Knights and Castles

Medieval Knights and Castles were closely tied to each other during medieval times.

Medieval knights rushed to the entrance of castle

This was not only due to the fact that various orders of medieval knights built their own castles but also because medieval knights had certain duties and responsibilities that they carried out for the nobles in their castles. Medieval Knights had clearly defined roles to play during times of war and peace.

Medieval Castle Staff Military

Knights & Castle History

Both the concepts of medieval knights and castles were not well-formed during the early medieval times. It was during the high and late medieval times that medieval knights and castles emerged throughout Europe and started to become more of a feature in medieval life.

This was particularly true after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 in which feudalism was introduced to England and the concept of knights and castles became more dominant in everyday life because of this new system of Norman rule.

Norman Conquest

Norman Conquest

The prominence of the Medieval Knight and his connection to medieval castles in people’s minds also gained more momentum during and after the Crusades.

Knights’ Role in a Medieval Castle

There were various important roles that medieval knights were expected to perform in the castle. Most importantly, medieval knights were expected to serve their lord and fight for him as stipulated in the Knights Code of Chivalry.

Code of Chivalry

Code of Chivalry *Medieval Knight

Medieval knights and castles also have an important relationship in that various orders of the medieval knights made their own castles during the late medieval times. One of the best examples of such castles is Malbork Castle in Germany built by the Teutonic Knights.

Medieval Germany Flag of the Teutonic Order

Medieval Germany Flag of the Teutonic Order

Knights Duties Castle Duties

The duties of medieval knights mainly had to do with defense. Knights would be entrusted with the defense of the medieval castle and were expected to fight with bravery and courage to defend the castle whenever required. Similarly, it was a medieval knight’s duty to serve their lord and come to his assistance in the event of a war.

During times of peacetime, a knight could be given the duty of looking after the land and the people. Thus medieval knights and castles were closely linked with each other.

Medieval Knights Defend a Castle

Knights attack and defend a Castle

Did Knights live in Castles?

Medieval knights would sometimes be granted castles for their services but this did not happen very often. Commonly, knights lived with lords in their castles. Medieval Knights received lodgings, weapons, food, and other privileges in exchange for their military services and protection.

Knights who were granted fiefdom by the king or high-ranking nobles were known as Vassals. The medieval orders of knights who had built their own castles also lived in the castles. However, sometimes knights would also live in small cottages in a village.

Knights & Castles Summary

Medieval knights and castles and their connection are some of the fascinating aspects of medieval times and they bear a close relationship. The defense of the castle and its inhabitants was the responsibility of medieval knights residing in the castle. Other than this duty, the knights were also expected to accompany their lord to war and fight with courage.

During peacetime, medieval knights looked after the land of the lord and the inhabitants of the village, in addition to fighting during events that were arranged during the year such as medieval tournaments.