Parts of a Castle: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Andrea Miller

Andrea is currently a social studies middle school teacher in Ohio. She has a BA in history as well as a MEd in education. She has taught workshops including OGT Success and Writing for Life. Andrea has also been a middle school debate team coach for several years.

Many people think about a castle and think of kings and queens and elegant living. However, aside from just being a home, castles had a very serious function: acting as protection. In this lesson, you will learn about the important parts of a castle.

The Parts of a Castle

When some people think of castles, they think of kings and queens sitting on fancy thrones with lots of jewels and nice things. Castles were homes to the wealthy families that lived in them, but they were also so much more. Castles were designed primarily as a form of protection for that family.

There are several different areas to a castle. These different areas make it not only a home, but also a fortress. Let's explore them!

Living Areas

Since the castle was a home first, there were several parts of the castle devoted to living quarters. The Hall was one of the main rooms in most castles. The Hall is where all meals were served and guests were received, and it was also sometimes used as a sleeping area for guests.

The private bed chambers of the family that lived there were, of course, also found in castles; these were kind of like what you might call your bedroom. Bathrooms, however, were not a very popular addition to most homes at the time, so typically this would not be a part of a normal castle. Instead, most inhabitants of the castle would have used a chamber pot, which was a pot placed under the bed, for relieving themselves.

Though in the early years of castles food was cooked on an open fire in the Hall, the kitchen was an important part of any later castle.

Dictionary illustration of a castle from around 1900.

Outdoor Protection

Aside from providing a place to live, the other major function of a castle was protection. There were several features in castles designed to ensure the safety of the family living within them.

A moat was a very common first line of defense. A moat is a man-made body of water that surrounds the entire castle, thus making it difficult for unwanted visitors to get close to the building. The next line in the castle's defense were its high, thick walls. All along the walls there were towers and ramparts, which allowed archers to fire down at any approaching enemy. A rampart is a walkway along the top of the wall.

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