Castles of Long Ago

 Thursday the families that will be involved in our homeschool speech co-op day will be getting together to do a few projects related to the time period of the middle ages as well as to paint and build props for our speech day.  One of the props will be a castle – or at least a small portion of one.

I decided to look on the Internet for castles from that time period.

Here’s a few that I found…

Lindisfarne castle is located in England on the border between it and Scotland.  Not only did it see the English and Scots fight but Vikings frequented the area.  Irish monks built the abbey’s foundation on a point of land that was accessible only during low tide.  All the stones from that abbey were used to build the castle that is there now in the 1500’s.


Dover Castle in Kent, England was/is in a strategic location – England’s closest point to continental Europe.  In WWII, its tunnels were used for secret operations and radio and telephone communications could be sent without the enemy’s knowledge.


Caerphilly Castle is located in Wales and was built in the 1200’s.  It is the 2nd largest castle in Britain, Windsor Castle being the largest.  At the time it was built it was the most thought out and best castle in terms of defense and is considered to be the first truly concentric castle in Britain.  (I’m still not sure what this is supposed to mean entirely.)  The tower to the right of the castle still stands even though some tried to destroy it.


Conwy Castle, located also in Wales and built in the 1200’s, has walls that are spread over 1 mile long and are nearly 30′  in height.  In places, the walls are 15′ thick.  The castle has 22 towers and 3 gates. 


This castle (San Gimigniano) is located in Italy.  I found it interesting to read that many of the castles were built because of feuding families and aristocrats.  By law, the castle towers had to be less than 200′ high.  The towers are joined with other families that were aligned together by bridges.


Vincennes Castle, located in France, was built in the 1300’s and was a residence for Kings.  It was built using strict mathematics giving it almost perfect symmetry.


And lastly, I leave you with a Scottish castle, which is Russell’s (my dh) heritage – the Edinburgh Castle.  This is England’s strongest and most important castle and was home to the Kings and Queens that reigned throughout the years.  It started as a fort but through the years walls were built making it into a castle.  The walls you see from the outside today were built in the 1400’s but within are 11th century walls – the oldest found in Scotland.  James VI was born here in 1566 and became King of the Scots when he was 13 months old, after his mother, Mary Queen of Scots died. (thanks Beth for the correction – Mary Queen of Scots and Bloody Mary were not the same person as I had originally stated)



Filed under History, Homeschooling, Unit Studies

4 responses to “Castles of Long Ago

  1. Hey Elisabeth! You should also check out Carcassonne in France. It’s a neat castle with a fortified city. We actually play the board game by the same name, so decided to look up pics of the real place. The game is fun, too!
    God bless!

  2. I always thought I wanted to live in a castle until I read I Capture the Castle, which is a fictional story about a 20th century family who actually does just that. They were cold a lot. So now I just like to admire them! =)

  3. NEAT! I love castles! Thanks for posting those great pictures!

    Grace, my 17 yo is an avid Middle Ages fan, and is particularly fond of Scottish History. She has all the Briton and Scottish Kings and Queens down pat – which is why I happen to know that Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots aren’t the same person. I thought they were for the longest time until she informed me otherwise 🙂 Just thought I’d clue you in.

    We recently read through “Winning His Spurs” one of GA Henty’s books. It was set in 1190 and gave me a great understanding of that time period. It has a battle scene where you can really envision the various aspects of the castle and how important they were as fortresses.

    Have fun on your journey through time 🙂


  4. I LOVE castles~! ‘Course I want all the modern conveniences without the cost. And I’d love to go and see all of them in real life. *sigh*

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