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WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 12:52 AM
This will no doubt seem very silly but I'm having trouble understanding terms for castles. My problem (I think) stems from the fact that I'm an American. We don't have castles. Late in life I discovered the word does not mean exactly what I always thought it meant. To me a castle is a big mansion, maybe magnificent, maybe not, where the king lives.

Now I understand the word to mean: The whole walled-in thing, the wall, the gatehouse, and all the buildings inside.

So, my first question is:
1) What do you call the king's mansion/house/abode. That building I always pictured as having a huge room where dinner is served and court is held and the king and maybe others live upstairs?

Mr Flibble
03-08-2011, 01:11 AM
Depends. Could be castle, could be palace.

Spot the difference:

Castle (http://www.castlegatewebdesign.com/castles/arundel/arundela.jpg) - heavily fortified (http://www.travelbrighton.net/ArundelCastle.jpg).

Palace - Not (http://www.mapsofworld.com/travel-destinations/images/buckingham-palace.jpg).

Castles were more popular early on (when fortifications were needed). When things settled more/tactics changed, palaces became more common. Both have big dining rooms and bedrooms.

ETA or do you mean the building within the castle? That would be the keep (http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/i/fp/0608-sandbox/sandbox-castle-01.jpg) or donjon.

backslashbaby
03-08-2011, 01:14 AM
ETA: crosspost

Most of the ones I've been to call it the king's residence (and then you have Da Vinci's residence at the same castle, etc). That's today, though. I don't know whether they were called that back in the day.

alleycat
03-08-2011, 01:22 AM
I've heard differing terms used.

You could just call it the royal residence, and the main room the great hall.

You might also see if your local library has this book: http://www.amazon.com/Castle-David-Macaulay/dp/0395329205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299532970&sr=8-1

WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 01:26 AM
Depends. Could be castle, could be palace.

Spot the difference:

Castle (http://www.castlegatewebdesign.com/castles/arundel/arundela.jpg) - heavily fortified (http://www.travelbrighton.net/ArundelCastle.jpg).

Palace - Not (http://www.mapsofworld.com/travel-destinations/images/buckingham-palace.jpg).

Castles were more popular early on (when fortifications were needed). When things settled more/tactics changed, palaces became more common. Both have big dining rooms and bedrooms.

ETA or do you mean the building within the castle? That would be the keep (http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/i/fp/0608-sandbox/sandbox-castle-01.jpg) or donjon.Definitely heavily fortified, definitely very old. So, "keep" is the correct term for the king's house? If I have a group of people wandering around inside the walls and one goes to see the king, does he go into the "keep" to find him?

Kenn
03-08-2011, 01:28 AM
A castle is a fortification. They come in all shapes and sizes. I think you are probably thinking of it only as a keep (like on a chess board). A castle can be used as a royal residence, as in Windsor Castle.

Usually it is a palace, but there are no hard and fast rules.

Sandringham House is a Palace in all but name.
Balmoral Castle is not a castle but a palace.

I can't imagine many kings have lived in a keep. What time period are you thinking about?

movieman
03-08-2011, 01:29 AM
From what I remember a large castle would typically have multiple walls for defence so they could fall back if one wall was breached, and the keep would be the last line of defence in the middle. In small castles you might just have the keep and no other walls.

Where the king would live is another matter; the keep would probably be small and cramped, so I suspect they'd live further out and just retreat there if attacked.

Sarpedon
03-08-2011, 01:33 AM
ooh, one of my subjects!

The specific part of the castle that the king eats in is generally called 'the great hall.' The royal residences may or not be 'upstairs' from this, depending on the castle's design.

In the traditional 'keep and curtain' castle design it would have been. However, such a castle was always relatively shabby and utitilitarian, not the home for a king. Kings usually don't live in castles, though they may own several, and stay in them occasionally.

It is quite likely that the king would have both a palace and a castle (or quite probably more than one) For example, the king of England had a palace at whitehall, and later at buckingham (and others), but his castle was the Tower of London (and others), which he could retreat to if there were any problems. It also doubled as a prison.

The idea is that the king shouldn't need to live in a fortress all the time. Sure, a palace had walls and guards to keep the riff-raff out, but it was also a kind of a public place where people would be constantly coming and going. They were never intended to be able to resist attack. They are designed for comfort, convenience and conspicuous displays of wealth and power.

Castles are by definition less accessible, and would be an inconvenient and uncomfortable seat of government. A castle is a machine of war, designed to protect its occupants from the weapons available in the medieval period, while exposing attackers to the dangers of the same.

