First step in the history of medieval castles, these constructions began to dot the French landscape around the 8th century.

The motte is topped with a wooden structure to defend the fiefdom: the keep. Inside the Bailey is the courtyard where can be found the houses: of the lord, the knights and servants.

This construction was easy to build and its materials: earth and wood are easy to find.

Keeps made of stone and keeps made of wood coexisted at the end of the 10th century, Motte and Bailey castle finally disappeared to be replaced by typical stone defensive castles still visible nowadays.

Inside the Motte and Bailey castle

The motte and the keep:

The wooden keep is a square tower not used a housing facility but more a symbol of the power of the lord over his fiefdom. Visible from afar it is composed of several levels. The “rez de motte” holds the tower with eight wooden beams. The first level could be used as storage space for important resources such as : wine, smoked meat, wheat and iron ore. The second level was reserved to the surveillance of the area.

The lord’s house is located near the motte and is the best built with its roof made of sweet chestnut tree wood (“bardeaux”) and its three rooms.

The lord’s house
The lord’s house is located near the motte and is the best built with its roof made of sweet chestnut tree wood (“bardeaux”) and its three rooms

 

The Milites dwelling
A less complex construction than the lord’s house with only a fireplace and several straw mattresses. This building is mainly used as living quarters and to stock military equipment.

 

The sheep-barn

This building was where the servants and peasants slept.  It is also where the animals where kept since they produced a welcomed warmth.

 

The kitchen
The vast majority of the village activities took place outside. For example, the meals were cooked here to avoid fire hazards. The kitchen is composed of a clay hoven and a cooking area.

The barn is used to stock materials and sometimes to keep animals.

The forge is the forging area for simple weapons and daily working tools

The garden: this garden is for pedagogical use only as at this time cultures would be outside the bailey. Today are shown plants used for both medicine, clothing and cooking.