UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!
  Castle Quest
  Medieval Life And Culture

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Baileys
posted 12-23-2002 07:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for amber03     Edit/Delete Message
I see all these pictures of castles with open area between the walls and keep (I believe they are called baileys). But what went on the baileys? Did peasants live there? Were there shops?

Senior Member
posted 12-25-2002 07:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for deborahknowles   Click Here to Email deborahknowles     Edit/Delete Message
All the domestic buildings e.g bakery etc would have been in the bailey. I expect if you search 'Bailey' you'll find what you need. Good luck and merry Christmas!


Erik Schmidt
Senior Member
posted 12-25-2002 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Erik Schmidt   Click Here to Email Erik Schmidt     Edit/Delete Message
Firstly Amber, peasants did not live in castles. Many castles were built more for defence against the local peasants than any foreign threat. Castles were built in times of feudal 'government', where most of the land was held by the local feudal lord and the peasants worked his land.
To help keep the locals civil, castles often had the only rights to milling grain or baking bread, and sometimes stored all the grain from the fields within it's walls.
The peasants were less likly to try and attack, no matter how they disliked their situation, if much of their food, or the ability to make it edible, was being held within the castle.

Shops as such were not common, especially in the early middle ages and even less so in villages.
People relied on regular market days to trade or purchase goods, but mostly people were fairly self sufficient. These markets were often held at the castle (whether inside or outside it's walls I don't know), in some cases it was law that the market must be held there.

OK, the bailey. What you see in many castles today is an open space which now only contains the ruins of the former inner buildings, the domestic buildings, as Deborah said.
The bailey of a larger castle would have housed kitchens, storage buildings(food, hay wood, animal feed, weapons), stables, black smith's shop, bakery and so on. Some of these functions were often incorporated into the main buildings such as the keep and towers and then did not require a seperate building.
The inside of the walls often had buildings built up against them and on many you can still see the rows of holes where roof beams were inserted to make a 'lean to' type roof.
Open areas would have been used for training of knights, receiving guests, storing stones and seige engines for times of siege, growing herbs and anything else that did not require a building.

Many people sometimes worked within a castle and especially in the early middle ages they did not have their own accommadation, but slept where they worked. The stablehand would have slept in the stable with the horses. This may seem strange to you, but was in fact done on farms in Europe until not long ago.


posted 12-26-2002 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for amber03     Edit/Delete Message
I thank both Deborah and Erik for their insightful posts. I know my question may have sounded a little ignorant to people who know a lot about the subject of castles, but I have little knowledge in the area.

All times are PT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Castles on the Web

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board, Version 5.40
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998 - 1999.

Castles on the WebHome
Castles on the WebIntroduction
Castles on the WebCastle Quest
Castles on the WebSite of the Day
Castles on the WebCastle Tours
Castles on the WebCastle Collections
Castles on the WebNew Sites
Castles on the WebPopular Sites
Castles on the WebPhoto Archive
Castles on the WebMiscellaneous
Castles on the WebCastles for Kids
Castles on the WebCastle Glossary
Castles on the WebPalaces & Homes
Castles on the WebMedieval Studies
Castles on the WebAccommodations
Castles on the WebTop Rated
Castles on the WebCastle Postcards
Castles on the WebHeraldry Links
Castles on the WebMyths & Legends
Castles on the WebOrganizations
Castles on the WebCastle Books
Castles on the WebAbbeys & Churches
Castles on the WebWeapons/Supplies
Castles on the WebRandom Site
Castles on the WebAdd A Castle Site
Castles on the WebAcknowledgements
Castles on the WebSearch Options
Castles on the WebPlease Help Us!
Castles on the WebPlease Link To Us
Castles on the WebContact Us

Castles on the Web Copyright 1995- | Privacy Policy