Parts of a Castle for Kids

Written by trisha dawe
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  • Introduction

    Parts of a Castle for Kids

    Castles, dragons and knights are the object of many children's fantasies and also sometimes studied within elementary school classrooms. Teachers often instruct their students on the parts of a castle as well as their uses protecting the kingdom from harm in medieval times. Internally, there are many rooms that complete the castle structure, however when children build a castle using common parts, the focus usually lies in the outer portion of the castle.

    Castles differ from structure to structure, but may contain similar parts. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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    Drawbridges and Moats

    Some castles contained drawbridges that allowed visitors to enter or keep enemies out of the castle. Drawbridges were usually accompanied by a moat. A moat is a body of water surrounding the castle that was deep and broad to keep unwanted visitors from entering the castle. In some cases the moat may have been "dry," meaning water was not present and it only appeared as a ditch. The drawbridge was lowered by those guards inside the castle when visitors needed to cross the moat.

    Drawbridges and moats kept unwanted visitors from entering the castle walls. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

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    Castle Walls

    Castle walls were often high and were built to be between eight and 20 feet wide, foiling any weapons or battering rams attempting to enter the castle. Castle walls were built in many different styles to include straight and curtain walls which inhibited enemies from scaling the outer walls of the structure. Curtain walls were shaped at a downward angle making climbing more difficult and contained crenelations which can be described as the lower sections at the top of the castle walls appearing as raised squares for battle.

    Crenelations at the top of castle walls aided battle strategies. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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    Towers were commonly built into the corners of castles for both structural purposes and to defend the kingdom from invaders. Each tower was much taller than the top of the castle walls to allow guards to spot enemies approaching from afar while archers also used the area to keep them at bay. In some cases, towers also held prisoners.

    Castle towers were used for watchmen and sometimes held prisoners. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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    The Keep

    The Keep of a castle was often elevated in the centre of the castle and was the area most secure from enemies. Typically, the keep was the centre of defence for the kingdom's army and also contained living quarters for the kingdom's most important habitants. It could be described as a castle within the castle and had very strong walls.

    Keeps of the castle often included spiral staircases in the corners. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

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