IELTS Academic Reading Practice 51

 
schedule First Time: 0 min 0 secs
replay Retake Test
  • Your Score: /
schedule20:00
This reading practice simulates one part of the IELTS Academic Reading test. You should spend about twenty minutes on it. Read the passage and answer questions 27-40.

Questions 27-32

The reading passage has six sections, A-F.

Choose the correct heading for sections A-F from the list of headings below.

Write the correct number i-ix in boxes 27-32 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings
  1. Early castles operate as a centre of trade and commerce
  2. The optimising of a castle’s design
  3. Castles lose their function as homes and legislative centres
  4. Achieving the best defensive layout
  5. Later attempts to replicate castle building
  6. The moat is introduced following the Norman Conquest
  7. The composition and adaptation of Medieval castles
  8. The first castle designs are based on those of earlier Roman forts
  9. Castle become more heavily protected

27. Section A
28. Section B
29. Section C
30. Section D
31. Section E
32. Section F
Questions 33-36

Do the following statements reflect the claims of the writer in the reading passage? In boxes 33-36 on your answer sheet, write

YES   if the statement reflects the claims of the writer
NO   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
NOT GIVEN   if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

33. After the Carolingian Empire fell, most of Europe reunited.
34. It was possible for people to reside in Stone Keep castles.
35. Project Gueledon is the largest example of a modern castle replica.
36. Castle building was more popular than ever after artillery attacks became stronger.
Questions 37-40

Complete the summary below.  

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in 37-40 on your answer sheet.

Since the early Medieval era, castles have been built as fortified structures to protect royalty or for military purposes. Castles evolved into to the more elaborate multi-walled forts of the 15th century known as  Medieval castles. In these later castles, the space between the walls was called a “”, because falling into one would be fatal to anyone. A would further protect the castle by surrounding it. People could only enter the castle by using a that would drop down, allowing them access.


Answer Sheet
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
N/A
16
N/A
17
N/A
18
N/A
19
N/A
20
N/A
21
N/A
22
N/A
23
N/A
24
N/A
25
N/A
26
N/A
27
N/A
28
N/A
29
N/A
30
N/A
31
N/A
32
N/A
33
N/A
34
N/A
35
N/A
36
N/A
37
N/A
38
N/A
39
N/A
40
N/A


  • help Learn how to HIGHLIGHT & ADD NOTES
    1. HOLD LEFT CLICK
    2. DRAG MOUSE OVER TEXT
    3. RIGHT CLICK SELECTED TEXT

The History of Medieval Castles

Section A

A castle is a type of fortified structure constructed in the medieval era, predominantly for nobility or royalty and by military orders. These medieval castles were the foundation of military defense for almost one thousand years. Kingdoms found themselves stuck in an arms race to build wood and stone structures built to effectively stop enemy armies in campaigns. The history of medieval castles can be traced back to early medieval times. However, in these times castle building was rather rudimentary. Medieval castles were mainly fortified structures lacking any proper architecture, often making use of old Roman fortifications. For example, in the early medieval era, castles built at the time had no towers or arrow-slits, and usually had only a single central keep. These castles were built primarily out of wood rather than stone, which made them vulnerable to fire and attack by heavy weapons. The Carolingian Empire fell in this period, which splintered Europe. Later, various local lords constructed crude castles for their protection.

Section B

Medieval castle history had a dramatic twist after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of castles throughout England after the conquest, intending them to protect his rule. The first kind of castles Normans built were called Motte and Bailey castles. These castles used quite a bit of stone, strengthening them as well as making them fireproof. Motte was a mound of earth where a castle keep was situated, and Bailey was a separate piece of land usually connected to the Motte with a bridge. However, Motte and Bailey castles were soon phased out in favor of Stone Keep castles, which provided better protection from attack.  In a Stone Keep castles, a stone keep was the most important feature, and had thick walls with few windows. Entrance to the keep was by stone steps leading to the first floor. The kitchens were situated on the ground floor while living quarters were on the upper floors. The first keeps were rectangular in shape but later ones were often round. A thick stone wall which had turrets for lookouts surrounded the Stone Keep castle.

Section C

To learn and understand how stone keep castles were built, one example is a modern castle building project. As an archeological experiment, Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin brought together a team of 50 volunteer builders (architects, archaeologists and skilled workers) to construct a real stone keep castle from the ground up, and by only using techniques and materials of the Middle Ages. The project, in the Burgundy region of France, is called Project Gueledon. The building materials are stone, clay soil and oak trees that are found near the site.The workers use techniques to build from the 13th century. To separate stones for the walls, quarrymen "read" the rock face to see the lines which areas are going to fracture. They then drive a line of holes into the stone and then pound corners into the holes, which makes shock waves go through the stone to break it. They also use horse-drawn wagons to haul the stones from the quarry to the building site. Stone masons then chisel the raw stone into blocks. Workers control man-powered cranes and lift the finished stones to the scaffolding along the castle wall. Other workers make mortar on the site from limestone, soil and water. The masons fit the stones together on the wall, using mortar to keep the blocks stuck together.

Section D

Stones were not the only new feature to appear in later medieval castle history. By the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to fortified defense gained recognition. This led to an increase of towers, especially those which were designed for flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defense – several stages of defense within each other that could all function at the same time to make the most of the castle's firepower.  

