HisotryHow far do you agree that the building of castles was the main
reason why the English were unable to mount a successful challenge to William I’s rule?
After William’s victory at Hastings in 1066, he introduced Motte and Bailey castles, which showed the Norman’s power, when faced with rebellions from 1068. Nevertheless, not only did he use castles to prevent the English from mounting a challenge to Williams rule, he also introduced the feudal system, as well as the Doomsday book and harrying of the north.
To begin with, William was a Norman, where he lived in a country full of castles which showed of wealth. On top of this, French kings had gained a reputation for building castles, as a way of coping with the constant attacks by Vikings from Scandinavia. After the victory of William at Hastings in 1066, he acted swiftly to solidify his victory, where he began to build motte and bailey castles, which was newly introduced as before the conquest there was only one apparent castle in Hereford. Although William was a powerful man, he was unpopular in the English kingdom, where he was faced with rebellions from 1067, with the first rebellion in Dover. William managed to respond by re-asserting his authority as he captured villages, towns and road crossings in places where rebellions took place and building a castle. This was then a visible sign of the Norman’s power over the English. The castles provided his troops with strong defensive structures to guard against any upstart Saxons bold enough to try to prevent William's rule. Castles were built in Exeter, Warwick, Nottingham, Lincoln, Huntingdon, Cambridge and York. As a result of the castle building, the English were unable to mount a successful challenge to Williams I rule. Despite this, the series of castle building did not make the problem disappear. Those who rebelled against William’s power gathered together in 1069 where they attacked the most obvious sign of William’s authority; the castle of York. The...