By all means, ask more questions about castles.

Sarpedon
03-08-2011, 01:38 AM
and in answer to your next questions:

The keep is the strongest part of the castle. The king may have quarters elsewhere. Again, its the comfort and convenience against security consideration.
The keep may be the big building that in times of peace is used purely for storage and quartering the churls, but that everyone flees to when there's an attack. The keep is also often the oldest part of the castle.

If the king had separate quarters, they would probably be built somewhere within the walls. The area inside the walls is called the 'bailey.' he can have a fairly typical 'mansion' if you will, inside this area, if there is enough room.

WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 01:43 AM
I've heard differing terms used.

You could just call it the royal residence, and the main room the great hall.

You might also see if your local library has this book: http://www.amazon.com/Castle-David-Macaulay/dp/0395329205/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1299532970&sr=8-1Yes, looks like a great book. My local library won't have it. Anyway, I've looked all over the internet and found loads of good information and I'm pretty well versed in the names of different parts of castles - except for - the one thing I can't find, the name of a king's residence. Yes, I've been using "great hall" but it doesn't always serve. "Royal residence" can work in some instances. Thanks for that. But, the lord of this particular little kingdom isn't a king.

Mr Flibble
03-08-2011, 01:44 AM
Re whether Kingy poo lived in the keep or - A heck of a lot will depend on time period, area/country etc. (and I defy anyone to call Windsor's keep small lol) The Tower of London certainly was a royal residence in its early history (or intended as such) though Windsor was used too. In fact, due to the general unrest after the Normans invaded, many of their castles were lived in by the lords. Later on, after the natives calmed down, there wasn;t so much need.

So, time period and country (kings didn't live in the keep very often in mainland Europe) will play a part - unless this is fantasy, in which case take your pick :D

WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 01:48 AM
and in answer to your next questions:

The keep is the strongest part of the castle. The king may have quarters elsewhere. Again, its the comfort and convenience against security consideration.
The keep may be the big building that in times of peace is used purely for storage and quartering the churls, but that everyone flees to when there's an attack. The keep is also often the oldest part of the castle.

If the king had separate quarters, they would probably be built somewhere within the walls. The area inside the walls is called the 'bailey.' he can have a fairly typical 'mansion' if you will, inside this area, if there is enough room.OK. Thanks. And, I understand all that. What I want to know is how do I refer the the building in which the king lives, sleeps, eats. The building where his private quarters are located. What is it called?

In my WIP. He lives inside the walls, in a tall building with a great hall below and private living quarters on the top floor. What would this building be called?

Mr Flibble
03-08-2011, 01:49 AM
That's the keep (unless it's later on, in which case, as said upthread, they may have a mansion within the grounds).

backslashbaby
03-08-2011, 01:50 AM
Do you mean like a chateau, maybe? I visited some places that were called estates or manor houses, chateaux in France. I'm not up on the differences, but maybe throwing out terms I've heard will jog someone else's knowledge.

eta: another crosspost. Sorry!

WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 01:58 AM
Re whether Kingy poo lived in the keep or - A heck of a lot will depend on time period, area/country etc. (and I defy anyone to call Windsor's keep small lol) The Tower of London certainly was a royal residence in its early history (or intended as such) though Windsor was used too. In fact, due to the general unrest after the Normans invaded, many of their castles were lived in by the lords. Later on, after the natives calmed down, there wasn;t so much need.

So, time period and country (kings didn't live in the keep very often in mainland Europe) will play a part - unless this is fantasy, in which case take your pick :DThanks. May I call you Idiots? (I've wanted to ask that for the longest time.)

Britain. Dark ages. Long before Windsor. Fantasy. He isn't really Kingypoo. He's just taken over a kingypoodom. In this uncertain world, he lives in the castle. I just don't know what to call his tall house. I've tried not calling it anything but it's a long book.

Sarpedon
03-08-2011, 02:01 AM
You could simply call them 'the Royal Apartments.' or 'Royal Chambers' or 'The Residence.'

WriteMinded
03-08-2011, 02:01 AM
That's the keep (unless it's later on, in which case, as said upthread, they may have a mansion within the grounds).OK. Thank you so much. :) Keep. Such a nice word. I was busy answering your previous post so missed this one.

Mr Flibble
03-08-2011, 02:05 AM
Lol Idiots is fine.

