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Nearly 1000 years ago people were living in homes that are nothing in comparison to the houses we reside in today. Those of a higher status known as lords weren’t just in larger homes such as mansions of those in the 21st century. Life was different then, and instead of just owning a larger house they needed protection for their acres of land and property. The Normans, a group of people who began to migrate down from Scandinavia into northern France, realized this need and were the first of the time to begin to fortify their homes. These first castles are not like the ones still standing today. They first began as crude structures but within a few centuries have developed into the massive glorious building we know and still travel to today. When the Vikings of the North started to migrate down into northern England and northern France, they would seize power of whatever land they came across. In 1066, under the leadership of William of Normandy, some 5000 men crossed the English Channel; at the Battle of Hastings, William defeated the Anglo-Saxon duke Harold and seized the throne of England. () These battles were known as the Norman Conquest. When William invaded England he enforced his power with a string of motte and bailey castles built across the country. () These were the first basic castles to be created in a time of war. The castles also gave the Norman soldiers a safe place to live. William had built a temporary castle at Pevensey to house his troops when they landed in September 1066. These types of castles were quickly put up all over England after the Battle of Hastings to enforce Norman control. () This time was also marked by the decline of the Carolingian Empire through France and Germany. The Carolingian Empire re... ... middle of paper ... ...would be from the site. Even if the lord had the funds to build the castle he needed many workers of different skills like carpenters, masons, diggers, quarrymen and blacksmiths. Although the outsides were large and impressive, the insides were ornate and elaborate. Castles had many rooms inside like a chapel, a keep, great halls and kitchens. The keep was the main residence of the ruling lord. It was made of stone and could be square or circular. Keeps could be attached to walls or freestanding. They had many functions. () The great hall could be located in the keep or in separate buildings. In the earliest castles, like the one described in the epic poem "Beowulf," great halls were used for eating and sleeping. Later, they were used for entertaining and holding court. They usually had high ceilings and large fireplaces. The floors were usually stone or dirt.

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