Introduction: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Instruments of Invasion (02:48)
Castles were the ultimate expression of military might and gave birth to the feudal system. The Normans erected the first castles in the British Isles. (Credits)
Battle of Hastings (02:16)
William the Conqueror brought the castle to Hastings. A witness recorded that soldiers erected a fort within a day. The Bayeux Tapestry depicted a castle under construction.
Early Designs (02:00)
William the Conqueror relied on the Motte-and-Bailey configuration. Advantages included quick construction and could be defended by archers.
Rougemont Castle (03:23)
Exeter refused to swear allegiance; the Normans cut off supplies and surrounded the city. William the Conqueror swore to not sack the city or harm its citizens. Builders incorporated both Norman and Anglo-Saxon components into its design.
Dividing Up England (04:06)
Each new baron was granted permission to build a castle to exert their power. Colchester incorporated roman architecture. Old Sarum had been a settlement since the Iron Age; William the Conqueror initiated the feudal system with the Oath of Sarum.
Creating a Hierarchy (05:31)
Each baron had a force of mercenaries and administered their lands through the castle. Foods included pottage, spiced wine, and marzipan. Robert de Mowbray rebelled after William II.
First Civil War (05:34)
Henry I demanded the barons swear allegiance to his daughter, Matilda. Stephen also claimed the throne. England descended into the anarchy; Stephen conquered Carisbrooke Castle and ordered a new well dug.
Wallingford Castle (02:57)
Stephen was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lincoln; his wife stopped Matilda's coronation. Matilda escaped a castle in Oxford. A truce dictated that Stephen became king if he named Henry II as his successor.
Henry II's Reign (05:25)
Henry II consolidated his power in England and France and made changes to the legal system. The Archbishop of Canterbury opposed the king's desire to reform the church. Artisans within castles produced weapons of pure steel.
Dover Castle (04:14)
The church beatified Thomas Becket; Henry II publicly performed penance for his culpability in the Archbishop of Canterbury's death. The donjon was a symbol of authority. Because there was no form of mass communication, kings moved with their household staff to different castles constantly.
Siege of Dover (02:43)
Britain has been invaded successfully by sea nine times. Barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta. Prince Louis VIII of France aligned with warrior barons, surrounding the castle.
Tintagel Castle (04:29)
Richard erected a castle where King Arthur was conceived. The walls began to fall towards the sea. The Earl of Cornwall bribed German nobility to name him "King of the Romans."
Second Baron's War (04:02)
The Earl of Leicester led a rebellion against the monarchy but died at the Battle of Evesham. Henry III's fought Simon de Montfort's supporters at the Siege of Kenilworth. Castles had become a liability, threatening the monarchy.
Credits: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Instruments of Invasion (00:35)
Credits: Castles - Britain's Fortified History: Instruments of Invasion
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