Castle Defenses

Capturing a medieval castle was a lofty goal for many commanders in the Middle Ages and battles were often centered around these fortresses. Since medieval castles occupied such strategic points along trade routes, ports and rivers, they had the highest military value. Prime locations for castle construction include high, rocky ground…mountain passes…isolated peninsulas…and lake islands.

William the Conqueror's use of castles during the Norman invasion changed the way medieval battles were fought for hundreds of years. To withstand besieging, castle walls were sometimes constructed to be up to 30 feet thick. Some fortresses had towers soaring a hundred feet high. The castle reigned supreme until the use of gunpowder and artillery made them rather obsolete in the late 17th century. These medieval strongholds exploited as much strength as possible.