New
New
Year 10
AQA

Establishing control: motte-and-bailey castles

I can describe Norman motte-and-bailey castles and explain the reasons for their construction in England.

New
New
Year 10
AQA

Establishing control: motte-and-bailey castles

I can describe Norman motte-and-bailey castles and explain the reasons for their construction in England.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. Castles were a military innovation that was almost unknown in Anglo-Saxon England.
  2. Castles had a military function, acting as bases for troops who would control and oppress key areas.
  3. Castles also had a psychological impact of terrifying and dominating the local population.
  4. Castles were centres of Norman control, acting as bases for Norman nobles to administer an area.
  5. Most Norman castles were variations of the motte-and-bailey design.

Common misconception

A common misconception is that castles only had a military function.

Norman castles also acted as administrative centres. They had a psychological function in dominating the landscape and the people who lived there and some castles also helped trade develop.

Keywords

  • Motte-and-bailey - a motte-and-bailey castle is a fortress in which there is a motte (small hill) surrounded by a bailey (courtyard) inside an outer wall

  • Burh - a burh was a fortified Anglo-Saxon town

  • Oppress - to oppress is to govern people in an unfair and cruel way and prevent them from having opportunities and freedom

  • Keep - a keep is the strong main tower of a castle which acted as a watchtower and a final point of defence

  • Palisade - a palisade is a strong fence made out of solid wooden poles that is used to protect people or a place from being attacked

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.
Which word describes when you pay money and declare loyalty/submission to your ruler, especially on a formal occasion?
Correct Answer: tribute, Tribute
Q2.
Which important lands did William give to his half-brother, the Bishop of Bayeux?
London
Isle of Wight
Correct answer: Dover
parts of Hampshire
Correct answer: Kent
Q3.
Who did William take back to Normandy with him as hostages in 1067?
Correct answer: Edgar the Aethling
Correct answer: Earls Edwin and Morcar
Eadric the Wild
Correct answer: Archbishop Stigand
the Welsh prince of Powys and Gwynedd
Q4.
Put the following events in chronological order.
1 - William wins the Battle of Hastings
2 - William is crowned King of England
3 - William returns to Normandy with hostages
4 - Rebellion by Eadric the Wild occurs
5 - William creates new Marcher earldoms to defend the Marches
Q5.
Why did William only appoint his most trustworthy followers to be Marcher earls?
Correct answer: It was a risk to give such extensive powers as they may try to become king.
He only ever appointed family members to positions of power.
They had previous experience fighting against the Welsh rebels.
They were Anglo-Saxons so they were good negotiators with the Welsh.
Q6.
What word describes a person who rules a country for a limited period, because the monarch is absent or too young or too ill?
Correct Answer: regent, Regent

6 Questions

Q1.
Most Norman castles were variations in what type of castle design?
Correct Answer: motte-and-bailey, Motte-and-bailey, motte and bailey, Motte and bailey
Q2.
How did Norman castles have a psychological impact on the Anglo-Saxons?
acted as new homes for Normans in England
Correct answer: terrified the local population and dominated the landscape
acted as bases for Norman nobles to administer an area
acted as royal palaces for William
Q3.
How many castles are estimated to have been built by the Normans within 20 years?
1000
100
Correct answer: 500
50
Q4.
Match keywords to their correct definitions.
Correct Answer:burh,a fortified Anglo-Saxon town

a fortified Anglo-Saxon town

Correct Answer:oppress,to govern people in a cruel way and prevent them from having freedoms

to govern people in a cruel way and prevent them from having freedoms

Correct Answer:keep,the strong main tower of a castle which acted as a watchtower

the strong main tower of a castle which acted as a watchtower

Correct Answer:palisade,a strong fence made out of solid wooden poles that is used for defence

a strong fence made out of solid wooden poles that is used for defence

Q5.
Castles were almost to Anglo-Saxon England, who had previously relied on burhs for protection.
Correct Answer: unknown, Unknown
Q6.
What material were many castles later rebuilt using?
timber
Correct answer: stone
clay
brick

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