Castle Terms Glossary 


  • Arcade – a row of arches supported by columns or free-standing
  • Arrow slit – a vertical window, narrow on the outside and expanding on the inside so one could shoot arrows out with relative ease, but shooting in was much more difficult
  • Bailey – the area of ground enclosed by the main defensive walls of a castle, especially in the earliest mott-and-bailey castles. In later stone castles, the bailey was often called the ward
  • Barbican/hornwork – A defensive outerwork, consisting of walls and towers, which surround a castle gate and were designed to protect it
  • Barrel vault – cylindrical roof
  • Bartizan – an overhanging corner turret
  • Bastion fort – A low, thick-walled fort designed to withstand cannon fire. Such structures proliferated in the late Middle Ages, following the advent of gunpowder and cannon. In place of the towers of earlier castles, these fortifications incorporated low, projecting structures known as bastions
  • Bastle house – small tower house with a living room over a byre
  • Batter/talus/plinth – the sharp angle at the base of all walls and towers along their exterior surface
  • Battlements – narrow wall build along the outer edge of the ramparts to protect soldiers from attack
  • Berm – flat ground between the curtain wall and the inner edge of the moat
  • Bivalate – a hillfort defended by two concentric ditches
  • Breastwork – heavy parapet between two gate towers; wall defense over the portcullis
  • Cap-house – small chamber at the top of a spiral staircase in a tower or turret, leading to the open wall-walk on the roof
  • Castellan – the lord of the castle. In some cases, the castellan (or his ancestor) built the castle himself; in others he (or his ancestors) was given it to hold by a count or duke.
  • Cesspit – an area in the ground where waste from garderobes was collected
  • Citadel – heavily fortified, independent defensive structure within city walls; the strongest part of a fort
  • Corbiestepped/crowstepped – square stones forming steps on the gable
  • Counterscarp – outer slope of a ditch
  • Crenelation – a notched battlement made of alternating crenels (openings) and merlons (square teeth)
  • Crownwork – freestanding bastioned fortification in front of the main defenses
  • Curtain wall – the outer wall of a castle, which by the late 12th century usually incorporated multiple towers, and into which were built, on the inner side, stables, storehouses, and sleeping quarters

Read More

erik lehnsherr + smiling

"Number one rule for fiction: Coincidence can be used to worsen a character’s predicament, but never to solve his problems." - Vivian Vande Velde (via maxkirin)


… who are you, then?

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust

rogue; The first boy I ever kissed ended up in a coma for three weeks. I can still feel him inside my head. It’s the same with you.