Image courtesy of castleuk.net
|courtesy of teachnet.ie|
The upper storey was the solar, or the bedroom. It would span most of the top of the building and would be used for sleeping and pleasure. There would be a least one spiral staircase leading up through all stories in one of the square towers. Defenders would be able to access the roof to throw down rocks and fire arrows.
Below is an image of the Great Hall in Hedingham Castle, built in 1140 in Essex. It is the best preserved Norman Keep in England.
I hope you enjoyed my little insight into Norman keeps. Though not the grandest, or most complex of castles, these keeps always fill me with the most awe. And that was precisely what they were intended to do - intimidate the indigenous population. If you get the chance, Hedingham and Rochester are well worth a visit for a glimpse into the life of a Norman lord.