1. Introduction About our proj ect 2. Defending the castles Portcullis
Defending Passageway Murder Holes 3. Water Defence
4. Weapons Ballista Perrier
5.Water Mill 6. Great hall 7. Chapel Back to Contents
This Presentation is going to help you put together pieces of evidence to make a BIG PICTURE of the history of Caerphilly Castle. Caerphilly Castle in South Wales is one of the largest castles in the United Kingdom. It was built
by Gilbert De Clare between the years 1268 and 1271. By 1267 Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native prince of Wales, has become lord of the greater part of Wales. He posed a threat to De Clare, the Anglo Norman lord of Glamorgan and the castle was built in response to this threat. Caerphilly is considered to be the earliest and finest example of the true regular concentric
fortification in the British Isles. The water defences are thought to be modelled on those of of Kenilworth castle. There is a large collection of siege engines, based on known early examples. 1066 The Norman Conquest of England. Harold is killed at Hastings and the Norman marcher lords are established along the Welsh border lines.
1067 Chepstow Castle is started by William fitz Osbern. 1090 The first Norman Castle is built in Cardiff. 1215 English Barons force King John into signing The Magna Carta. Limiting rights for Wales. 1246 82 Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (the last), prince of Gwynedd rules much of Wales.
The main gate towers are square at the base but the corners are finished in spurs. There are arrow loop windows at each of the towers three floors. Above the central gate passage, there are small holes that were used to run through ropes or chains to lift up the bridge. They were also used as murder holes, through which
boiling limewater or tar was poured on the enemy if they entered the gatehouse. Back to Contents Back to Defending
the Castle Back to Contents The portcullis was a gate that shut over the entrances of the castle to keep out invaders and unwanted
visitors. Back to Contents These were holes in the ceiling of the entrance to the castle. People in the castle would pour hot
limewater or boiling tar onto invaders. Back to Contents These were long slits in the walls where people shot arrows to kill and
wound unwanted visitors. The great hall is where most of the castles main events would have taken place. As well as having a huge fireplace to keep the building warm, the kitchens and chapel that
were both important, were part of the same building and connected by doors and corridors. Back to Contents Caerphilly Castle is like a
floating island, surrounded by water it was very difficult to attack. Swimming across the huge moat was literally impossible and any entrances to the castle across the moat
would be blocked off. Back to Contents There are two sources of the Caerphilly Castle moat. One of the sources
is the Nant y Gledyr river. The second source to the moat is the Nant y Risca River. The moat also used to be filled by natural springs, but most of them have dried up.
Back to Contents The Ballista was a giant crossbow which was first used by the ancient Greeks. On most occasions, the bow had twin arms each worked by tension
from twisted rope or hair. The single-armed bows also worked using simple tension. The Perrier was very similar to the trebuchet but only a bit smaller. It was used to propel stone missiles and worked by
the single arm being moved by human muscle power. The Perrier being smaller, didnt throw things as far as the trebuchet but was also used to The Trebuchet was a heavy timber framework, with an A-frame supporting a
pivot for the huge throwing arm. A strong wooden box filled with stone ballast is placed on a second pivot at the front of the arm, a rope sling for the missile is attached to the other end. The Trebuchet was very accurate and the distance it threw its missiles could be altered by the weight of the ballast.
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