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Social Studies
World History

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Chateau-Gallaird was an awesome English castle built by Richard the Lionheart, but it was sadly taken over by the French. The layout is shown in the picture to the right. It had an inner ward, a middle ward, and an outer ward. The first two were taken by mining under the walls , putting in stakes to hold up the mines, getting everyone out, and throwing a torch in to light it on fire. They couldn't do this with the third, however, because the ground it was on was much too rocky. S0 they went in through a church thatRichard's idiot brother John Lackland had added after he died. It was in an extremely bad position and not well defended. However, the French made up a story about going in through the latrines because they didn't want to be seen as defiling a holy place. The castle was the most innovative one of its time, and would never have fallen if it was still under Richard's leadership. Aside from adding the church, John also left it severely undermanned and didn't send reinforcements when they were needed.


Chateau-Gaillard was in a very defensible position. It was on very high, rocky ground, and it was on a bend in the river Seine, so it couldn't be attacked from that direction and aid could be sent along the river by boat if need be. The first ward was for strictly defensive purposes, and it had very high walls and a barracks inside. Between the first and second wards was not a moat, which could be swum, but rather a deep trench. The inner ward would not have been taken if not for the church. It could have held out indefinetly, so strong were its defenses. Its main feature was the incredibly high, curved walls. The curviture helped both repel enemy projectiles as well as leave no blind spots for arrow slits.

An English Castle

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