If it's fantasy, call it what you will,(keep, tower, residence, chambers like Sarpendon says etc) design how you like to fit with the local conditions/peace/war status. The more war is about, the more likely the king/lord will be to live in the most defensible part. That's the best part of fantasy - you don't have all that history getting in the way, forcing you to be accurate. As long as it's right in your world.

Kitti
03-08-2011, 02:18 AM
If you want a name specifically for the rooms where the king resides, I've always heard them called the "royal apartments." This applies regardless of whether he's residing in a castle or a palace.

There's a book I've had my students read called Behind the Castle Gates (http://www.amazon.com/Behind-Castle-Gate-Middle-Renaissance/dp/0415258871/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299536138&sr=8-1). There's a lot in there that I think is bull, but it does a good job of discussing what - exactly - is a castle. And his analysis of the "castle" at Cooling is a real eye-opener.

waylander
03-08-2011, 02:30 AM
Th
Britain. Dark ages. Long before Windsor. Fantasy. He isn't really Kingypoo. He's just taken over a kingypoodom. In this uncertain world, he lives in the castle. I just don't know what to call his tall house. I've tried not calling it anything but it's a long book.

Pre-Norman Britain they didn't really build stone castles; that's a Norman thing.

KQ800
03-08-2011, 04:30 PM
So, my first question is:
1) What do you call the king's mansion/house/abode. That building I always pictured as having a huge room where dinner is served and court is held and the king and maybe others live upstairs?

I can only give you an answer for Sweden/Scandinavia. The castle would be "slott", pronounced like slot, which would be akin to "Impressive manor". Any large house owned by wealthy men might be a castle, the king has several and each county has at least one where the kings local lord would live. The castle may or may not be fortified. Some are not defensible at all while others rival a fästning (see below)

Fortress would be "fästning", literally fastening or holding-fast. This and the word "borg" are warstructures. Fortifications that are meant to be inhabited during wartime and where amenities are second to defense. In peace time they would be nearly deserted, often used for storage of goods, or prisons for ranking prisoners. (Like the Tower of London)

Kungligt slott, or royal castle is a castle owned and kept by the crown. It is used when the king travels as an alternative government site and is prepared for this, so there will be lots of offices and medieval versions of conference rooms and water coolers.

"Kungsgård" translates roughly to kings' farm or kings' manor. These are properties kept by the crown for travel use by the king, his hird (eh, posse might be a contemporary word) and other state emissaries. These may or may not be castles, and sometimes have a borg next to them. These are not normally used for anything beyond shelter and rest. They are too small to host the court. In war however they may well work for a royal staff and the immediate advisors.

Where the king actually lives at the moment is called his residens, literally residence. The title moves with the king, much like the term flagship, or Air Force One. So for your purposes the entire structure, house or fortress would be his residence, but the term is also used to indicate the rooms inside the structure where the king lives, as opposed to those where he holds court.

A palats, palace, is a lavish building in a city. It is not normally defensible and may have parks surrounding it. This term may overlap with slott and kungligt slott.



Noblemans houses with borg:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glimmingehus

Fortress:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vaxholms_Fastning_%28232067229%29.jpg?uselang =sv

Castle that is also a fortress:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/Kalmar_slott.nordostra_sidan.jpg

A keep, or central tower of a fortress:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:K%C3%A4rnan_vinter.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f6/Karnan_querschnitt_hbg_nf.png

Indefensible castle:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1e/Sparreholmsslott.jpg

The swedish crown princess' Residence, also a royal castle as well as a palace, Drottningholm:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Drottningholms_slott.jpg

A palace:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6a/Sagerska_palatset_2011.JPG

Two modern versions of fästning:
http://www.bergrum.se/images/tunnan.jpg

http://img.geocaching.com/cache/003a9439-9496-4b93-9a52-e5092f8a76d6.jpg

The last two are just stuff I think is cool, not related to your story.

waylander
03-08-2011, 04:58 PM
Worth remembering that the court of the medieval kings of England moved around the country, staying at various major royal castles. So Christmas might be in Winchester, Easter at Oxford, midsummer in Lancaster etc.

mgencleyn
03-09-2011, 01:31 AM
This will no doubt seem very silly but I'm having trouble understanding terms for castles. My problem (I think) stems from the fact that I'm an American. We don't have castles.

-snippers-

Oh yes we do!

