Part of a Castle Terminology

Part of a Castle Terminology,Glossary of Parts of a Castle,Medieval Castle Parts

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Parts of a Castle

 

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Lucy learns about castle parts

Part of a Castle Terminology

~ Castles are such a common sight in England but have you ever wondered what a portcullis is, or what a motte and bailey castle ?~Here is a growing list of castle parts as well as things associated with castles such as knights armor and medieval weaponry.
~ Who built the first castle?
~ Lets explore castle parts that knights in shining armour would have encountered in their daily activities

~ All pages suitable for castle lessonplans, unit studies and general learning about english castles and foreign equivalents
Castles and Castle Life Explored
 

~ here you will find an A-Z listing of all common castle parts, with a brief explanation of what they mean
~ Castle Terminology can be quite exhaustive so try and familiarise yourself with some of the more common parts of a castle and print the rest of this castle glossary for reference


Castle Part of a Castle Terminology
Allure
Stone path running slong the top of a wall bejind the castle battlements.
Apse
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a semi circular extension to a rectangular building. Sometimes found on Norman chapels.
Arcading
A row of columns supporting arches.
Arrow Loop
Vertical slits in a wall through which arrows can be fired. The horizontal slits were added to enable crossbows to have a better range.
Ashlar
A stone block finished with squared sides.
Artillery
Collective name for firearms such as cannons and handguns.
Aumbry
A cupboard built into brick or stone walls.
Bailey
Inner courtyard area of a castle. Often associated with a motte (motte and bailey castle) Also known as a Ward as art of a medieval castle
Ballista
A huge crossbow that fired iron bolts.
Barbican
An extension to the outside of a gateway which improved the entrance's defence.
Barrel Vault
A half barrel shaped arch which makes a stone ceiling.
Bartizan
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a Small turret on the top corner of a wall or tower.
Bastion
A defensive tower or turret along the top of a wall.
Batter
Flared out stone base of a wall or keep to increase stability. Also known as a Talus.
Battering Ram
Large, heavy beam used to breach castle walls. Often decorated with a ram's head.
Battlements
Parapet along the top of walls where soldiers could stand and fire at attackers. Also known as crenellations.
Belfry
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a siege tower.
Berm
A flat strip of land between a ditch and bank or between the castle walls and moat.
Bombard
Cannon that fires large stone balls.
Brattice
Generally temporary wooden platforms on the top of towers or walls upon which soldiers could stand to drop missiles. Also known as hoards or hoardings.
Brewhouse
Room or building where ale was brewed.
Buttery
A room where casks of beer and other drinks were stored. The main stock being kept in the cellars. A butler was in charge of the buttery.
Buttress
Vertical stone support built against a wall to strengthen it.
Castellan
An official in charge of a castle.
Catapult
A seige engine used for throwing large rocks.
Chainmail
Armour made from small interlocking metal rings.
Concentric Defensive Walls
The second outer ring of walling seen on some castles.
Chivalry
A knight's code of honour - covering such things as social, religious and moral ideals.
Citadel
A fortress guarding a city.
Coat of Arms
A visual representation of a noble family using heraldic symbols.
Constable
An official in charge of a castle in the absence of his master.
Corbel
A support - usually stone - to hold up wooden beams such as roofs or floor as art of a medieval castle
Courtyard Castle
A castle with a courtyard inside a stone curtain wall.
Crennel
Vertical opening along battlements from which an archer can load his bow and fire, and a gun can be positioned.. Also known as an embrasure.
Crennellation
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a Battlements along the top of a castle wall through which soldiers can fire.
Cross Wall
Internal dividing wall inside a large keep used to help support floors and roofs, as well as to further impede attackers.
Curtain Wall
Short outer walls of a castle between towers.
Dog Legged Passage
Narrow passageway with angled turns, often found leading to the Garderobe.
Domesday Book
Record of the details of all buildings, land and resources of an estate for tax collecting purposes. Enacted by William I (William the Conqueror)
Donjon
As Part of a Castle Terminology Donjon is another word for a keep or great tower. Prisoners were often held here and this is where it is thought that the word Dungeon derives from.
Drawbridge
A wooden bridge that could be raised or lowered, by the use of chains, to shut off or open up the castle entrance.
Dubbing
The ceremony which creates a knight, by the monarch tapping the shoulders with a sword.
Dungeon
Dank, dark room for holding prisoners.
Earthwork
A fortification made up of earth mounds, banks and ditches.
Embrasure
this Part of a Castle Terminology is the same as Cremel
Feudal System
A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.
Forebuilding
A protective building at the front of a keep which often housed the chapel and stairs.
Fort
A defensive stronghold usually housing soldiers and other non residents.
Garderobe
a Garderobe Part of a Castle Terminology was the Toilet.
Garrison
Company of soliders stationed in a fortress.
Gatehouse
Heavily fortified building set into the castle walls to protect the main entrance.
Gauntlet
Armoured glove with a long cuff worn as part of a suit of Armour. To" throw down the gauntlet" means to issue a challenge.
Great Tower
this Part of a Castle Terminology the great tower is also known as a Keep, the main tower of a castle which would have contained the great hall and the private quarters of the castle's owner.
Gun Loop
A hole in a wall through which guns could be fired.
Hall
The main reception room of a castle. Used to hold meetings, banquets and also where the servants would have slept.
Heraldry
A system of specific patterns, colours and symbols used to identify a family in their coat of arms.
Herisson
A beam or bar armed with iron spikes, and turning on a pivot used to block up a passage. From the French word for hedgehog.
Hoarding
this Part of a Castle Terminology is the same as the Brattice
Joust
A competition between two knights in which they ride towards each other and try to knock one another off their horse with a large pole.
Keep
