Medieval castles housed the nobles of medieval times whose living style was quite lavish, particularly in comparison with the common people.
Accordingly, medieval castles needed a large body of staff and servants, for different kinds of work in the medieval castle. For instance cooking, cleaning, military, and maintenance staff, and such.
Among other members, the job of a chamberlain was to manage the castle finances, while the seneschal looked after the administration of the estate and special events.
Medieval Castle Staff Duties
Staff that worked in a medieval castle had certain pre-defined tasks to take care of, for instance, there was a head cook who had his staff and was responsible for preparing meals. Other senior members of the service staff could include a butler, seneschal, head maid, and constable.
Medieval Castle Staff – Cooks and Service Staff
The cooking staff in a medieval castle was responsible for meals and worked in a large kitchen under the charge of a head cook. The head cook was also responsible for purchasing various food items and overlooked the storage and preservation of food in pantries.
Medieval castle staff that served food during meals was headed by a butler who was assisted by multiple footmen. Pageboys and Squires may have also been serving food.
Medieval Castle Staff Jobs
Medieval castle staff who were at the bottom of the hierarchy of staff members were the cleaning staff which was generally under the command of a head maid.
There were also stables within the grounds of a medieval castle staff that housed animals, horses were of particular importance in medieval times. A stable master was in charge of these stable staff members which additionally included teamsters, masters of the hounds, falconers, etc.
The Majority of the male servants of a medieval castle were military personnel who performed specific duties. There were the gatekeepers and various knights and esquires who overlooked the military garrison of the castle.
The castle’s maintenance staff was responsible for making sure that everything in the castle was in order. This included a variety of duties such as looking after the fireplace, dusting, keeping the wardrobe of lords and ladies in order, and such.
Castle Staff *Entertainers
Medieval castle staff for entertainment generally displayed their skills during special events such as weddings, ceremonies, and festivals. Common types of entertainment in a medieval castle included dancing, juggling, mystery plays, and others. Sometimes, if there was no dedicated staff for entertainment in a medieval castle, it could be hired for special services.
Castle Staff Summary
The duties and responsibilities of medieval castle staff varied depending on the size of the castle and the inhabitants. During medieval times, the castles were large and sometimes housed hundreds of inhabitants.
In this case, the number and variety of servants were also large. Eventually, however, the size of the estate and thus the castles began the shrink which also resulted in a reduced number of servants and limited staff.