Facts About Castles in Wales: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Wales is a country in the United Kingdom that is home to many beautiful medieval castles. In this lesson, learn about specific castles in Wales, how they were constructed, and what life was like in these amazing structures.

Medieval Wales

When people think of medieval history, they usually think of fairy tale royalty or knights going into battle. In medieval Europe, battles were frequent because groups of people wanted to invade and take over lands of other groups. So how did kings and queens protect themselves from these invasions? They built castles!

Castles were protective structures built for several reasons. They were home to royalty, but they also provided protection for their riches. Castles were built all over Europe, including the country of Wales. This country is a part of the United Kingdom, and is located west of England. If someone or something is from Wales, they are said to be 'Welsh.' Let's learn more about Welsh medieval castles.

Construction and Exterior

Many castles in Wales had specific characteristics. While some were small and made of wood, you can imagine that these did not provide much protection. Most were constructed of heavy stones, and towers were built along the outside of the castle. Towers allowed members of the castle to easily view the land and possibly see invaders coming in advance.

If a group wanted to storm a castle, they had to cross a moat first. A moat was a ditch that was often filled with water and its purpose was to prevent invasions. So what if there was a welcomed visitor to the castle? They would be able to cross the moat using a drawbridge. This bridge could be raised and lowered and would only be lowered for visitors who were allowed in the castle.

Castle Interiors

If you were able to cross the drawbridge and go inside a castle, what would you see? There was usually a great hall, a large room where royal families would eat and relax. This was where visitors were often entertained, so the construction and decoration of the great hall would usually be very elaborate.

This is an elaborate ceiling design of a great hall in a Welsh castle.

Gardens could also be found inside the castle walls, so that the royal family would have access to food without having to go beyond its walls. The lord's chambers were the rooms where the royal family stayed, and these rooms were in the highest location in the castle.

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