William the Conqueror divided up his new kingdom of England between his barons or lords. In return for land they had to keep order.
They built themselves strong, stone keeps in which to live. These gave protection from troublesome peasants, and neighbouring Norman lords with whom they may have quarrelled!
Along the Welsh border the lords needed to protect themselves from the unconquered Welsh. Goodrich Castle keep, shown in the picture, was built for this reason.
Entrances were at first floor level and reached by means of wooden steps which could be taken away if an attack threatened.
Arrow slits and battlements on the top of the castle allowed the lord's soldiers to fire down on the enemy.
Stores were kept in the bottom - a well was sometimes found here too.
The keep had the additional protection of a ditch or moat, wooden palisade and gatehouse with drawbridge. These were soon replaced with a stone curtain wall.
In which part of the castle were the lord's rooms to be found?
Click the picture for an answer.
A Norman baron outside his home - a strong, stone castle keep.