Explain why William introduced castles into England?
There was a plethora of reasons why William introduced castles into England. Firstly, they were built for protection; after the battle of Hastings there was only about 5,000 Normans left in England, they were massively outnumbered by the English whose population measured around 1 and a half million. Therefore William would have feared the English revolting and with only 5,000 men they had little chance of putting up a strong defence, William therefore introduced castles as they would act as an ideal military base and would offer a safe place for his men to live. William also tried to build castles within 15 miles of each other, the distance a man could travel on a horse in a day. This allowed his men to stay safe if they ever needed to travel across England. Therefore William introduced castles as a way of keeping his relatively small group of men safe, which allowed him to keep control of England.
Secondly, William introduced castles to act as a symbolic message to the people of England; they acted as a sign of Norman power and strength. They also frightened the English as they had never seen something like it before. Many of the castles built were only made of wood and would have been easily attacked by fire but they were new and the English were unaware of their workings, they provoked fear because they were intimidating largely due to their large size. William therefore introduced castles as a way of scaring the English and therefore stopping them from revolting.
Finally, William introduced castles as a site from where he and the Normans could govern the surrounding district. They acted as an excellent place for people to be imprisoned and would therefore act as a deterrent to anyone thinking of revolting or doing anything against the Normans. They were also built high and therefore strategically placed if anyone did act out.
In conclusion, William introduced castles into England primarily to keep...
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