I wrote in college comparing religious to military buildings on how they projected power. It was only a couple of weekends at the library worth of research.

What I intended was to spark a discussion of the classes, perhaps with pictures. Feel free to cordially disagree.
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castle types

Postby Magnus » Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:06 pm

Well I think it is important to remember that no two castles were alike, and while certain building styles prevailed at different times and in different places, many castles were developed over centuries and continued to evolve.
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Postby g2 » Fri Feb 10, 2006 2:56 am

Murgen wrote:....The text was from a 10 page term paper I wrote in college comparing religious to military buildings on how they projected power. It was only a couple of weekends at the library worth of research.....


Is there any chance of posting the rest of the term paper you wrote? I would certainily be interested in reading more.

Thank you
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Postby The Blue Knight » Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:33 am

Great topic! Welcome to our virtual home! You're one of us now bwah ha ha! OK thats over with...

What is a castle? You could get many different answers. I would contend that most Americans would call a large residence built primarily with stone and located in a desolate area with lots of halls full of the same door-lamp-picture combo for Scooby to run past 26 times before going down a shute into the kitchen filled with sandwich fixin's, a castle. No building had all the features that are associated with castles, water mills, wind mills, keeps, walls, dungeons, dry moats, wet moats, no moat, bartizan, barbican and so on. Any defensive structure with walls that serves a military/governmental role could legitimately be called a castle I suppose. I don't think there is a "true" castle in the sense that other desgins are posers.

That said, I am partial to true defensive/military structures. My grandmother grew up close the Chepstow Castle in SE Wales, so I am partial, love that one. Caerphilly is great as well. Krak de Chevalier in Syria may just be the best surviving castle today. That's a real castle's castle! Rrrah! Rrrah! (say like Tool Man Taylor).
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