A Glossary: C

Chemise wall

A wall formed by a series of overlapping semicircular bastions.

Concentric castle

Beaumaris Castle, Wales (Castles of the World)

This was the castle design much used by Edward I of England although many original motte and bailey castles were eventually converted to concentric castles as well. It was one towered curtain wall enclosure within another. The inner wall was the taller and stronger with the outer acting almost like a moat to keep the enemy at bay. This also meant that defenders on the inner walls could fire at the enemy without hitting their own men on the outer wall. The walls and towers of the outer ring were generally carbon copies of those of the inner.


East Wansdyke at Bishop’s Cannings Down, England (Jake Livingstone and Joe Boyles at Wansdyke Project 21)

A raised bank of earth on the side of the moat next to open country, often planted with thornbushes on top.
See also Escarp


See Bailey



(also known as Embrasure)

Conwy, Wales (GillB)

The lower segment of battlements used to provide a firing point. They were usually 2 to 3 feet wide and often had wooden shutters for greater protection.
See also Battlements and Merlon


See Battlements

Cross Curtain

See Cross Wall


See Arrow Loop

Cross Wall

(also known as a Cross Curtain)

Fort la Latte, France (GillB)

An interior or exterior dividing wall – usually used to describe a wall bisecting the bailey.

Curtain Wall

(also known as Enceinte)

Conwy, Wales (GillB)

The wall between towers protecting the interior of the castle and enclosing the bailey. They developed from the earlier wooden pallisades and could be anything from 6 to 20 feet thick. The average height would have been about 30 feet but as siege engines improved, they were built higher. They were almost always battlemented.

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