Here's a list from Dupont Castle for California:

California
HOWDEN CASTLE - Ben Lomond
HEARST CASTLE - San Simeon
THE CASTLE ON THE HILL- KASHAN CASTLE - Malibu Beach
MEDIEVAL TIMES OF BUENA PARK
SCOTTY'S CASTLE - Death Valley National Park
RUBEL CASTLE - Glendora
HANSHAW CASTLE - Idyllwild
SAM'S CASTLE - Pacifica
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Orange County
VIKINGSHOLM CASTLE - Emerald Bay
WORELAND CASTLE - Escondido
HUME CASTLE - Berkeley
KETT'S CASTLE - Watsonville
SHERMAN OAKS CASTLE - Los Angeles
CASTLE PARK - Riverside
BRIGADOON CASTLE - Redding
PRESTON CASTLE - Ione
GAYTONIA CASTLE - Long Beach
STIMSON HOUSE CASTLE - Los Angeles
CASTLE IVAR - Los Angeles
WOLFS LAIR CASTLE - Los Angeles
ROCK CASTLE - Perris
CASTLE RANCH ESTATE - Lancaster
PYNE CASTLE - Laguna Beach
UNKNOWN CASTLE - San Diego
BENEDICT CASTLE - Riverside
CUPIDS CASTLE -Pauma Valley
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Running Springs
BOOMERIA CASTLE - Bonny Doon
LUMMIS CASTLE - Los Angeles
HAWK TOWER - Carmel
MOTHER GREEN'S CASTLE - Acton
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Lake Nacimiento
VILLA AMOROSA, SATTUI WINERY CASTLE - Napa Valley
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Venice Beach
CROYDON CASTLE - Long Beach
JULIUS CASTLE - San Francisco
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Redwood City
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Healdsburg
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Los Angeles
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Indio
COMANSION CASTLE - Chatsworth
MARTINEZ CASTLE - Martinez
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Burbank
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Santa Susanna Pass
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Roseville
AMY'S CASTLE ? - AIMEE'S CASTLE ? - Lake Elsinore
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Citrus Heights
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Eagle Lake
UNKNOWN CASTLE - San Francisco
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Modesto
UNKNOWN CASTLE - Manhattan Beach
CHANDLER CASTLE - Sherman Oaks
ENCHANTED CASTLE - Fallbrook
CASTLE COTTAGE - Jamul
AIM CASTLE - Morgan Hill
UNKNOWN CASTLE - PINK CASTLE - La Canada - Flintredge
KASTEEL NOZ - Snelling
CALIFORNIA CASTLE - Yucca Valley
UNKNOWN CASTLE? - Citrus Heights
MAGIC CASTLE - Hollywood
BAKER CASTLE - Alamo
CHATEAU DRAGOO - Escondido
SEA CASTLE - Laguna Beach
RANCHO SANTA FE CASTLE -
DEL MAR CASTLE - Del Mar

http://www.dupontcastle.com/castles/

Maybe if you can find one near you, that will help you somehow for obvious reasons, if it's open to the public. Good luck in any case!

Rufus Coppertop
03-09-2011, 06:31 AM
If you refer to the actual royal residence as the "king's chamber" or the "royal chamber" and situate within the keep, nobody with a knowledge of history will bat an eyelid.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-09-2011, 06:40 AM
Britain. Dark ages. Long before Windsor. Fantasy. He isn't really Kingypoo. He's just taken over a kingypoodom. In this uncertain world, he lives in the castle. I just don't know what to call his tall house. I've tried not calling it anything but it's a long book.


Pre-Norman Britain they didn't really build stone castles; that's a Norman thing.

I just want to second waylander.

If you're doing Dark Ages Britian (roughly from the withdrawl of the Romans in the 400s through the adoption of Christianity in the 700s) and you want it to be "historically accurate", then stone castles are out. Unless you're near the 400s and are using a Roman fortification. In which case your terms might be different.

If you're doing total fantasy and just loosely basing it on Dark Ages Britain, then have at it! Castles ho! It's your universe.

WriteMinded
03-09-2011, 10:00 PM
I just want to second waylander.

If you're doing Dark Ages Britian (roughly from the withdrawl of the Romans in the 400s through the adoption of Christianity in the 700s) and you want it to be "historically accurate", then stone castles are out. Unless you're near the 400s and are using a Roman fortification. In which case your terms might be different.

If you're doing total fantasy and just loosely basing it on Dark Ages Britain, then have at it! Castles ho! It's your universe.Pure fantasy in just the time frame you named. I was confused by waylander's comment, about pre-Norman Britain, because I've read about and seen pictures of Roman "fortifications". I've kept most of the king's residences and walled fortifications as built of wood and logs. My guys have something out of the ordinary (fantasy, remember), a stone tower - in a kingdom that never existed - that grows into a stone castle.

