What happened in the great hall of a castle?

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Margarete Greenholt asked a question: What happened in the great hall of a castle?
Asked By: Margarete Greenholt
Date created: Tue, May 18, 2021 2:48 AM
Date updated: Tue, Jun 21, 2022 2:03 PM

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Life in a medieval castle centred on the great hall, the castle's main room. Here the lord would eat, entertain guests, and conduct business. Each day, the lord and his family would enjoy a huge meal, waited on by pages and servants.

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Life in a medieval castle centred on the great hall, the castle’s main room. Here the lord would eat, entertain guests, and conduct business. Each day, the lord and his family would enjoy a huge meal, waited on by pages and servants. The lord’s table was at one end, often on a raised platform, so that he could survey the hall.

On special occasions the Great Hall was used for plays, dances, and masques. James I 's court spent Christmas and New Year 1603-4 at Hampton Court to escape an outbreak of plague in London. During the festive celebrations William Shakespeare and his company of players performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Great Hall.

A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages, and continued to be built in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries, although by then the family used the great chamber for eating and relaxing.

Great hall. Life in a medieval castle centered on the great hall, the castle’s main room. Here the lord would eat, entertain guests, and conduct business. Each day, the lord and his family would enjoy a huge meal, waited on by pages and servants. The lord’s table was at one end, often on a raised platform, so that he could survey the hall.

What is the biggest room in a castle? A great hall is the main room of a royal palace, castle or a large manor house or hall house in the Middle Ages, and continued to be built in the country houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries, although by then the family used the great chamber for eating and relaxing.

1536 - decline of the great hall. When the House of Lancaster took over the throne of England with the accession of Henry IV in 1399, Leicester Castle became one of many castles that the Lancastrians owned. As a result, Leicester Castle went into a period of decline. Learn More.

The great hall could be located in the keep or in separate buildings. In the earliest castles, like the one described in the epic poem "Beowulf," great halls were used for eating and sleeping. Later, they were used for entertaining and holding court. They usually had high ceilings and large fireplaces.

What life in a medieval castle was like depended greatly on whether or not the lord (or lady) of the castle was there. Karen Dempsey of the University of Reading says that while castles were homes of the nobility, many weren't the family's permanent residence.

Photograph: The Great Hall in the keep of Carlisle Castle - a keep which King David I of Scotland ordered to be completed in the 1130's. Many Great Halls had their own minstrels gallery from which musicians would play and provide entertainment and the walls of the Great Hall were often adorned with wonderful, impressive tapestries, trophies and coats of arms.

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