The castle may have been a fortress, but it was also a home. A castle was usually owned by a lord or the Church. It had all the requirements of a fortress, such as troop quarters, stables and an armoury. However, if owned by a lord, it also had facilities for the comfort of his family.
By the end of the Middle Ages, castles were no longer as effective or desirable. The feudal system, which until then had encouraged the lord to show his strength by having a castle, was fading. Also, developments in the cannon meant that castle walls could no longer protect against invading armies.