Woodlands Castle pages
Castles
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Inside Castles

A castle was a home

A castles was much more than just a fortress. It was a was a home for its lord, his family and his followers.

Inside the castle walls there might have been a magnificent hall, comfortable chambers and a beautiful chapel.

Larger castles had their own fish ponds, orchards and vineyards, as well as gardens which supplied vegetables and herbs. Cattle sheep and pigs were kept on surrounding farm land.

The Great Hall

The great hall was the heart of castle life.

Grand hall
Grand hall in Hedingham castle in Essex

On special occasions magnificent banquets were held here. The lord, his family and important guests sat at the high table, which was raised above the other diners and covered with a table cloth of fine linen.


A banquet

The Chapel

Most castles had a small private chapel near to the lords chambers. The walls were often painted and the windows made from stained glass. It was the castle's most beautiful room. An indication of how important religion was to the owner.

The lord and lady began each day by attending a short service.

The Kitchen

Kitchens were built away from the Keep in case they caught fire. Food was cooked on open fires.

Toilets

Castles did not have toilets, instead people sat on wooden seats called 'garderobes'. These were built over a very long chute. Waste from the toilet fell down the chute into the moat.

The garderobes (to 'guard' the 'robes') were so called because people kept their clothes in them. The foul smell kept moths away.

toilet

The Well

Almost all castles had a well within their walls. This was essential as a source of water if someone laid siege to the castle.

Castle Well
A castle well as it might have looked

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