Motte and Bailey

On Friday it was another history presentation session at a local HE group.  Theme of Normans and Medieval – so just a few Centuries to choose from :-)

Decided her on the Normans.  Originally there was some idea  about SB and BB re-enacting the battle of Hastings, which might have been entertaining …. But BB decided she didn’t want to do it. So then SB decided to build a model of  a Motte and Bailey castle. Would probably have been better to have had this idea a bit sooner.

Spent much of Tuesday morning looking at Motte and Bailey castles in books and websites . And settled on a model of a small wooden one as might have been built early after the invasion.

So something like this was the idea:


Made a base from two sheets of cardboard PVA-ed together:


Started with a circle, cut out increasingly larger ones, stuck them down to make the base of the mound.


That was mostly it for  Tuesday, IIRC the was some music practice and we had swimming lessons. Had meant to do some more afterwards, but it didn’t happen.

No time on Wednesday, so it meant we had to do the rest on Thursday. The plan had been to use paper mache to finish the mound etc.  But no time for that to dry. So I suggested using car body filler as that sets quickly.

So we marked out and cut more cardboard to make the land around the Motte and SB stuck it down.


Then I mixed up some filler, and SB applied it.  Sticking a few stones in for extra effect.


Had some lunch and then it was dry for painting.


Which was done in time for a break and a snack before Gym class. (we went early as we had to go to the pet shop so SB could by her present for BB

So that just left the castle wall and buildings to do ;-) Luckily, soon after us getting home H arrived home as well, so we had a joint effort. H made the building shells for SB to paint and roof.



I got on with making palisade  fences  etc. (SB had a go, but she dislikes getting hot melt glue on her fingers).


Having a break for dinner and Dr Who in the middle. It was about 10.30 pm when me and SB finished off by painting the palisade fences.


And we had a castle :-)


The kitchen was a disaster zone (cardboard, glue, hay,paint, dinner preps etc.), but the castle was looking cool :-) H managed to make some fairy cakes to take to the group as it was BB’s birthday

On Friday H woke BB up to give her a present of a DS game before she went to work. BB woke up said that you and fell back to sleep for another 20 minutes :-) We tootled off to the HE session. We had a retelling of a couple of Robin Hood tales,  The Black Death, SB’s castle, Structure of Feudal Society, and a bit about Stokesay Castle. Which were all very good. SB did a good presentation, about her castle, remembering to say most of the things she had wanted to say. Everyone was very impressed with the model.


When we got home, SB gave BB her present –  a dog collar and lead. The collar goes round the waist by the way. B was very pleased (she likes playing being a doggy games) So they went around play doggy games until H came home and BB finally got to have the rest of her presents.

Though we had had given her rather more help than intended because of time factors , she did a lot herself with just a bit of help. Along with history, some model making techniques, there was a good chance to investigate the appropriate use of different adhesives :-)

PVA, a good strong bons, good for larger areas or where you can wait, but not much ‘grab’. UHU type glue – good grab, pretty quick drying. Hot melt, good for where you want things stuck firm quickly. But mind the fingers ;-)

It was a fun project, but a bit more time would have been better. I think SB was impressed with how much you can get done when you need to.

Dinner, more Dr Who and Birthday (bought)  cake finished off the day.

12 responses to “Motte and Bailey

  1. Buttercup got a quick glimpse of these photos, and asked “What’s Violet doing?” :-D

    It looks amazing :) Hope you’re both proud of yourselves :)

  2. Brilliant castle!

  3. It looks fabulous :)

  4. It is completely amazing – we may have to nick the idea!!!! (F just finished this period of history in her book.)

  5. That is one AWESOME make :D Brilliant!!

  6. wow. fab castle.

  7. Brilliant! I want to make one LOL!

  8. Fantastic work! Something else we can copy!

  9. woohoo, hello again ros and hello to zoe as well!

  10. WOW! :)

Leave a Reply to Jax Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>