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
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.