Why are castles abandoned forever?
Castles are enchanting.
That’s the case for the majority of us, at least since fairy tales. A lovely princess embellished in gleaming clothing moved in a heavenly ball with a magnificent and attractive ruler.
There was, as usual, a pretty godmother and singing birds somewhere in there. Magical!
Image by Howard Walsh from Pixabay
Castles continue to pique the interest of the general public. We are enticed to learn more about them and explore them because of their extensive history that is concealed within their walls.
In the middle ages, wealthy citizens, families, and rulers constructed castles as homes, places of business and entertainment, and fortresses during war and conflict as signs of power and wealth.
Many of these castles were demolished or abandoned as a result of changes in style and other factors.
Castles, on the other hand, were revived during the 1800’s Romanticism period.
However, styles changed once more centuries later for a variety of reasons, and their popularity diminished significantly over time, leaving most of them abandoned and in disrepair.
But how exactly did this happen?
It was caused by a number of different things. Let’s look at them.
The large size of castles: Imagine how it difficult and costly it is to maintain them, especially in modern times.
The high cost of maintenance. There could be as many as thirty distinct rooms in a typical castle.Imagine how much it would cost to regularly maintain all of the rooms in addition to cleaning them!
That includes their sprawling gardens and lawns.
In this day and age, paying workers even the minimum wage to keep them would be very expensive. When the castles are not used for projects that generate money the owners are forced to leave their castles for good.
The high cost of upgrades: Consider how much it would cost for a castle owner to bring it up to date.
This might entail putting in electrical and plumbing wiring throughout the entire house, making sure the heating system and windows are up to par, ensuring health and safety, etc.
Building a brand-new, modern home with all of these features would be cheaper and less stressful so in this instance, a castle owner is forced to give up their home.
Lack of labor: The upkeep of massive castles must have necessitated a great deal of labor from numerous workers working multiple hours per day.
Prior to industrialization and education, it may have been simple to obtain this because servants may have been readily available for noble and wealthy clients.
With the rise of human rights, education, and industrialization, however, the availability of cheap laborers or servants disappeared, resulting in poorly maintained, decaying, and ultimately abandoned castles.
Lack of infrastructure: A lot of castles were built on huge estates far from major cities.They stayed away from major cities and towns as a result of industrialization, which might have been inconvenient for their workers or residents.
They might have been compelled to move to areas close to cities where they could have had easier access to infrastructure like schools, hospitals, shopping malls, etc.
Castles might have become the equivalent of summer homes as a result of industrialization and the increasing number of people moving to cities in search of work, a different way of life, and better infrastructure.
In this instance, the lack of a permanent resident made them less well-taken care of, which may have contributed to their decay and eventual abandonment.
Image by Mario Eppinger from Pixabay
Changes in fashion and taste: Fashion and taste change over time. Castles may have experienced the same thing.
Castles simply fell out of favor after a few centuries of extravagant living, as people chose to live in Tudor mansions or smaller homes. These people simply left their castles, resulting in their plight today.
Insufficient abilities: Many palaces were worked by gifted hand artisans that had apprenticed from other talented hand bricklayers.
There was a shortage of skilled masons as a result of industrialization, which resulted in the use of modern tools and machines to replace some of the work done by skilled masons.
As a result, it became more challenging to locate individuals who could manage castle repairs.
Additionally, the lack of skilled masons may have increased the price of their services.
Due to a lack of skilled maintenance personnel, the owners of the castles may have abandoned them in favor of smaller, more manageable homes as their condition deteriorated.
Changes in family structures: In the past, wealthy men, especially, were more likely to have multiple children who would live in a castle.
Additionally, many families shared a single large home. A castle can accommodate multiple generations.
But as family structures changed and sons and daughters left for different places to start their lives, castles got smaller and smaller, which could have led to their ultimate abandonment.
Problems with inheritance: In the past, there were clear rules about who would get what when their parents died. In many societies, property was given to the older sibling, especially to a son who shared it with siblings.
Since the introduction of inheritance laws, disputes over who would get what, especially if a castle owner died intestate, have caused castles to languish in disrepair for years.
The castles simply deteriorated and were eventually abandoned when the inheritance issues were not resolved.
Castles became associated with immense wealth, power, and pride, shifting societal values: They were built by their owners for display purposes.
People simply lost interest in castles and other such grand material possessions as societies developed and flamboyance was relegated to the background in favor of modesty, especially when it made no sense.
It’s possible that the people who owned the castles have moved on to smaller, more modern homes like Tudor mansions, abandoning their castles.
Beliefs based on superstition: We’ve all heard tales of ghosts haunting abandoned and remote locations. Castles are no different.
A few stories are drifting around of paranormal sightings in palaces. Owners, particularly those who inherited their castles, may have abandoned them due to their fear of ghosts and their association with spooky tales.
End of bloodline: A castle is typically abandoned when all of the owner’s family members have passed away and there is no one left to inherit their magnificent structures.
This is especially true when the state that eventually takes control of it is unable to put it to good use.
It is encouraging to note that despite the fact that many castles have been abandoned, their historical, artistic, and architectural significance still holds some value.
Additionally, numerous castles are constructed in advantageous tourist-friendly locations and many are constructed on vast tracts of land that still hold significant commercial value.
In an effort to turn their abandoned castles into projects that generate revenue, numerous governments and private owners have turned them into attractions or museums.
A few people have likewise gone into organizations with states or confidential undertakings for this.
For the benefit of everyone, other private owners have chosen to donate their abandoned castles to museums or charities.