Thanks for your answer.

waylander
03-09-2011, 11:01 PM
Pure fantasy in just the time frame you named. I was confused by waylander's comment, about pre-Norman Britain, because I've read about and seen pictures of Roman "fortifications".

The Roman legions left around 400AD and took with them the expertise in stonemasonry. Hadrian's Wall and the Saxon Shore forts remained and were possibly occupied (Portchester castle occupies the site of one), but no-one had the skill to maintain them or build new ones.

WriteMinded
03-10-2011, 07:02 PM
The Roman legions left around 400AD and took with them the expertise in stonemasonry. Hadrian's Wall and the Saxon Shore forts remained and were possibly occupied (Portchester castle occupies the site of one), but no-one had the skill to maintain them or build new ones.Pretty damn thoughtless of them! Thanks!

Sarpedon
03-10-2011, 07:22 PM
I would dispute that. I think it was the economic collapse caused by multiple german invasions that reduced the economic capacity to bear large building projects.

Masonry and stonecutting, while a refined craft, is not rocket science, and I notice that people frequently mistake skillful masonry with technology, when its really a matter of human skill and monetary investment. You get that a lot when discussing ancient civilizations; For example, they say that the dry stacked, extraordinarily precisely fitted stones in the wall at the temple of Manchu Pichu is a sign of high technology of the ancient Incans. However, to me its just a sign of an extremely large investment of time and energy into that particular wall. There's nothing like it in Roman architecture, but not because the romans lacked the 'technology', but mainly because they didn't think such a thing was worth the investment. The romans excelled all ancient civilizations in their skill at administration, which made their works the greatest until modern times.

What the normans brought to England was not so much skill at masonry, but skill at administration and tax collecting, which renewed the means to undertake large building projects.

ULTRAGOTHA
03-10-2011, 08:38 PM
Trust me, the Anglo-Saxons had plenty of experience in administration and tax collection. The Kingdom of England was one of the most sophistocated governmental structures in Europe before the Norman Invasion. The Normans were not nearly as good at governance.

What the Normans had was a lot of land and wealth after they conquered England. William parcelled out most of the Saxon lands to his followers. Formerly free Saxon yeoman were, over time, reduced to peasants tied to the land they no longer owned. Now the Normans had the Gross Domestic Product of a nation several times larger than Normandy to exploit. And they did so.

The Normans also had a lot of incentive to build fortifications in England. There were few inward-facing (so to speak) fortifications in England under the Danish and Wessex Royal houses. But the Normans built such fortifications because 1, they were used to them in Normandy where they were constantly at war with each other and the rest of France and 2, they now had a hostile native population to fortify themselves against. The Tower of London and Windsor Castle are two of William's projects.

The pre-Norman English certainly knew how to work stone to build large buildings. Edward the Confessor (English King until January 1066) caused Westminster to be built and it's still standing. Compare this building with your average Norman church. No contest. (Of course, more resources for Westminster than your average Norman church, granted.)

Fenika
03-11-2011, 04:17 AM
I haven't read the whole thread, but I've heard of palaces within castles, even multiple palaces (usually shared a wall though).

As others said, it depends on the time period and design. For some castle layout examples, terms, and a little history, check out my blog. There's some famous Eastern European castles there (with more to come, eventually). http://polskizamki.blogspot.com/

WriteMinded
03-11-2011, 08:11 PM
I haven't read the whole thread, but I've heard of palaces within castles, even multiple palaces (usually shared a wall though).

As others said, it depends on the time period and design. For some castle layout examples, terms, and a little history, check out my blog. There's some famous Eastern European castles there (with more to come, eventually). http://polskizamki.blogspot.com/Thanks for posting that link. Great pics! Loved the closeups of the thatch.

Sarpedon
03-11-2011, 08:16 PM
Closeups of thatch? <click>

Kenn
03-11-2011, 11:13 PM
This is an interesting article:
http://www.britannia.com/history/david1.html

As for the King, he would have a chamber. Maybe a tower (turret) too; Kings used to like living in towers!

Fenika
03-12-2011, 08:11 AM
Thanks for the Britannica link. I'm adding it to my blog :)

WriteMinded
03-12-2011, 08:12 PM
Closeups of thatch? <click>Yep :)