The first Scottish castles

King David I ordered the first castles to be built in Scotland.

Find out how and why he built these castles in the video below.

Duffus Castle

Duffus Castle in Moray is an example of a motte and bailey castle in Scotland.

What is a motte and bailey castle?

The first style of castle was called a motte and bailey.

The castle keep was made of wood or stone and sat on top of a hill or a mound, also known as a motte.

The bailey was where people running the castle worked. It was surrounded by a fence for protection.

Sometimes the whole motte and bailey would be surrounded by a ditch for extra protection.

Click on the picture below to find out more about parts of a motte and bailey castle.

King David I of Scotland was born more than 900 years ago and he ruled Scotland for nearly 30 years.

Who was King David I?

  • Born around 1084 - that's more than 900 years ago!
  • The youngest son of King Malcolm III and Saint Margaret.
  • King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153.
  • Ordered the first castles in Scotland to be built.
  • Built lots of churches across the country.
  • Made the first Scottish royal coins - silver coins with his face on them.

Who were the Normans?

  • French people who invaded England in 1066.
  • Introduced motte and bailey castles to England to keep their knights and soldiers safe.
  • King David I lived in England during the time of the Norman rule.
  • David admired how the Normans ruled and organised people.
  • When David became King of Scotland, he invited the Norman knights to Scotland to protect him and arranged for them to build castles everywhere.
The famous Bayeux Tapestry shows the epic adventures of William the Conqueror and his Norman Knights when he invaded England in 1066.