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Word Count: 326
Defending conquered territory was very vital in medieval times as it could easily be taken away again by other tribes In response to this castles were built Castles are a properly fortified military residence Initially they were designed and built to hold down conquered territory They were usually built on earthen mound or on an area where it would be hard and difficult for rivalling tribes to attack If a mound was not present a moat was usually dug out around the castle and filled with water At first castles were made up of nothing but earth with timber towers and buildings They could be built quickly and without skilled laborers but were not sturdy and could not withstand much pressure The wood would also rot over a period of time In later castle development castles were built of stone or converted to stone Stone castles were much sturdier did not rot like wood and were able to withstand any attack by an invader After this stone castles began to spread across the country The features that made stone castles stable and able to withstand battle include the following The walls were very thick anywhere between 8 and 20 feet in thickness so they could withstand bombardment or battering from a battering ram or another siege engine like a trebuchet or catapult The shape of the towers changed as castle- builders experimented with designs The round tower was determined to be a more effective shape for withstanding the impact of a battle However it was more difficult to build because the design was more complex Yet many castles made use of round towers Their shape caused cannon balls and other types of missiles to bounce off the walls without doing damage The curtain wall the wall which surrounded the main portion of the castle gradually became a more effective means to stabilize the castle At first they were just simple walls but with time they
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