What are the main features of a medieval castle?


  • Moat – a perimeter ditch with or without water.
  • Barbican – a fortification to protect a gate.
  • Curtain Walls & Towers – the perimeter defensive wall.
  • Fortified Gatehouse – the main castle entrance.
  • Keep (aka Donjon or Great Tower) – the largest tower and best stronghold of the castle.

How were medieval castles designed?

The first castles were simply ‘mounds’ of earth, and medieval castle designs improved on these basics – adding ditches in the Motte & Bailey design. As technology advanced – and as attackers got more sophisticated – elaborate concentric castle designs emerged, creating a fortress almost impregnable to its enemies.

What were the defensive features of a medieval castle?

The top of the castle walls were the battlements, a protective, tooth shaped parapet often with a wall walk behind it for the soldiers to stand on. The defenders could fire missiles through gaps (crenels). The raised sections between, called merlons, helped to shelter the defenders during an enemy attack.

What makes a good site for a castle?

The site has a good view of the sea and any potential invaders. The cliffs would make it difficult for an invader to land unnoticed. An invader could not climb up the cliff face easily. People living inland could see the castle which would act as a warning to behave.

What are the elements of a castle?

Castle Features

  • Outer defenses.
  • Moat.
  • Walls (inner and outer)
  • Towers (inner and outer)
  • Gatehouses, drawbridges and barbicans.
  • Inner defenses.
  • Baileys or wards.
  • Living quarters and support buildings.

How is a castle designed?

Workers use horse-drawn wagons to haul the stones from the quarry to the building site. Stone masons then chisel the raw stone into blocks. Workers use man-powered cranes to lift the finished stones to the scaffolding on the castle wall. Other workers make mortar on the site from lime, soil and water.

What features does a castle have?

The key features of a castle include: Rampart, Dungeon, Portcullis, Moat, Drawbridge and Turret.

What does a good castle need?

What is the most important part of a castle?

The drawbridge is one of the most important parts of a castle and one you’ve probably heard of before! A drawbridge was a type of bridge between the gatehouse and the opposite side of the moat. During raids, the drawbridge would be raised to keep invaders out.