Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Anatomy of a Castle: The Inner Bailey

Raglan Castle, Wales
Once inside the gatehouse, you are in the castle bailey, or courtyard. The bailey is the open space within castle walls, often populated with grand buildings like the castle Keep or Great Hall and smaller structures like stables, the blacksmith's shop, a well or cistern, and usually a garden. Think of the castle environment as a small village- it must have everything for daily living like food, water, transportation, etc. Access to all of these things were most likely in the castle bailey, safe within the protection of the castle walls. This was especially important if you were to find yourself surrounded by enemies, unable to leave the castle walls. Visiting a castle now, the bailey is usually just a wide open green space populated with visitors, but imagine a small bustling village there. It is hard to capture these large spaces within a photo but think of your favorite medieval film or television series.... they have surely illustrated these scenes of life within the castle walls.

Caerphilly Castle, Wales

Cheptstow Castle, Wales

Stirling Castle, Scotland

Pembroke Castle, Wales
The large map was originally a royal tennis/croquet court
Pembroke Castle, Wales

Caernarfon Castle, Wales

Caernarfon Castle, Wales

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