Castle Parts – an Architectural Glossary

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Aisle: it’s used to denote the space between two arcades or between an arcade and an outer wall. Nowadays it’s the wing of a house; frequently used in the construction of cathedrals, churches and other monumental buildings.
Arcade: a row of arches supported by columns or piers following a passage or a walkway. The emblem of castles and castle-like corridors.
Bailey: the courtyard situated in front of a castle together with the wall surrounding it.
Battlements: the upper area of defensive walls.
Curtain: the connecting wall joining several towers of a castle; several of them constituted so-called curtain-walls.
Drawbridge: a movable bridge used for castle defense strategies.
Galley: a long passage or room – not to be confused with war boats.
Hall: main room in the keep where guests were hosted and major events celebrated.
Keep: the strongest tower of a castle as well as the abode of the Lord of the castle.
Loop: a narrow opening for the discharge of missiles or arrows.
Palace: the official residence of a sovereign, well-guarded and richly adorned.
Palisade: or palisade wall – a wooden defensive fence; later on replaced by stone walls.
Parapet: a low wall on the outer side of the main wall, protecting the front of the entry walk.
Portcullis – this is a metal or wood grate dropped inside the castle entrance for protection purposes.
Quadrangle: inner courtyard of a castle.
Shell keep: circular or oval wall surrounding inner part of castle.
Wall walk: a long passage along the castle wall.
Yett: it’s an iron gate which is usually erected right in front of the castle yard. It’s guarded by infantry and archers.

Castles are not merely abodes of fairy-tale creatures. They are also not just ruins in the midst of which all you can hear is your heart-beat echoing. Castles are most usually monumental masterpieces of passed centuries, architectural wonders and the ultimate cultural legacy there is. Castles have a very special place in our culture. As mentioned earlier, they are often treated as mystic, magical, or eerie, and many people don’t even realize that their appearance actually resulted from pragmatism rather than aesthetics.
Nowadays such castles are no longer built. Some mansions or cathedrals employ castle parts, however, as they are considered somewhat posh. The beauty of castles is timeless.


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