After learning about why castles were built the children found out about the history of castle construction. We discovered that early castles we built on a mound protected by a wooden fence and a shallow ditch. After the Norman invasion in 1066, castles were built using Motte and Bailey's. We climbed up the Motte at Warwick Castle. Although the Keep was built higher up and the ditches we deeper around the Motte and Bailey, the buildings were still only protected by a wooden fence.
In the 12th century the Normans realised that stone was much stronger and better for keeping out your enemies, so castle walls were built of stone. Some castles had moats with drawbridges to help prevent attackers reaching the keep. Castle designs became even more complicated with Concentric Walled castles, where the were two castle walls with ramparts and towers to help keep the enemy out.
After all this fact finding, Mrs Goldsworthy challenged us to build our own castles using these design ideas from a range of construction materials, including biscuits! Can you spot some of the key features we have learnt about? Which castle layout would you prefer?
As part of our learning about the way castles could defend themselves from attackers, we found out about some of the different techniques and equipment used. A favourite was the Trebuchet which we were able to see at Warwick Castle. Our challenge was to make a working model of a trebuchet. Have a look at the photos to see how we got on.
To help with the designs for our own castles from recycled materials, Thomas and Aston kindly brought in their own model castles from home to give us some more ideas.