Who worked in Medieval Castles

The medieval castle evolved as the key unit of residence of the nobility during the medieval period. A medieval castle was typically owned by a lord who was significantly powerful and among the most influential nobility in a given region.

Consequently, such a lord had resources enough to employ a large number of servants and other employees to help him run his large residence with comfort. The workers employed at a medieval castle typically came under different classes.


The medieval castle evolved as the key unit of residence of the nobility during the medieval period.

A medieval castle was typically owned by a lord who was significantly powerful and among the most influential nobility in a given region.

Consequently, such a lord had resources enough to employ a large number of servants and other employees to help him run his large residence with comfort.

The workers employed at a medieval castle typically came under different classes.

Medieval Castle Military Workers

The main distinguishing feature of a castle compared to other noble residences such as a manor house was that a castle was better guarded. As a result, a medieval castle typically had a solid body of armed personnel to guard the castle and be available in case the lord had to ride out for an armed conflict.

The personnel at the top of the hierarchy of military workers were the knights. Unlike most other workers in a castle, the knights were very well groomed, had a lavish if tough lifestyle and had prospects of rising in prestige through their prowess in combat.

Next came the esquires who were closely associated with the knights. Gatekeepers also formed a vital part of the castle’s military body, tasked with the important job of guarding the gates and barring any unwelcome person’s at the entrance.

Medieval Castle Workers Quick Facts:

  • Castles were typically owned by a Lord who had enough wealth to employ many people
  • Knights were the most important castle staff and a castle always needed a strong military
  • Knights in Castles had a very tough physical life but lived in luxury such was their standing
  • Gatekeepers were also important medieval military staff who protected the castle entrance

Medieval Castle Kitchen Workers

The kitchen formed a unit nearly as important as the military unit in the overall castle’s structure. The kitchen of a medieval castle was typically huge and employed a large number of workers.

This was because every day, a large number of the castle’s residents had to be fed at the Great Hall and on many occasions, special feasts had to be prepared to account for many additional guests.

At the top of the body of workers in a kitchen was the cook under whom came many other lower level workers. The cook was tasked with purchasing, storing and cooking the food. The storage of food was done by separating different types of food and storing them in pantry, cellar, larder, saucer, buttery and other such rooms.

Each room, in turn, came under a specific person who was in charge of it. Once the cook had prepared the food, it was taken to the Hall under the supervision of the butler and served by footmen.

Medieval Castle Noble Workers

The workers hailing from lesser noble families would frequently attend on the lord of a medieval castle. In return for their service, the lord bestowed more comfortable jobs such as those of the chamberlain, steward and marshal on such persons.

Such workers from the noble class were usually paid a handsome sum for their service and their experience at the castle proved a vital part of their public career. In many cases, such workers would remain within a given castle for extended period of times due to the luxury and comfort that a medieval castle offered.

Such noble employees, if young, also enjoyed education at the castle such as in the skills of hunting and swordsmanship.

Medieval Castle Workers Facts:

  • A castles kitchen workers were very important as the castles inhabitants had to be fed
  • Castles usually had huge kitchens that were just off the Great Hall where feast were held
  • Cooks prepared food and it was then transfered to the Great Hall by the butler and served by footmen
  • Workers from lesser noble families had better jobs in castles and were well paid for their service
  • Castle workers from the nobility were educated and taught swordsmanship and hunting in the Castle
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