Parts of a Medieval Castle: The Chapel

A castle’s Chapel was built inside the walls and sometimes served as a burial site. Chapels were expensive to build for the Lord of the Castle, so not all seats of nobility had one. Often, these fortifications had a room furnished with an altar.

The religious role of chapels was integral to castles. Most of them were consecrated to certain Saints – especially those associated with knighthood such as Saint George or Saint Gereon. Some castles had more than one chapel.

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Building a Castle Chapel

Castle chapels were frequently located near the gate or in the upper storey of the gate tower. The reason for this choice had to do with the belief that the chapel would bring protection over the most valuable points in the castle. 

Castle chapels were sometimes used as a parish church by the inhabitants of the towns surrounding them. However, they rarely incorporated burial grounds. 

The chapel at Rosslyn, Scotland.
The chapel at Rosslyn, Scotland. CC image courtesy of Darlo Rich and Flickr Commons.

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