Motte and Bailey Castles

Created in the 11th century in Britain, Ireland and France, a motte-and-bailey castle is a form of castle built on a high mound surrounded by a protective fence. The Windsor Castle is an example of this.

2,466 Questions

What is information on Cafe Idrott?

I believe this [Cafe Idrott, not Cafe Edrit] is the correct spelling; I have an old ad book from a Swedish fraternal society at home and will check and get back to you. I do know that my grandmother Selma Peterson worked there during WWII.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of Motte and Bailey castles?


  • Only take a few days to build
  • Really light which makes it easier to build
  • Quite strong
  • Built on a hill so you can see the enemy approaching
  • Made of wood- so quick and easy to build
  • Has a moat and a fence so it is more difficult to attack.


  • Catches fire easily
  • Wood can rot with the rain; it generally weakens with age.
  • Wood is a weak building material so therefore these castles could not be big
  • The motte can collapse with the weight of the castle on it
  • They were not big enough to house large groups of troops

What are the disadvantages of not having made a will?

Usually the surviving spouse will receive your assets and any debts. However, if you do not have a will, anyone is entitled to contest the will. States have standard distributions for assets when the individual dies 'intestate' (without a will). This may, or may not, work to the benefit of those that inherit. A will allows the individual to choose where assets go. It also allows trusts to be set up for minors and for tax benefits. It is particularly important to making sure children are taken care of and know who is going to take care of them.

What are the key features of a motte-and-bailey castle?

A motte-and-bailey castle could be very simple. Its key features included:

  • A motte, which was a small hill with steep sides, and could be natural or man made.
  • A keep, which was a fortified building, built of wood or stone, on top of the motte.
  • A bailey, which was an enclosed flat space at the foot of the motte, and which could have buildings or grazing or farming areas within it.
  • A palisade, which was made of wood or stone and surrounded the castle.
  • A ditch or moat, which was dug around the whole, and which was filled with water, if that was possible and thought desirable.

There is a link below to an article on the motte-and-bailey castle.

Why did the Normans build Mott and bailey castles in England?

because it was faster to build them because they were made out of wood than building stone castles because they took a lot longer to build

Why was portchester castle built?

to protect the coast from pirates in the 3rd century

Is there a castle in Scotland called Kirk castle?

If you have found this out or can tell me your findings please let me know.

What are the weaknesses of a Motte and Bailey Castle?

The Wooden castles were not very strong and they caught fire easily many attackers used fire arrows. A battering ram could be used to breach the palisade. The keep was the last line of defence. As well as this, the wood rots quite quickly.
The walls were made of wood, which made protecting them from fire difficult. The defenders would try cover them with wet hides during an attack, but this would not always work.

They were also vulnerable to attacks by battering ram or catapult.

What are motte and bailey castles?

A motte-and-bailey is a form of castle. It was made of wood and many were built in Britain and France in the 11th and 12th centuries. Each took 7 to 14 days to build. There were very few Celtic/pre-norman motte and bailey castles. The Normans brought motte and bailey castles in packages like make your own furniture. The main weakness of the motte and bailey castle was that they were usually wooden and therefore burned easily.

Parts of the motte and bailey castleKeep- The safest and highest part of the castle. The last line of defence.

Motte- usually buily by the local English people. About 15 meters high. There could be more than one.

Wodden Bridge- this led from the bailey to the starts climbing the motte.

Bailey- A large yard with storeroom, kitchens, stables and guardrooms. There could be more than one.

Palisade- the wooden fence surrounding the bailey.

Gateway & Drawbridge- the entrance to the bailey, guarded by the baron's soldiers.

Ditch- when filled with water it was know as a moat.

What does Bailey mean?

The meaning of Bailey is berry clearings.

Other spellings include - Baylee, Bailee, Bayley, Baily, Baley, Baylei, and Bailei.

Why were mottes and bailey castles built in the south - east of Ireland?

Because the Normans built the motte and baileys when they invaded. The south east is where they arrived because it is closest to Wales

Which castle was the best motte and bailey or concentric?

concentric of course because motte and bailey were made of wood so they could burn

What do castles normally have?

Features of castles changed greatly throughout the centuries. A motte and bailey castle, for example, prevalent in France after the viking invasion and England after 1066, consisted of a huge mound of earth with a tower on top. An early stone castle consisted of one stone keep, sometimes huge in size (e.g Rochester) and perhaps a ditch around the outside.
After this, castles got fancy. The idea of a keep was abandoned and a concentric castle was developed- no keep, just really strong curtain walls, with mural towers (towers in the wall) The gatehouse became the strongest point of a castle, with either two or one towers protecting it, depending on the date it was built in. Arrow slits were an early development, and when guns were used, they were often adapted to accomodate guns too. A good example of a castle like this is Caerphilly, built by Edward I in the late 12th century.

Is alnwick castle a motte and bailey castle?

No. This is because motte and bailey castles were made of wood and built on a hill, but Alnwick Castle is made of stone and not built on a hill.

How did the motte and bailey castle help the Normans?

Motte and Bailey castles help the Normans keep an eye on their people. They built hundreds around the Country. They were able to do this as it was made out of wood. Wood was cheap and easy to get hold of. It only took them a few days to set up a Motte and Bailey castle. Although Motte and Bailey castles were cheap and easy to get hold of, there were some weaknesses: * Wood Sets on fire easily * Wood isn't very strong and can be knocked down easily * Wood rots Despite the weaknesses Motte and Bailey castles decreased the number of rebellions and the Normans managed to keep control of the English better. Motte and Bailey Castles helped William gain control as they were strong. William's best tactic to control a country was the use of terror. Because Motte and Bailey castles were made of wood they would have only taken a few days to put up. All these castles being built around the country to keep an eye on the people was very scary. This forced everyone to do whatever the King wanted because they knew that he would order the knights to kill them if they didn't. William chose a baron for each castle who would control all the knights in that area.

Why is a toilet called a Jon?

Oddly enough, the toilet was invented by John J. Crapper. No joke.

NOT TRUE the toilet was invented before Tom was even born(SEE THE HISTORY OF PLUMBING)

How easy were castles to defend?

Motte and Bailey Castles were hard to defend because its made of wood and straw meaning it can be set on fire very easily. Stone castles were easy to defend because they had thick walls and tall towers allowing you to see longer distances and preparing to defend that castle.