A Glossary: B


(also known as Ward or Courtyard)

Richmond, England (GillB)

The enclosed open area surrounding the keep containing the domestic buildings, outhouses & animals with space for exercise and a parade ground. It was normally defended by a ditch, bank and palisade with a timber gate or tower.


Lewes, England (GillB)

Double gatehouse outside the moat defending the drawbridge and inner gatehouse. It added strength to a potential weak point, confining invading enemy to a narrow front in the open. Sometimes it contained passages with a maze of twists and turns to confuse invading soldiers.


Haut Koenigsbourg, France (Le Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg: notre Demarche)

A small overhanging corner turret or lookout projecting from a tower or wall. It was sometimes also known as a crow’s nest and was almost always built at one of the highest points of the castle.


Fougeres, France (Castles of the World)

A small tower at the end of a curtain wall – usually solid masonry without rooms inside and used as a watchpost or guardpost to cover blind spots.


Conwy, Wales (GillB)

The sloping part at the base of walls and towers on the outside built to counter undermining and to deflect dropped missiles horizontally. It also deflected battering rams.


(also known as Crenellation)

Conwy, Wales (GillB)

Stonework built on the top of walls with indentations or openings alternating with solid projections. They defended the fighting platform and were a defence against scaling the walls. Battlements were the most obvious visible sign of a castle’s strength and were also used symbolically on other buildings to give the impression that they were fortified.
See also Crenel, Embrasure & Merlon


Leeds Castle, England (Castles of the World)

The flat space between the base of the curtain wall and the inner edge of the moat or any level area separating ditch from bank.


(also known as Hoarding)

Haut Koenigsbourg, France (Le Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg: notre Demarche)

A projecting, roofed timber tower sometimes on the top of a tower or wall. It was used to cover blind spots at the base of the walls. It had holes in the floor through which the defenders could watch and fire on attackers. They later evolved into stone machicolations.


Generally next to the kitchen, a room where drinks, especially wine, were served.


Barnard Castle, England (Jayhawk)

Thick stone projection from a wall to strengthen it and give it stability.

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