Normans built a large number of castles in the areas they eventually settled in.
They first practiced their hands at building timber castles in regions of Normandy.
These were the early form of the later motte-and-bailey castles.
Later when the Normans, under William The Conqueror, conquered England in the 11th century, they rapidly imitated the same motte-and-bailey structure throughout the country in order to secure their grip.
Once the conquest had been consolidated, William The Conqueror started having stone castles built in the place of earlier motte-and-bailey structures.
Many of these stones castles dating back to the Norman times exist to this day.
Norman Castles in Normandy
Normandy, in West Francia, was the region where Vikings settled down in the 10th century and over time, gave birth to the Norman culture.
As Norman individuals grew influential in the region, they began building their earliest timber castles which were usually built on top of mounds.
Later, these structures gave way to motte-and-bailey castles which were somewhat stronger than the timber structures.
When the Normans arrived in England, they came equipped with adequate knowledge of the construction of such castles and utilizing this knowledge, they were able to rapidly cement their hold over entire England.
13th century Norman castles in Ireland used stronger rounded towers, often incorporating many of them.
Norman Castles Summary
Normans settled down in Normandy by the 10th century and took many architectural influences from the Franks.
When they conquered England in the 11th century, they rapidly cemented their hold by building motte-and-bailey castles all over the country.
These castles were later replaced by stronger stone structures, many of which exist to this day.
The Normans repeated the same pattern in Wales and Ireland during the 12th and 13th centuries.
Since the northern princes of Wales were hostile to Norman conquests, hundreds of Norman castles were concentrated in Wales to cement their hold.
Given their exposure to many cultures, Norman castles were considered a cross of different architectural styles, resulting structures which were very durable and at the same time, carried imposing outlook.
Among the most well-known Norman castles is the Tower of London which was built soon after the Norman Conquest in 1066.