Name commonly used for the Great Tower or Donjon.
Knight
Highly trained, armoured soldier on horseback. Usually of noble birth.
Lance
Weapon. A long pole made of wood with a pointed metal end.
Lintel
Horizontal support at the top of a window. Usually stone.
Longbow
Weapon. Large, powerful, long range bow.
Loophole
See arrow loop.
Lord
Male noble or knight. Often owner of a castle and estate, feudal superior.
Mace
Weapon. A vicious club with a metal end which was often spiked.
Machicolations
Stone hoardings or brattices with holes for dropping missiles onto attackers below.
Manacle
Metal rings that could be locked to secure the hands of a prisoner.
Mangonel
Seige engine.Used to hurl large stones and other missiles.
Master mason
Skilled craftsman in the use of stone. Would have designed castles.
Merlon
Vertical solid parts of battlements which stood between the crenels.
Moat
A defensive ditch surrounding a castle. Usually filled with water.
Motte
The mound - manmade or natural - upon which a castle was built. Usually associated with a bailey.
Murder Holes
Murder holese are sections between the cullis where arrows, rocks, and hot oil can be dropped from the roof though holes.
Newel
The Centre post of spiral staircase or the main post supporting the end of a balustrade
Oriel Window
A bay window located above the first floor, usually supported by brackets or corbels, it is a window, the structure of which projects out from its wall's surface
Oubliette
A dungeon reached by a trap door.To exit an oubliette was impossible under any circumstances, without outside help.
Page
in castle terminology a page is a young male servant.
Palisade
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a palisade or a a Medieval wooden fence or wall of variable height, used as a defensive structure
Pantry
A pantry in castle terminology is a room , usually near a kitchen in which provisions, crockery, cutlery etc. are kept
Parapet
A portion of a vertical wall of a building that extends above the roofline,consists of a dwarf wall along the edge of a roof, or round a lead flat, terrace walk, etc., to prevent persons from falling over, and as a protection to the defenders in case of a siege
Peasants
A peasant is an agricultural worker or farmer with roots in the countryside in which he dwells, either working for others or, more specifically, owning or renting and working by his own labour a small plot of ground
Pele Tower /
Peel Towers
this Part of a Castle Terminology is small fortified keep intended as watch tower where signal fires could be lit to warn of approaching danger.
Plate Armour
Plate armour is personal armour made from large metal plates,worn on the chest and sometimes the entire body, it is fitted body armour made of linked sheets of solid metal.
Portcullis
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a heavy timber or metal grill that protected a castle entrance
a portcullis could be raised or lowered from within the castle.
It dropped vertically between grooves to block passage or barbican, or to trap attackers.
Postern Gate
this Part of a Castle Terminology is a side gate or a castle gate that is a less important entry gate into a castle; usually for peacetime use by pedestrians
Putlog Hole
A hole intentionally left in the surface of a wall for insertion of a horizontal pole.
Quoin
Dressed stone at angle of building. this Part of a Castle Terminology its a Rafter Part of the frame for a wooden roof, sloping down from the ridge and establishing the pitch.
Ribbed Vault
a ribbed vault in castle terminology is a vault that resembles a groined vault but has ribbed arches
Rubble
this part of a castle terminology is an unsquared stone not laid in courses
Sally Port
A Sally port is a small, easily secured door in a castle wall or other fortification,During a siege, defending raiding parties would "sally forth" from these ports and attack the besiegers
Sentry
in Castle Terminology a sentry is a lookout: a person employed to watch for something to happen
Siege
a sieges is a military blockade of a town or fortified place such as a castle . The aim of a siege is to force its inhabitants to surrender by cutting communications and supply lines
Siege Engine
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent castle walls
Siege Tower
A siege tower is a specialized siege engine, constructed to protect assailants and ladders whilst approaching the defensive walls of a castle
Slighting
In castle terminology a slighting is the deliberate destruction of a castle without opposition from its builders, owners or its inhabitants
Solar
In Castle Terminology a solar is an upper living room It is often situated over the castles great hall
Squint
In Castle Parts a squint is an observation hole in wall or room.
Squire
A Squire is a young nobleman attendant on a knight
In medieval times a squire was a man-at-arms in the service of a knight, often as his apprentice in training to become a knight between the ages of 14 and 21
Steward
in castle terminology a steward is the man responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of the castle in the absence of the lord of the castle
Talus
The much thickened lower portion as art of a medieval castle curtain wall, designed to prevent attackers from getting too close to the base of the wall,where they might be hidden from the line of fire
Tournament
in castle terminology a tournament is a series of jousts between knights contesting for a prize
Trebuchet
like a catapult: medieval artillery used during sieges A Trebuchet is literally a medieval siege engine used either to batter masonry or to throw projectiles over walls that worked by counter balancing weights or stones to generate propulsion for a swinging wooden arm used launch giant stones at castle walls.
Turret
in Castle terminology a turret is a small slender tower on the upper part of a castle usually a used as a lookout. A Turret is often placed at an angle
Vault
a vault in parts of a castle is an arched roof usually of stone
Visor
in castle terminology a helmet visor was used during the medieval times as part of armor.
Wall Walk
this Part of a Castle Terminology the wall walk is the area along the top of a castle's walls from which soldiers defended both castle and town, like a fighting platform atop the Curtain Wall
Ward
in parts of a castle a ward is another name for a castle courtyard
Wing Wall
a Wing wall of a Castle is an extension of a wall which projects out beyond the building itself.

Part of a Castle Terminology

~ Have you ever visited a Castle ?
~ What is your favourite type of castle ?
~ Here in England the Queen lives at Windsor Castle ... and another famous castle is Leeds Castle.

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