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Access to Castles in the 13th Century, how did they do it?

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  • Access to Castles in the 13th Century, how did they do it?

    A few years ago I created a website about the area i was born and brought up and since then it has been growing week by week.

    My latest project is creating a 3d fly through model of what the castle looked like in the 13th century after it was built.

    The castle was just a peel tower and access was via a door on the first floor, so access would have been by some quick removable structure, maybe ladder, maybe something else.

    Using the attached image, what do you think the access would have been or like?, ideas and suggesions welcomed.

    As its the 12th century no photos or descriptions exist.

    http://i55.tinypic.com/25ksrd1.jpg

    if anyone can provide a sketch would be great too?

  • #2
    Sorry, I can't help with your request. It may be that one of the border families who held the keeps might have the info you require - try contacting one of the Family societies.

    Your site is interesting, but it's such a pity that 'your' voice on there is a kind of Americanised-Stephen Hawking!

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    • #3
      a0, this is quite small, it looks a bit like a thing called a "Bastle", (there was a prog' on TV of a couple restoring one in Northumberland a while ago) these were usually attached to a farm and were a bit longer than your sketch.
      I've seen illustrations before of access to the first floor of a tower, it was a set of wooden steps running parallel to the wall with a landing at the door, rails at the side. These could be removed quickly if raiders were about. The ground floor was a barrel vault for strength, fire etc', the first floor therefore was of stone and the floors above that were timber. I stayed a few days in a tower called "Castle of Park" a couple of years ago, it was January, central heating, so warm as toast surprisingly. The walls seven feet thick, a marvellous experience, slept up in the turret, the Mull of Galloway light visible at night. The Great Hall on the first floor has a big oak table & chairs and the family portraits etc' the fireplace is about ten feet wide. Park is looked after by the "Landmark Trust", their castles, houses etc' are available for hire. In Winter, apart from Xmas & Hogmanay, they are let off very cheap, keeps them fired. Walking distance to the pub in Glenluce.

      The Landmark Trust | Featured Buildings plus "Bastle Houses & Sheep Buchts". Cheers wullie.
      Last edited by wullie m; 22nd November 2010, 17:35.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Polwarth View Post

        Your site is interesting, but it's such a pity that 'your' voice on there is a kind of Americanised-Stephen Hawking!
        the voice was just added as an extra on the welcome page, the feedback has been 50/50, will probably remove it nex big update i do.

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        • #5
          Bastle entry

          Yes, usually by ladder, although I often wonder why the "enemy" don't bring a ladder with them, or at least fashion one from branches, etc, if they are really serious.
          Lighthouses often used the same ploy to foil people who would want to douse the light to wreck ships for their cargo.

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          • #6
            Lighthouse dousing

            Now there's an interesting concept ... lighthouse dousing. I've been doing some research on the formation of lighthouses and maritime safety. No where in any of these books have I heard of lighthouse attacks in hopes to doom ships in order to wreck them for their precious cargo. Although, that would be an idea for land locked pirates, and smugglers of the sort, huh? Rather hard to come about, and plenty of room for error, but hey, where there is a will, there is a way, right?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Talespinner View Post
              Lighthouses often used the same ploy to foil people who would want to douse the light to wreck ships for their cargo.
              Lighthouses were ?
              Who did that , and whereabouts was it done.
              For some reason history is remarkably silent on this

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