Medieval Castle Defense – Architecture Key To Warding Off Siege

In a time when full-scale attacks and small scrimmages were the rules of the day, it was vital for a medieval castle defense system to take all possibilities into account.

The castle itself needed to be built to withstand siege, the armies inside had to be adept at defense and the general citizens of the castle community, too, had to do their part.

After all, during a siege, the overall medieval castle defense, which included battle plans and food storage ideas, could make or break the castle’s chance of success.

When building a structure, medieval castle defense was in the forefront of early architects’ minds. From stone curtain walls that were often between 20 and 40 feet in height and about seven to 20 feet in thickness were a must. So too was the creation of towers, moats and other implements built into medieval castle defense systems to help keep occupants safe from invaders.

The entire structure, from the floor, the outside grounds to the very top tower was designed by engineers, in the case of a good building job, to provide medieval castle defense. Angles outside the castle were studied to take away any advantages such as cover an opposing army might find. The towers themselves were often the last to fall in the case a medieval castle defense system that failed. Towers were used for a multitude of reasons in medieval castle defense. Not only were they fantastic lookout points and the perfect places to stage archers, they also served as safer storehouses for emergency food and as is the case in many a fairy tale as prisons as well. The towers themselves could be used to launch fierce attacks on an opposing army, lending to their importance to medieval castle defense even more.

Not to be overlooked, the outside grounds were also key in medieval castle defense. The woods around a castle were often cleared to give those inside a clear line of sight while those outside were robbed of cover. Moats, too, provided an additional form of medieval castle defense as did drawbridges and gatehouses. Anything high, such as a tower or several story gatehouse, could be used in medieval castle defense to post archers, stone throwers and even for the ready deployment of Greek fire.

Also important in the creation of medieval castle defense systems was the army and people inside the castle itself. A well laid out castle would provide little defense if the defenders themselves didn’t employ the massive defense weapon to their own advantage. A good defending army knew every available position within a castle from which to defend from and attack opposing armies.

Known for their architectural splendor and stoic beauty, many of these stone giants that stand today were actually built with none of this in mind. The key to creation was the need for medieval castle defense.