A bailey is an enclosed courtyard, typically surrounded by a wooden
palisade overlooked by the motte. It was used as a living area by
vassals who served the lord of the castle, generally including a
blacksmith, a miller and most of the necessary craftsmen of the
A castle could have more than one bailey, sometimes an inner and
an outer, such as at Warkworth Castle, where expansion of the castle
led to enclosure of a new bailey with a wall. Alternatively, the
multiple baileys could flank the motte, as at Windsor Castle.
The bailey was often enclosed inside another wooden palisade and
surrounding ditch, adding an extra layer of protection. It was connected
to the motte by a timber drawbridge, which could be separated from
the bailey as a last defence mechanism.
There was in many cases another drawbridge at the entrance into
the bailey that could similarly be raised for protection. The bailey
would typically contain a hall, stables for the horses and cattle,
a chapel, and huts for the nobleman's people. There were often shops
inside the bailey for local merchants.
Motte and bailey castles later evolved into Norman castles that
evolved later into even better Concentric castles. Indeed the concentric
design is already latent here, with the keep involving into an inner
castle and the bailey an outer castle.
Originally a bailey was controlled by an officer called a bailiff.
In time his jurisdiction came to known as a bailiwick.