Attacking and defending a medieval castle

How were castle were defended There are many ways to attack a castle so there also many ways to defend a castle. Defending a castle is much easier when you use you landscape and your surroundings to your advantage also changing the way the castle is shaped and what it is made of can give you a major advantage. Like building it near an open sea on a little island on at the top of a cliff edge so you can get fresh supplies from ships and people you need them during battle it also means they can’t starve you until you submit it also helped to build your castle in these areas so can get water to put out fires or even grow your own food and cattle also building on high ground gave a higher advantage so you fire you arrows further then them and they can’t hide behind obstacles for cover. A defence strategy was vital if you were going to defend your castle successfully from enemy attacks you also must include the main central tower ( also known as the keep) this tower contained your lords quarters his family and their possessions ranking the keep the most important building in the castle complex it’s also the easiest part to defend because of its round shape that was made out of thick concrete bricks that could hold a lot of men  it also means you can’t undermine it  because of its round shape. Also placing arches in key potions the castle meant they could fire a constant arrange of arrows rocks and crossbow bolts at enemy men or siege units trying to brake or enter the inner wall also using loop hole (windows) or melon as cover was good so you could hide while loading and fire out of a small gape next to you over time these loop hole got smaller as more accurate arches and mercenaries came into play .the castle was also built in certain ways to provide with more firepower like the crusaders brought to England a castle with two wall the outer wall was smaller in height then the inner wall this mean archers from both walls  could fire their arrows into enemy men but most castles only had one wall surrounding the castle complex ( most castles with one wall had a keep in the middle it was rare for a castle with two walls to have a main keep in  the middle). The draw bridge was an easy way in for those attacking the castle it was also the only way in or out if there was a moat that’s why the main gatehouse or drawbridge was heavily guarded with a portcullis which was a massive heavy door usually made out of metal and wood making this door nearly impenetrable with its barriers and other things holding the door in it’s place. Even if the attacker got through the drawbridge and the portcullis they would then have to go through a series of doors that lead into the main courtyard this was called the barbican a narrow corridor with murder hole which let archers fire countless arrows at the enemy from above sides and even under them sometimes .   How to attack a castle Attacking a castle is a very complex and tedious task which can last days, week and even months. They are many ways to attack the a castle but there are also certain steps you must take before attacking like assessing any week points in the castle complex and structure and does the enemy have any friendly armies that could come and cut you off from your attack. You also have to gather the supplies to build your siege weapons like trebuchets, ballistae mangonel and siege towers (belfries) theses are too hard to transport form you base all the way to the enemy castle so you build them on site. You also can undermine an enemy castle you only do this if you have no other way to brake into the castle or if you want don’t to take minimal casualty’s but those men who are very wealthy and have no time limit can do this. Undermining is when dig a whole under a week point of the castle wall and burn down the support beams in the tunnel making the own weight of the castle to collapse on itself. But if time and money is a concern a siege attack is what you do to destroy a castle using trebuchets that are built on the battle ground to fire massive rocks that sometimes were set on fire on ever the castle wall on to buildings or aiming to take down the castle wall making an entrance for foot soldiers to.  But there are four main siege weapons that are used to down take down brake in and to transport men onto the castle wall the trebuchet  ballista siege tower(belfrie) and mangonel.     Bibliography www.middle-ages.org.uk/defending-a-castle-in-the-middle-ages.htm http://xenophongroup.com/montjoie/hyw_fp.htm History book humanities alive  (fortresses and fighters) http://www.middleages.org.uk/siege-tower.htm

front view of castle and back view of attackers

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One Comment on “Attacking and defending a medieval castle”

  1. priscillalan says:

    Nice Diorama!
    Great Job
    🙂