Concentric Castles Lesson for Kids: Facts & Information

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Do you think you could get inside a concentric castle during the Middle Ages? The answer is: probably not. Find out how concentric castles were built and why it was nearly impossible for an invader to enter.

Concentric Castles

If you were under attack, would you rather be inside a castle that had one wall or many walls? Most of us would say a castle that had many walls sounds a lot safer! And it was.

A long time ago during the Middle Ages, people lived in dangerous times. To keep a kingdom safe, castles were built to protect the king and lords as well as the people who lived on the surrounding lands. In the late 1200s to early 1300s, new weapons were created, and so castles had to be built differently.

Concentric castles had two or more surrounding walls around the central tower and were made of stone. The word 'concentric' means to 'have a common center,' such as a circle within another circle. So a concentric castle was like a castle within a castle. This made it very difficult for invaders to get inside. Let's discover more about these amazing castles!

Beaumaris Castle and its many walls.
Beaumaris Castle

Features of the Castle

Concentric castles had walls built at different heights. If an attacker made it over the first wall, he was in real trouble. Between walls was considered the 'death area' because archers waiting at the top could have easily aimed an arrow at the trapped person through a slit in the wall (castle walls were made with slits for just this purpose).

Other features included a moat, which is a deep, wide ditch filled with water surrounding the castle. They also had drawbridges to get over the moat as well as gatehouses at the entrance to the castle. A gatehouse was a building that had lookout points, secret traps, and holes in the ceiling through which boiling water or oil could be poured on an invader. Lastly, battlements, or walkways, were built on top of the castle walls and towers, allowing soldiers great views to spot enemies.

Eastern Gatehouse at Caerphilly Castle
Caerphilly Castle


King Edward I of England built the majority of concentric castles in Wales, a neighboring land he wanted to take over. He spent a lot of money to create an 'iron ring' of castles. The castles allowed him to defeat the Welsh and make Wales a region of England in 1284.

However, Edward did not have such luck with Scotland. Because concentric castles were very expensive and could take years to construct, he was unable to build any castles in Scotland and was not able to conquer the country.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account