Definition of a castle
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Definition of a castle1
Definition of a Castle

  • Moat: A Body of water surrounding the outer wall of a castle. It was often around 5 to 15 feet deep and it was sometimes within the outer wall -between the outer wall and the inner wall. The primary purpose of the moat wasn't to stop attackers it was to stop tunnelers. Tunneling under a castle was an effective means of collapsing the walls or infiltrating it. A moat would cause any tunnel to collapse.

Definition of a castle2
Definition of a Castle

  • Bailey: This is a courtyard or open space surrounded by walls.The walls that make up the Bailey are also considered to be part of the Bailey. A castle could have several. Sometimes they were called the upper bailey and lower bailey or the west bailey and east bailey.

Definition of a castle3
Definition of a Castle

  • Curtain Wall - The stone walls around a castle.

  • Facts: The Castle Curtain Wall were used for defensive purposes. Curtain was an outer wall which surrounded the bailey ( Motte and Bailey castles ) or Medieval castle buildings. The curtain was was built for defence and varied in size from 6 - 20 feet thick, up to 45 feet high and up to 1,500 feet long

Definition of a castle4
Definition of a Castle

  • Battlements: These are the structures at the tops of the walls surrounding a castle. Picture what you have seen in the movies where archers are at the top of the wall and firing arrows between open slots down on the attackers. These shapes at the top (Where the archers position themselves for battle) are called battlements. They are also referred to as crenellations.

Definition of a castle5
Definition of a Castle

  • Drawbridge - This was a wooden bridge in front of the main gate of the castle. In the early centuries of castles it was moved horizontal to the ground and in the later centuries it was built so it could raise up in a hinged fashion.

Definition of a castle6
Definition of a Castle

  • Barbican: A stone structure that protected the gate of a castle. Think of it as a gatehouse. It usually had a small tower on each side of the gate where guards could stand watch.

Definition of a castle7
Definition of a Castle

  • Farms back then were small. They normally surrounded a small town which depended in the food produced by these farms so if the farms failed, so the towns. Farms were never property of the peasants - they were property of the lord and he would exchange farming land if he got back taxes in return.

Definition of a castle8
Definition of a Castle

  • A castle keep is usually the central tower located within a castle. Basically it is a castle within a castle as it has traditionally been used as a final defensive structure. Early castle keeps (11th century) were usually just square towers and little more than a hall with strong walls.

  • Such keeps were also not just used for defence but for actual living accommodation, storing armoury and often to guard the main well.

Definition of a castle9
Definition of a Castle

  • Walls

  • The walls protected the castle

  • In a concentric castle - The space in between the two walls was called the outer ward. The inner curtain encloses the inner ward.

  • The high parts of the wall were called merlons they contained an arrow loop and were topped by three spikes called finials.

  • A town wall projects from the outer curtain wall to protect the town. The town wall (the wall surrounding the town), could be 20 feet high, 5.5 feet thick.