Castles – Fear to Freedom

In the tenth and eleventh centuries in England and Europe the landscape resembled a frontier society. Fragmented, fearful and fortified against itself the feudal system was about the lord and castle, the peasant and hut, the monk and church. Crusaders introduced the brick and decorative brickwork into England via France as well as the Romanesque style into the design of churches and castles. Society was divided into three groups; those who prayed, those who went to war and those who did the work. Europe’s social equilibrium depended on the groups co-existing happily. Towns ceased to exist and villages grew up around fortified castles. During times of invasion villagers came under the protection of the lord retreating inside his castle for security. A Knight was absolute master of his castle, his wife, servants and serfs until the fourteenth century when castles, from being fortified centres of administration gradually became noble dwellings.

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