Top 5 Facts: Castles

1. Antiquated – While all but impregnable in classic and medieval times, the age of the castle came crashing to a halt in the late 15th century with the arrival of heavy firearms, such as cannons.

2. Aristocracy – Despite losing their role as fortifications, castles and similar structures were popular up to the 19th century, adopted and maintained by the rich as family homes.

3. Arson – One of the most damaging forms of offence was fire. Flaming arrows and burning corpses hurled over the walls could set both buildings and wooden siege weapons alight.

4. Architecture – With the arrival of cannons, castle architecture changed drastically. Star forts offered better defence against cannons but at the cost of civil and administrative functionality.

5. Ages – The longest castle siege to have taken place in Britain was the Siege of Harlech, which lasted between 1461 and 1468 during the War of the Roses. The siege is commemorated in the song Men of Harlech.