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Word Count: 549
In medieval times castles served as the home and fortress of a monarch or noble The earliest castles were built from earth and wood By the 12th century most castles were built from stone The stones came from local mines or quarries if possible but sometimes they had to be carried long distances by water or on ox wagons The roofs of castles were covered with slates clay tiles or wooden shingles Castles were built on steep hill sides or at the top of rocky cliffs This was for protection from attackers It made it harder for them to reach the castle Castles also had additional purposes They sometimes served as barracks prisons storehouses armories treasure houses and the center for local government Castles sometimes had brewhouses a laundry a huge bakers oven workshops dovecotes and stables MacDonald p12 Castle walls surrounded the entire castle and were usually several meters thick They usually had 3 layers a rough stone inner shell a thick solid filling of flint and rubble and an outer layer of stone called ashlar MacDonald p8 There was usually a walkway along the top of the walls so guards could keep watch Some castle walls had spaces at the top called embrassures which allowed archers to shoot with the protection of the wall These openings also permitted stones or boiling water to be thrown down on the enemy Encyclopedia Americana p790 Towers were built along castle walls at regular intervals to strengthen them and provide area for castle workers or visitors Moats often surrounded castles for protection Some people built castles on banks of lakes or rivers and channeled water to the moat A drawbridge laid across the moat and could be raised if an enemy approached Castles had few window because they made the castle drafty and allowed the enemy a way
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