Stone Keep Castles

A Stone Keep Castle is a type of castle with the central feature, with thick walls and few windows. Entrance to the keep was by stone steps leading to the first floor. The kitchens were situated on the ground floor while living quarters were on the upper floors.

Stone Keep Castles
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A Stone Keep Castle is a type of castle built in the 11th and 12th Centuries by the Normans who originally came from France. Stone castles had a number of advantages over wooden motte and bailey structures: They could be built inside the walls of the motte and bailey castle, this meant that the castle was still operational whilst it was being rebuilt. Unlike a wooden castle the new stone keeps did not rot or go up in flames.The people who built them and lived in them were typically rich noblemen and their families who wanted to show their power and status.

Stone Castles were the natural evolution after motte-and-bailey castles began to fall from fashion. A stone keep was the central feature, with thick walls and few windows. Entrance to the keep was by stone steps leading to the first floor. The kitchens were situated on the ground floor while living quarters were on the upper floors. The first keeps were rectangular in shape but later ones were often circular. The Stone Keep would be surrounded by a thick stone wall containing turrets for lookouts.

Stone buildings could be much larger and grander than simple wooden designs, providing more luxurious accommodation for nobles who sought to demonstrate their influence and military power.

The first stone castle built in England and one of the first in Europe was the famous White Tower of the Tower of London, completed at the end of the 11th century. Throughout most of the 12th century, stone castles continued to be built alongside traditional motte-and-bailey designs.