The Norman Conquest School Site

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Local reaction

The defeated Saxons were forced to help build the castles.

The Normans ordered the castles to be built on the best sites possible.  If there was something in the way, it was destroyed!

In Lincoln, 160 houses were destroyed to make room for the castle.


The Motte & Bailey castles were well guarded and were difficult to attack.  They had one serious problem though - they could be destroyed by fire! 

"Above all, William survived by ... building ... castles in vulnerable places."
Goulding, Conquest & Colinisation, p.39

Members of Saxon rebellions lit bonfires against the wooden fences which soon set the entire castle on fire.  The Normans gradually improved the design of their castles using stone rather than wood.

There were many reasons for the remaining Saxons to hate the Normans.  They had been treated badly and harshly.  The rebellions between 1066 and 1075 show how upset the Saxons were.

However, the areas around the new castles became peaceful, and each castle provided work for the local Saxons.

Click here to find out about the rebellions in detail


A quick Resistance quiz

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Last updated Wednesday, 02 July 2003