This castle glossary will name and define the parts of castle architecture, castle structure and construction, knights and siege warfare, and defense terms.
The terms are in English and German. The definitions are in English.
A masonry projection from a curtain wall or tower supported by corbels with opening in
the floor through which rocks, boiling water or arrows could be rained down upon attackers.
A large siege machine in which a missile is held in a cup on a long arm and fired by torsion. Used to hurl large rocks and other large objects at the enemy during a siege.
Structures made with stones binded together with mortar. The mortar is usually lime cement or Portland cement.
And sometimes a combination of both depending upon the binding requirements.
That solid part of the wall or tower battlement that with the crenels form the crenelations.
Provides protection to the castle defenders.
A deep and wide trench around the rampart of the castle. Usually filled with water.
A socket in a timber into which a wooden tenon is joined in a tight secure fit.
A natural or manmade earthen mound upon which a fortification was built.
A tower built on the top of the curtain wall.
Holes designed into the ceiling and walls of the gatehouse passageway between the inner and outer gates where arrows, rocks, and boiling water could be dropped or shot at
any intruders who made it that far.
The round opening at the base of a loophole. Allows the archer a wider angle view to help locate targets.
A secret dungeon with a trap-door opening only in the ceiling. Found in certain castles.
A stone upon which a timber post is placed.
The official residence of the owner of the castle or sovereign.
A strong wooden fence or wall built on a Motte or an earthen rampart.
A storeroom for bread, grain, and other dry food.
A protective wall built along the outer top of a wall or tower.
An auxilary mass of masonry designed to strengthen a wall.
A vertical structural member that supports the end of an arch or lintel.
A hand held pole weapon consisting of a long stout pole topped with a curved blade and a sharp spike.
A vertical sliding grating of iron positioned over a gateway in the gatehouse and lowered between groves to prevent passage.
An small additional gate or door.
The hewn or dressed stones at the corner of a building.
A stone wall or a broad earth embankment raised as an addition fortification outside the castle walls.
To face a slope of earthwork with a layer of stone to stabilized and strengthen the slope.
A small usually concealed gate or door in the castle's outer wall.
A hand split section of wood used to cover the topside surface a roof.
Usually somewhat thicker than a shingle.
Shield Display Wall:
The wall where the ruler's Coat of Arms is displayed.
A tile made from wood and used for roofing material.
A wooden covering for the outside of windows for protection.
The act of surrounding and attacking a castle, usually a prolonged attack.
A moveable tall wooden tower that is brought up to a wall and is used to climb over the wall during a siege attack.
The horizontal timber at the base of a timber framed building upon which upright posts can be joined to.
A term commonly used for a small chamber or private sitting room usually off of the great hall.
Originally referred to a private chamber located high up in the keep, with a window that allowed direct sun to enter to warm the room.
A horizontal timber plate between a sillbeam and the masonry foundation in a timber framed building.
The structure containing one or more flights of steps used for passing from one floor to another.
Provides protection to the castle defenders.
An enclosure constructed with upright wooden stakes or posts fixed in the ground to form a defensive barrier against attack.
A wooden structural piece shaped to tightly and securely fit into a Mortise socket.
A huge sloping inner concentric wall which prevented attackers from getting so close that they could not be seen by the castle defenders. Used successfully in
the castle: Krak des Chevaliers (Castle of the Knights) a Crusaders castle now in Syria.
A large squared or dressed piece of wood used for building.
Timbers were used for the structural framework of timber framed portions of the castle.
A method of constructing wooden buildings and roof structures using large wooden timbers fastened with carefully made notches and wooden pegs to securely hold the building framework together.
A structure that is usually several times or more taller than its diameter. Usually the highest part structural part of a castle.
Der Wurf Maschinen
A siege machine employing a counter weight to power a sling that will throw very heavy objects great
distance and with great force.
Large treadmills were used to provide the force needed to drive the winches that lifted the heavy loads of building materials up
to the masons and other skilled workers working on the castle walls and towers during castle construction.
A small tower build on a larger tower or a wall.
An arched structure of masonry usually forming a ceiling or roof.
der Mauer, or die Wand
An upright structure, usually made with stone or brick, that encloses something and is intended for defense or security.
or die Abteilung
The inner courtyard of a castle or an open space within the castle's walls.
A tower for a lookout at, above, or over the castle's walls.
A woven structure of wooden twigs placed between timber framed structure to close the walls. The wattling
is then covered with Daub.
A machine used for moving and lifting heavy objects.
A device used to increase the force to make it easier to hoist, tighten, or move objects.
A horizontal barrel supported on vertical posts and turned by a crank so that the hoisting rope is wound around the barrel thereby moving the intended object.
A hinged iron grille used to strengthen gates in tower-houses and peel towers.
This Castle Glossary is believed to be correct and we will continue to enlargen this list as time permits.
If you have questions, suggestions or additions, please contact us at email@example.com
This page was last updated February 20, 2013.