This castle glossary will name and define the parts of castle architecture, castle structure and construction, knights and warfare, and defense terms.
The terms are in English and German. The definitions are in English.
The term that defines that flat portion on top of a capital.
The term that is used to define a castle built without royal permission when such permission is required.
A walkway along the top of a wall.
An arched covered passageway with columns or piers
A typically curved structural member spanning an opening and serves as a wall support above doors and windows.
or das Zeughaus
A storehouse for the castle's weapons.
der Pfeil Schleifen
A vertical narrow slit built into a wall through which arrows are shot.
Hewn squared and shaped blocks of building stones.
A skilled castle armory worker who made crossbows.
The outer courtyard or ward inside the castle walls used for outdoor activities.
A small column of wood or stone used to support a load.
A siege machine that resembles a giant crossbow that is used to propel missiles at a target.
A railing topping a row of balusters placed along a walkway or an outside stairway.
das Stab Loch
A hole in a wall used to receive the door bolt.
An outer defense work of a castle, often a heavily fortified gate tower.
der Scharwachtturm, Bergfried
An overhanging wall-mounted turret projecting from the flank of a tower or a wall, usually placed at the top the walls.
A small enclosed tower placed at the edge of a curtain wall
and used primarily as watch or guard post.
That part of the outside base of the curtain wall which is sloped at
a 45º angle. It is used to bounce rocks off of into attacking forces.
A heavy pole used for knocking down gates and walls.
Parapits with crenelations and merlons (raised part) forming a narrow
outer wall along the curtain walls.
A timber tower or a projecting wooden hoarding or gallery.
A narrow shelf, pathway, or ledge typically at the top or bottom of a slope.
Also a mound or wall of earth.
Also, that strip of ground between the outer curtain wall on the moat.
A timber or stone structure with arrow loops used for defense.
A Shaft or missile designed to be shot from a crossbow or catapult.
A wooden or metal bar used to secure a door or gate.
An ornamental projecting block of stone or wood.
The keystone of an arch, usually of granite stone.
A low wall or railing used to protect the edge of a platform, roof, or bridge.
Also, sometimes a temporary fortification used in the defense of the castle during battle.
Wooden beams used to support a project from a wall.
das Kolben Gelenk
A joint made by fastening the parts together end-to-end without overlap. Often
reinforced by wrapping or bolting.
The storeroom for wine and other beverages.
A projection of masonry or wood used to enforce and strengthen a wall.
Type 1: Flying buttresses are a narrow arched bridge built against the wall.
Type 2: Pilaster buttresses gradually recede into the wall as it ascends.
From the Latin castellum; A fortress,
and castrum; A fortified place:
A large fortified residence or a fortified set of buildings.
A coping stone, used in the covering course of a wall or placed upon a post.
das Kapital, or
Der Hauptstadt Stein
The uppermost member of a column or pilaster crowning the shaft and taking the weight the entablature.
The official in charge of a castle.
Die Wurf Maschine, or Steinschleuder
A type of siege machine designed to throw large heavy stones or missiles at a target. (See Trebuchet)
The area where the contents of the garderobes was collected.
An arched roof. A bedroom. A hall for meetings
A private place of worship inside the castle walls.
To shape the edges of two stones such that they will fit
A pattern having the shape of a V or an inverted V.
A heraldry charge consisting of two diagonal stripes meeting at an angle usually with the point up.
die Zisterne, or
A storage place for water.
A fortress. A heavily fortified military castle.
A covered passage way on the inside of a courtyard.
One side is the courtyard wall and the other side is an open arcade.
A naturally accurring rounded stone larger than a pebble and smaller than a boulder.
Such stones may be used in paving a walkway, a floor, or in other areas of construction.
Recessed ornamental panels placed in the ceiling or vault.
A cylindrical supporting pillar, usually made of stone or wood, that supports a heavy structure.
Two set of high defensive walls, with one totally inside of the other.
And with both enclosed areas having a common center.
The covering course of a wall usually with a sloping outward top.
Das Bewältigen Stein
A stone shaped for and used for covering the top course of a wall.
Note: Sometimes Slate stone or fired clay tiles were used.
In other cases wooden shakes were used especially where crenelations and merlons needed covering.
An architectural member that projects from within a wall and supports a timber beam or a joist for
a floor or a roof joist or rafter.
der Kragstein werk
Corbel work or the construction of a corbel
An equivalent weight or force. Important for lifting heavy objects, such as a drawbridge or a portcullis.
A long slender flexible material consisting of several twisted strands woven or twisted together.
Nearly as important as string in building a castle.
A measure of volume of wood; 4ft wide, 4ft high, and 8ft long. Or 128 cubic feet.
The open spaces between the merlons on an battlement fortifications.
Also some are known and used as embrasures.
That which the crenels and merlins form as an battlement fortifications
A rounded vault resting on a usually circular base and forming a roof or ceiling.
A small structure built on a roof.
die Aussenmauer, or
Die Vorhang Wand
A castle wall enclosing the entire castle or a courtyard.
A mixture of clay, straw and hair, used to cover house walls made of wattle.
The stronghold of a castle. Where the castle's owner lived.
A wooden bridge, capable of being raised or lowered, used to open a passageway or gate.
The jail, usually a ground level in one of the towers.
An opening in the merlins through which arrows or bolts may be fired.
To scale or climb over the castle walls and fortifications.
A usually foliated ornamentation forming a crowning decorative detail.
A structure that projects from a keep to house the entrance stairway.
The base of a structure that provides stability for and supports the entire weight of a castle structure.
The first stones laid to form the foundation for a wall, pillar or column.
An outdoor roofed balcony used for patrolling the castle walls.
A corridor or room devoted to the exhibition of castle portraits and treasured trophies.
A clothes closet or clothing storeroom or the private chamber of a nobleman or a royal person.
A permanent base or lodging for troops.
or Das Tor
Large heavy wooden doors to control the entry into a castle.
das Tor Haus
The complex of gates, portcullis, drawbridges, and barriers built to control the
entrances to a castle.
The principal living quarters and meeting room of a castle.
der überdachte Wehrgang
A covered gallery built on or near the top and outside of a curtain wall or tower to defend against attackers.
der inner Aussenhof
The inner Bailey or courtyard of a castle.
The strongest tower of a castle, and usually the tallest.
der Zwinger, der Hundepension
A place to keep animals, usually hunting dogs.
The important center stone of a stone arch.
A mounted warrior who served his lord during feudal times. Also, a member of an Order or Society.
A castle owned by a knight.
Die Halle des Ritters
A large room or chamber witin a castle in which knights gather for meals, meetings, and to plan their next activities.
Knights House or Building.
A receptacle used for a toilet
A carefully placed guard or watch tower with a commanding view of a strategic area or place.
Narrow slits in fortifications through which arrows may be fired.
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This Castle Glossary is believed to be correct and we will continue to enlargen this list as time permits.
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This page was last updated November 24, 2015.