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Medieval Castle Floor Plans
Every Medieval castle was uniquely built depending on many factors. Over the centuries technologies and abilities changed and this affected how the castle was built and what materials were used. Other factors that affected the floor plan of a castle was the terrain it was built on, the surrounding landscape, the number of people it would support and the wealth of the Nobles or Royalty who were building it. But Even with all these variations there was one thing that all Castle Floor Plans had in common. They were all designed with life or death in mind. A castle was a place of maximum safety and this was the rule that they all followed. A Castle Floor Plan was designed with the safety and security of its occupants in mind - It had to withstand sieges, battles, enormous and powerful siege engines, and attacks from land and often from sea. It had to protect its occupants through centuries of warfare With this maximum security and safety in mind there are some rules that many castle builders followed in making their floor plans. And there were some very unique design ideas and tricks that they used. Let's review some of these unique things found in medieval castles and look at some floor plans. Let's look at a long shot outside view of a castle floor plan An Aerial view - This drawing shows the most important thing about designing a castle. When designing a castle you don't start with the rooms and then work your way out. You start as far out as terrain allows then slowly work your way in. This is the concept of concentric circle defense - The goal was to create multiple lines of defense so an attacking army was always facing new challenges when sieging the castle. This drawing shows this concept. The Concentric lines of defense in this drawing:
- If the castle was built on the top of a steep hill or mountain the slope itself was the first line of defense. An attacking army would have to fight uphill to take the castle. This was a serious disadvantage. This land around the castle was also cleared of all natural foliage and trees. This gave the attacking army no place to hide.
- The second Line of defense was the moat. The major function of the moat was not to drown the attackers. the moat was dug very deep and filled with water and this was to prevent the attackers from tunneling under the castle. It was possible for an attacking army to start a tunnel a safe distance from the castle then tunnel to somewhere under it. A moat made this very difficult. The water was a natural barrier to tunnels.
- The Outer wall - this was a strong, very thick and very tall stone structure that was built to withstand the attacks of siege engines. There were towers placed at strategic points (particulary at the corners) where the defenders could shoot arrows or throw projectiles at the enemy. They could even pour poisonous or boiling hot liquids on the enemy from the walls and towers.
- The Inner Wall - If the outer wall was breached the defending army could retreat to within the inner wall and maintain their defense.
- The Castle Keep was the center and heart of the defense. This was the last line of defense for the inhabitants of the castle. It was where the living quarters often were and it usually had the highest tower so they could look out over the whole landscape and castle.
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, Mar 30 2011, 12:16 PM EDT
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|butterflyfunkychic||Castle information||0||May 24 2011, 9:16 AM EDT by butterflyfunkychic|
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