Because there was no strong central government, feudal lords often went to war against one another. In order to protect themselves, these lords began building large beautiful castles. These castles consisted of a central building known as the ‘keep’ where the nobles lived, and where prisoners were kept in dungeons. The keep was usually the most secure part of the castle, and the hardest part to enter during battles.
Surrounding the keep was a large area known as the bailey. The bailey contained a number of buildings including food stores, soldiers' quarters, workshops, and even a chapel.
Finally, the castle was usually surrounded by a high outside wall and a large, deep moat which made it difficult for outsiders to attack.