New
New
Year 7

Norman changes to the English landscape

You can explain how historians use material remains to understand the use of castles in Norman England.

New
New
Year 7

Norman changes to the English landscape

You can explain how historians use material remains to understand the use of castles in Norman England.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. The Normans faced many rebellions during the Conqueror's reign.
  2. The Normans built motte-and-bailey castles to deter these rebellions.
  3. The Normans introduced new stone buildings to many towns.
  4. Historians use the material remains of castles to study the Norman period.

Common misconception

That the written word is the only useful source for the study of the past.

Although written sources are useful, material remains can reveal much about past societies - it depends on the questions historians ask.

Keywords

  • Motte-and-bailey castle - A motte and bailey castle is the type of fortification introduced to England by the Normans.

In this lesson you may wish to use a local example rather than Totnes Castle when discussing motte and bailey castles.
Teacher tip

Content guidance

  • Contains conflict or violence.

Supervision

Adult supervision suggested.

Licence

This content is © Oak National Academy Limited (2024), licensed on Open Government Licence version 3.0 except where otherwise stated. See Oak's terms & conditions (Collection 2).

Video

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6 Questions

Q1.
Match the words with the correct definitions.
Correct Answer:fyrd,local, untrained Anglo-Saxons who were called up to fight

local, untrained Anglo-Saxons who were called up to fight

Correct Answer:shield wall,the defensive line of shields used by Anglo-Saxon armies

the defensive line of shields used by Anglo-Saxon armies

Correct Answer:infantry,foot soldiers

foot soldiers

Correct Answer:cavalry,soldiers on horseback

soldiers on horseback

Q2.
Which of these people were king of England at some point during 1066?
Correct answer: Harold Godwinson
Correct answer: Edward the Confessor
Correct answer: William of Normandy
William of Poitiers
Q3.
In 1070 William the Conqueror appointed a new Archbishop of Canterbury. What was the Archbishop’s name?
Correct Answer: Lanfranc, Archbishop Lanfranc, lanfranc
Q4.
Which of these were things that Lanfranc carried out in his reform of the English Church?
Correct answer: Replaced almost all the Anglo-Saxon abbots with Normans.
Correct answer: Replaced almost all the bishops appointed by Edward the Confessor with Normans.
Ordered all Church services to be in English so everyone could understand them.
Correct answer: Introduced new rules for how priests, bishops and monks should live their lives.
Q5.
Which of these ways of increasing Norman control over England were connected to Lanfranc's Church reforms?
Imposing loyalty through paying homage.
Correct answer: Stopping rule-breaking, e.g. breaking rule of celibacy.
Correct answer: A large programme of rebuilding in the Norman Romanesque style.
Property was passed to the eldest son (primogeniture).
Carrying out a survey of all landholding in King Edward's time and in the 1080s.
Q6.
Look at this scene from the Bayeux Tapestry. It shows soldiers attacking a structure which other soldiers are defending. Which of these structures does the scene show?
An image in a quiz
cathedral
priory
Correct answer: castle
house

6 Questions

Q1.
Which one of the following is the best explanation for why William ordered castles to be built in England after 1066?
So English people would have somewhere safe to shelter from Viking attacks.
Correct answer: To help William stop rebellions against Norman rule.
To convince English people that God had chosen William as their king.
To force English people to leave a region where there had been a rebellion.
Q2.
Add in the missing word to complete the name used for the way the Normans brutally put down a rebellion in Yorkshire in 1069: the of the North.
Correct Answer: Harrying, harrying
Q3.
Match these features of motte-and-bailey castles with their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:moat,a ditch, sometimes filled with water, surrounding the castle

a ditch, sometimes filled with water, surrounding the castle

Correct Answer:bailey,the castle courtyard; an open area inside the outer defences

the castle courtyard; an open area inside the outer defences

Correct Answer:watchtower,a tall structure within a castle used for keeping a lookout

a tall structure within a castle used for keeping a lookout

Correct Answer:motte,a mound of earth

a mound of earth

Q4.
How many castles did William have built during his reign?
7
70
Correct answer: 700
7000
Q5.
Put these events in order, starting with the earliest.
1 - After his invasion fleet landed, William built a temporary castle at Pevensey.
2 - A castle began to be constructed in London just before William's coronation.
3 - In 1067, over 100 houses were destroyed to make room for Norwich castle.
4 - A motte-and-bailey castle was built in York following a major rebellion.
5 - In 1072 William ordered that a castle be built in Durham.
Q6.
Which of these facts about Totnes castle are true?
An image in a quiz
Correct answer: Totnes town already had strong fortifications before the Norman Conquest.
Correct answer: Totnes castle was built following rebellions in the south west in 1068.
Correct answer: The motte of Totnes castle is 17.5 metres high.
The first castle at Totnes had stone walls rather than a wooden fence.
Q6 "Totnes Castle" by Phil Gayton is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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