Great Hall

Definition

The Great Hall was the architectural centrepiece of a medieval castle's interior and functioned as the social and administrative hub of the castle and its estates. With everyone dining and sleeping in the hall in its early days, the room evolved to become the imposing host of banquets and courts. Beautifully decorated, well-lit and the largest indoor space most people would ever witness, the Great Hall was the perfect means for a noble to display both their power and generosity to the rest of local society.

More about: Great Hall

Timeline

  • 1066
    William the Conqueror begins construction of Dover Castle in southern England.
  • Oct 1066
    The Normans introduce motte and bailey castles to Britain.
  • 1067 - 1090
    The first Great Hall of Chepstow Castle is built.
  • c. 1078 - c. 1100
    The White Tower of the Tower of London is built, a project begun by William the Conqueror.
  • 1087 - 1089
    Construction of the first stone version of Rochester Castle in England.
  • 1095
    William II of England builds the Great Hall at the Palace of Westminster.
  • c. 1170 - 1189
    Henry II extends Dover Castle in southern England, adding outer walls and a keep.
  • c. 1190
    Sir William Marshal begins rebuilding Chepstow Castle in Wales.
  • c. 1207 - c. 1214
    King John adds towers to the walls of Dover Castle in southern England.
  • 1222 - 1235
    The Great Hall of Winchester Castle is built.
  • 1268
    Construction of Caerphilly Castle in Wales is begun by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester.
  • 1285
    A new Great Hall is completed at Chepstow Castle.
  • 1295
    Beaumaris Castle in Wales is built by Edward I of England.
  • 1341
    The Great Hall is built at Penshurst Castle, Kent, England.
  • c. 1500
    James IV of Scotland adds a Great Hall, new kitchens and the Royal Chapel to Stirling Castle.
  • c. 1510
    James IV of Scotland adds a new Great Hall to Edinburgh Castle.
Membership