Questions tagged [castles]

For questions on castles, a type of fortified structures common in Medieval Europe, and analogous fortifications found elsewhere in the world.

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94
votes
4answers
25k views

Why were old fortifications shaped like stars and not like circles?

The fortifications of Copenhagen, Fredericia and Acre are star-shaped. (Defense of Copenhagen is shown in the picture below.) Why not have defenses or fortifications in the shape of a pure square or ...
33
votes
3answers
8k views

How were medieval castles built in swamps or marshes without draining them?

By this, I mean a castle built without terraforming or draining the swamp; a castle that was built while keeping the swamp intact. Inspired by Monty Python Since apparently, castles built in marshes ...
14
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4answers
4k views

Were any fortified castles self-sufficient in food?

I read here and there about sieges of fortified castles which lasted extended lengths of time (two years for instance). Was there any castle in Medieval Europe that was self-sustaining? By self-...
8
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2answers
1k views

How extensive was the slighting of castles in the English Civil War?

Wikipedia states During the English Civil War many castles and fortified houses were slighted by the Parliamentarians to stop them being used by the Royalists. Most of the destruction was in ...
7
votes
5answers
621 views

Non Altered European Castles

I recently paid a visit to Leed's castle, and was disappointed by the extent to which the manor had been refurbished and modernized. Importantly: What castles in Europe are accessible to the public ...
5
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2answers
282 views

What was the place of a catapult in a formation

My question is where would you usually keep a catapult on a battlefield. It feels as if you shouldn't keep it in the rear back of the army since it won't reach the target, and also you want to have as ...
5
votes
1answer
365 views

Why was the Old Wardour Castle not demolished after the English Civil War?

After the English Civil War, some strongholds such as Corfe Castle were slighted, that is demolished, by order of Parliament. Another Royalist castle, the (Old) Wardour Castle appears to not have ...
4
votes
5answers
469 views

What's the point of fortified castles inside fortified cities?

In middle ages people built highly fortified castles for royalty inside cities that were already fortified by walls. What was the reasoning behind that? Were they made to protect royal families from ...
4
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1answer
180 views

What were the grooves in the side of the walls at the rear entrance of Harlech and Beaumaris gatehouses for?

The back of Harlech and Beaumaris castle gatehouses seem to have grooves in the side of the wall for a portcullis, but there is no groove above so if there was one was there it could not be raised. ...
3
votes
7answers
1k views

What were the expectations of a medieval castle or fortress hoping to break or outlast a siege?

In Medieval Europe (ie before gunpowder), medieval siege tactics are well known. I am curious if there is any conventional wisdom in western Europe of how sieges were broken. If you were in a castle ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

Why was Ormond Castle in Scotland so called?

There was a castle in Scotland known as Ormond Castle which had existed since at least the beginning of the 13th century. It sat upon Ormond hill in the Black Isle. Why was it called Ormond Castle? ...
3
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2answers
274 views

Did German Princes during the Protestant Reformation often live in castles?

I'm writing a short story based on Snow White. My research tells me the story took place during the late 16th century. The timeline of my story coincides with the Protestant Reformation. I am ...
2
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2answers
437 views

Did every medieval village in Europe have a manor, castle, or other type of lord's residence?

I know that some villages were the sole and only property of certain minor lords or knights. Such villages surely had a manor (or even a castle) where the lord lives. On the other hand, many lords ...
2
votes
2answers
386 views

Was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible?

All else equal, when these types of forts were in use, was an adobe fort or a palisade fort more defensible? A bit of what-if led to this question. Russians ostrogs such as Nizhnekamchatsk and Fort ...
2
votes
0answers
108 views

Modelling Bridgnorth Castle, England

I am building a 1:60 model of the English Bridgnorth Castle. The tower ruin (which leans 15 degrees) clearly shows what had been an inverted, lead covered 'vee' roof (to presumably catch rainwater for ...
1
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2answers
613 views

What happened to people who lived outside a castle when the castle was under siege? [closed]

It seems to me that if a ruler let in too few ppl, s/he wouldn't have much to rule after the siege, and if s/he let in too many s/he wouldn't have much chance of outlasting it. What happened to ...
1
vote
0answers
400 views

Were there corridors inside the curtain wall of medieval castles?

I've seen this in movies or cartoons sometimes, that they are waling around inside the curtain wall, but hollowing out the curtain wall with a hallway seems like it would lover the structural ...
1
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0answers
158 views

What was the significance of Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle from a military/political perspective?

What was a strategic intention for building Bitchu-Takamatsu Castle? Its placement in a swamp, in a basin surrounded by mountains might on three sides made the castle impregnable, but also quite ...
-1
votes
1answer
162 views

Can someone help me identify this coin?

Here are the obverse and reverse sides of the coin. I have tried websites and coin identification apps but no luck. It was dropped into the tip jar at my job and it doesnt look like any coin I've ever ...