here. A castle is a fortified structure built during the middle ages, usually a
private residence of a lord or noble.
In Scotland, earlier fortifications
included hill forts, brochs (as featured in my
Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage), and duns.
Many castles were built on the site of these earlier buildings. From 1100 AD
on, there have been over 2,000 castles built in Scotland.
Home to a
thriving community, the stone rooms bustled with life, color and sound. Inside
the kitchen a small army prepared food for the nobles. The lead cook, the
undercook and the bakers composed the top tier of kitchen workers. Lardeners
stocked the kitchen. Poulterers prepared the birds. Bakers baked fresh bread in
giant ovens. Fruit and vegetables grew in the castle gardens and orchards. Meat
came from the popular hunts in the deer parks. Spits in massive open fireplaces
enjoyed hunting and hawking. The ladies engaged in embroidery, music and
weaving. During long evenings, musicians and singers entertained. With endless
hours of service to the nobles, life for the peasants played out quite
A castle had no
standard size, shape or structure. Builders designed to suit the site, the noble’s
budget and the military dangers of the area. High walls and solid towers
provided the castle’s main defense against attacking soldiers. Some walls were
eight feet thick. Builders built castles on the highest point of land available,
so attacking warriors must struggle up a steep slope or scale a cliff to reach
the stronghold, while facing a devastating shower of arrows from defenders on
moat often enclosed the castle. A drawbridge spanned the moat. In its down
position the drawbridge closed a pit and allowed access to the castle. The pit also
worked as a cell for prisoners. A strong oak grille called a portcullis further
protected the castle gates.
High walls enclosed a number of
courtyards, each called a bailey. During attacks, animals and villagers
sheltered inside a bailey. In peacetime, baileys housed workshops for
carpenters, candle makers, weavers, and other workers at the castle. Wells, dug
into the rock inside the baileys, provided water.
A nobleman and his family, together
with his knights, men-at-arms, servants and friends lived in the heart of the
castle - in the keep. The noble household often passed their time listening
to the songs and poems of troubadours. Sometimes a priest read to them
the latest teachings on philosophy and science. In a castle under siege,
defenders retreated to the keep and fought to the death.
nearby towns, and the nobleman had the responsibility of protecting the town folk.
You will find this in my book, Marriage By Arrangement
which debuts December 6, 2013.
life in a medieval castle centered in the Great Hall. This large hall was the
focus of hospitality, celebration and the pleasures of life - including dances,
plays or even poetry recitals.
During the 1748, when
my series, The Scottish Marriage Trilogy, occurred,
Scottish castles were no longer fortresses but had evolved into luxurious
living quarters for their noble owners. Except for the English soldiers
searching for fugitive Highlanders, life was peaceful.
On August 14th
look for my blog about Servants’ Lives in a Scottish Castle.
A Scottish Lord and
Lady had many privileges and responsibilities. My ancestors owned a castle in
England. Did your ancestors originate in the United Kingdom? Would you have
liked living inside a castle? Leave a comment and your
email address (in case you win) for a chance to win one of my books.
Anne’s new blog Plotters And Pantsers Write To Publish Workshop at www.annegreenewritingteacher.wordpress.com.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes
and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade
Marriage, won the New England Reader Choice award, the Laurel Wreath
Award, and the Heart of Excellence Award. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases in December, 2013. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won
several awards. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to
the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. View Anne’s
travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.
Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new
world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord
Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.PelicanBookGroup.com.
Or at http://www.Amazon.com.
Food was seasoned with herbs and spices, and sweetened with
honey. Sometimes wine was imported from France but usually everyone drank ale.
Boys brought wood from the stores to keep the
cooking fires lit. Food was seasoned with herbs and spices, and sweetened with honey.
Sometimes wine was imported from France but usually everyone drank ale.
I would love to visit a castle!! email@example.comReplyDelete
Loved all your information on Scottish castles and it drew me into fantasizing what it would be like to live in one of these! I would love to read your books! Thank you for the chance to win one. jelliott53(AT)hotmail(DOT)comReplyDelete
I would LOVE to visit a castle, but I don't know if I would love to live in one. It always seems a bit lonely. I think I can picture myself living in a small, one room cabin with a fire in the middle more than a large, luxurious castle. However, surrounded by family, I would probably be comfortable anywhere. :) I would love to win a book, thank you. firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
I love the thought of living in a castle...I know it would've been dark and probably cold but wow they are just magnificent! would love to win a book and read it! thanks for the chance. truckredford(at)gmail(Dot)ComReplyDelete
I don't believe any of my ancestors came from the United Kingdom. Would love to visit a castle, but they are huge and I'd feel lonely. If it was a functional castle as you describe, there would be too many people and things happening for anyone to feel lonely. Thank you for sharing this part of history. Please enter me in your giveaway.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the lovely info! You answered and also confirmed some of my questions and guesses on castle terms. Thank you! I really can't wait to read your next post! And thank you for the chance to win one of your books :)ReplyDelete
I've taken to Christian historical novels set in medieval times and have enjoyed learning about and dreaming of life in a castle! Oh how I'd love to go visit for a week or two, but I'd miss indoor plumbing, running water, a/c, and light--other than candle/torchlight!!ReplyDelete
I know I'm a "mutt" in my family heritage. I've a bit of Scottish, Irish, German, English & Cherokee Indian in my blood! Thanks for sharing a great post!
kam110476 (at) gmail (dot) com
English & German ancestors in my line as far as I know. I don't think any of them lived in castles! I don't think I would like to live and castle, to big and cold I would think...ReplyDelete
I have ancestors from Cornwall, but as far as I know, none of them lived in a castle! I don't think I would have liked life in a castle -- too many rooms to clean! ;)ReplyDelete
jimmynmatthewsmom [at] netzero [dot] com