Courtyard: An open space surrounded by a castle's curtain walls. Curtain Wall: The stone walls that encircle a fortress. A gatehouse is a fortified and well-built main entrance of a fortress. It frequently includes a guard house and/or dwelling quarters. The GreatHall, or Hall, is the main structure within a castle's walls. It usually has a high roof for gatherings and ceremonies. The kitchen is where cooking takes place; it is often located next to the GreatHall because food needs to be ready when guests arrive at their most hungry. The armory is where weapons are kept; it may be separate from the kitchen and greathall if there is not enough room. The chapel is where religious services are held; it is often but not always located within the walls of a castle. The keep is the master bedroom and private living area of a castle's ruler. Sometimes there is also a small antechamber or office adjacent to the king's or queen's bedchamber.
There are several terms used to describe the different areas within a castle. The words used to describe these areas vary depending on which part of the world they are in. In Europe, the term "courtyard" is used instead. In North America, the word "yard" is used instead. However, both terms mean the same thing. A yard is just a large, open area within the walls of a castle. This article uses the term "courtyard".
It is usually large and open, with a roof that can be tiled or not. It may also have a balcony or platform where guards could shoot arrows at invaders.
There are several types of gatehouses, such as central, transitional, and post-transitional. In central gatehouses, the gate opens directly into the great hall, while in post-transitional gatehouses, the two spaces are separated by a wall or small courtyard. Transitional gatehouses are an intermediate type with both central and post-transitional features.
Castle gates were opening ways into the fortifications for people to enter or leave. They were often made of wood and had a portcullis (a heavy wooden door covered with iron bars) for defense. Later on, stone became the material used instead.
A gate is a passage way that leads into or out of something. For example, a gate leads visitors into a museum or theater, and then they can look around.
Gatehouse of the Castle Gatehouses, as the name implies, served as the major entry to a medieval fortress. The gatehouse was often a rather big building erected within the curtain wall circuit of a castle to guard the gate, which was the weakest part of the fortress perimeter. The gatekeeper lived inside the gatehouse with his family. They kept watch over the gate and operated the locks when people came to visit or trade with the garrison living inside the fort.
There were two types of gatehouses: those for towns have large openings called "gates" that could be closed by huge wooden doors while those for castles have small openings called "posterns" that could only be opened from the outside using a key or lock. Both types of gatehouses had towers where the guards could see threats approaching from afar and guns where they could shoot enemies.
People started building gatehouses around 300 B.C. right after the Battle of Crecy when the French king Charles VII wanted to protect his new city of Paris from invaders. These gatehouses were usually one-story buildings with a tower where the guards could see threats approaching from afar. They were made of stone unless there was wood available elsewhere in the castle, in which case they would be built of wood. The gates of these first gatehouses were usually made of metal but eventually they too were made of stone so as not to be vulnerable to weapons at close range.
Characteristics of the Castle
The castle gatehouse was one of the most fortifying features of any medieval stronghold. It was a fortified structure positioned to guard the entrance to a fortress. To repel attackers, gatehouses were typically outfitted with a variety of traps and impediments. Large metal portcullises and iconic murder holes were among the traps. An attacker who managed to get past these obstacles would come into contact with an armed guard or group of guards.
In smaller castles where there was not enough space inside the walls for a full-scale garrison, watchtowers were used instead. These were small structures built into the outer wall of the castle to provide lookout points for guards on duty. They usually had only one floor, which consisted mainly of a platform that extended out over the wall. From here, the guard could see anyone approaching the castle from afar and warn the rest of the garrison by sounding a horn or flag signal.
There are several types of gatehouses in use today: half towers, full towers, and keepers' houses. Half towers are generally shorter than full towers and lack an internal staircase; they can be accessed by ladders from the first floor of the main tower. Full towers have three complete floors with staircases leading up to each one. Keepers' houses are usually single story structures with no defensive capabilities other than their location near the border of an estate. They often include living quarters for a warder or two.
Castles with Curtain Walls The bailey is the space encircled by a curtain wall, with or without towers, in medieval castles. The enceinte, or primary defensive line encompassing the site, is formed by the outermost walls, which include integrated bastions and wall towers. These are surrounded by additional defense systems such as moats and ditches.
Bastions are small fortified enclosures set into the exterior perimeter of a fortification project. They offer protection against attacks from adjacent enemy positions while not blocking fire over open ground. Wall towers are smaller versions of gatehouses, built into the exterior surface of a fortress's main defenses to house guards or officers. They provide similar protection as bastions but can be reached by an interior stairway instead of the exterior battlements.
Curtain walls are the outermost walls of a castle, consisting only of earthworks with no internal structure. They provided visual warnings of enemy movements and prevented soldiers inside the bailey from being ambushed from behind. They were also used as public faces for royal residences; for example, the White Tower (built 1297-1307) in London was the main residence of Edward II until his death in 1327. It replaced the original wooden palace that had been destroyed by fire in 1276.
The word "curtain" comes from the Old French word cuirassier, which means "to hide weapons under a coat of mail".