Section E

These castles were called Concentric castles, and offering the best protection against attack at that time. The walls are the most significant feature of the concentric medieval castle. An inner wall built of thick stone with turrets positioned at intervals is then surrounded by an equally thick but lower stone wall. The walls are built at different levels so that archers on the inner walls can fire above the archers on the outer walls. The space between both walls was sometimes referred to as a “death hole”, as becoming trapped within the walls would almost certainly be a death sentence for anyone who fell in there. The entire castle was also surrounded by a water moat, with a drawbridge to enter the structure.

Section F

Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not have much of an impact on castle building until the 15th century, when artillery powerful enough to break through stone walls became available. Continuing on into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made castles uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. As a result, true castles began becoming more rare, with artillery forts with no role in civil administration, and country houses that were indefensible finally replacing them. After the 18th century, a new interest in castles began to emerge. Nowadays, some groups have built replica castles without any military purpose as part of a nostalgic revival of Gothic architecture.

Reading Passage Vocabulary
The History of Medieval Castles

Section A

A castle is a type of fortified structure constructed in the medieval era, predominantly for nobility or royalty and by military orders. These medieval castles were the foundation of military defense for almost one thousand years. Kingdoms found themselves stuck in an arms race to build wood and stone structures built to effectively stop enemy armies in campaigns. The history of medieval castles can be traced back to early medieval times. However, in these times castle building was rather rudimentary. Medieval castles were mainly fortified structures lacking any proper architecture, often making use of old Roman fortifications. For example, in the early medieval era, castles built at the time had no towers or arrow-slits, and usually had only a single central keep. These castles were built primarily out of wood rather than stone, which made them vulnerable to fire and attack by heavy weapons. The Carolingian Empire fell in this period, which splintered Europe. Later, various local lords constructed crude castles for their protection.

Section B

Medieval castle history had a dramatic twist after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of castles throughout England after the conquest, intending them to protect his rule. The first kind of castles Normans built were called Motte and Bailey castles. These castles used quite a bit of stone, strengthening them as well as making them fireproof. Motte was a mound of earth where a castle keep was situated, and Bailey was a separate piece of land usually connected to the Motte with a bridge. However, Motte and Bailey castles were soon phased out in favor of Stone Keep castles, which provided better protection from attack.  In a Stone Keep castles, a stone keep was the most important feature, and had thick walls with few windows. Entrance to the keep was by stone steps leading to the first floor. The kitchens were situated on the ground floor while living quarters were on the upper floors. The first keeps were rectangular in shape but later ones were often round. A thick stone wall which had turrets for lookouts surrounded the Stone Keep castle.

Section C

To learn and understand how stone keep castles were built, one example is a modern castle building project. As an archeological experiment, Michel Guyot and Maryline Martin brought together a team of 50 volunteer builders (architects, archaeologists and skilled workers) to construct a real stone keep castle from the ground up, and by only using techniques and materials of the Middle Ages. The project, in the Burgundy region of France, is called Project Gueledon. The building materials are stone, clay soil and oak trees that are found near the site.The workers use techniques to build from the 13th century. To separate stones for the walls, quarrymen "read" the rock face to see the lines which areas are going to fracture. They then drive a line of holes into the stone and then pound corners into the holes, which makes shock waves go through the stone to break it. They also use horse-drawn wagons to haul the stones from the quarry to the building site. Stone masons then chisel the raw stone into blocks. Workers control man-powered cranes and lift the finished stones to the scaffolding along the castle wall. Other workers make mortar on the site from limestone, soil and water. The masons fit the stones together on the wall, using mortar to keep the blocks stuck together.

Section D

Stones were not the only new feature to appear in later medieval castle history. By the late 12th and early 13th centuries, a scientific approach to fortified defense gained recognition. This led to an increase of towers, especially those which were designed for flanking fire. Many new castles were polygonal or relied on concentric defense – several stages of defense within each other that could all function at the same time to make the most of the castle's firepower.  

Section E

These castles were called Concentric castles, and offering the best protection against attack at that time. The walls are the most significant feature of the concentric medieval castle. An inner wall built of thick stone with turrets positioned at intervals is then surrounded by an equally thick but lower stone wall. The walls are built at different levels so that archers on the inner walls can fire above the archers on the outer walls. The space between both walls was sometimes referred to as a “death hole”, as becoming trapped within the walls would almost certainly be a death sentence for anyone who fell in there. The entire castle was also surrounded by a water moat, with a drawbridge to enter the structure.

Section F

Although gunpowder was introduced to Europe in the 14th century, it did not have much of an impact on castle building until the 15th century, when artillery powerful enough to break through stone walls became available. Continuing on into the 16th century, new techniques to deal with improved cannon fire made castles uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. As a result, true castles began becoming more rare, with artillery forts with no role in civil administration, and country houses that were indefensible finally replacing them. After the 18th century, a new interest in castles began to emerge. Nowadays, some groups have built replica castles without any military purpose as part of a nostalgic revival of Gothic architecture.

 
IELTS Academic Reading Tips for Success
These are general tips that will appear on all reading questions.

coming soon

 
close
Hi, there!

Create your free beta account to use this feature.

close
Create your free beta account