Medieval Castles - Sleeping Accommodation

replica of a medieval bedInitially the main sleeping quarters within a medieval castle were just at the furthest end of the Great Hall, separated by curtains from the rest of the building.

Subsequently special chambers were built on the second floor of the castle and these would often have peep holes or "squints" to allow secret viewing of the ground floor. These "upper" chambers would be called "solars" and a great bed would be at the centre. The bed would be based around a heavy wooden frame with rope or strips of leather for springs.

The four poster construction would allow curtains to provide a little privacy and protection from the drafts which must have been very common in big stone-built castles.

: replica of a medieval bed inside Carlisle Castle keep with wooden frame and curtains.

Sleeping accommodation for the servants and retainers within a castle would typically be very limited and most would sleep whereever they could find a comfortable spot and often on pallets.