All Castle Defences Explained | Features, Uses & How They Developed

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Kobean History

Kobean History

Күн бұрын

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00:00 Introduction
00:43 How did castles develop?
02:00 Motte and Bailey Castle
02:34 Stone Castle
03:04 Concentric Castle
03:37 The Decline of Castles
04:16 The Development of Defensive Walls
05:57 Parts & Features of a Castle Wall
06:12 Enceinte
07:10 Ramparts
07:24 Battlements
07:36 Crenelations
08:44 Arrowslits
10:47 The Development of Arrowslits
12:16 Types of Arrowslits
13:45 Loopholes & Cannoniers
14:15 Hoardings
15:56 Machicolations
17:19 Plinth/Talus/Batter
18:35 Brattice
19:48 Bartizan
19:58 Buttresses
20:18 Bastion
20:35 Shield Wall
21:05 Wall Towers
22:50 Open Back Tower
23:22 Tower Shapes & Designs
26:12 Flanking Towers & Tower Location
27:06 Moat Use & Development
29:25 Dry Moat
29:57 Neck Ditch
30:38 Cross Ditch
30:52 Wet Moat
32:19 Gatehouse
34:39 The Approach
35:45 Drawbridge
36:43 Drawbridge Types & Designs
40:16 Gatehouse Door
41:34 Wicket Gate
42:51 Pedestrian Gate
43:43 Portcullis
45:08 Portcullis Trap
45:36 Gatehouse Passage
45:58 Murder Holes
46:49 Divine Protection
47:21 Trap Door
47:48 Later Gatehouse Developments
49:21 The Gatekeep
50:20 The Most Defensive Gatehouse
51:24 Built to Impress
52:07 Postern Gate & Sally Port
54:21 Barbicans
54:45 Barbican Types & Designs
Music by Vindsvept (Night of the Fae, Lake of Light)
/ vindsvept
CC BY 4.0 License:

Khether 2 жыл бұрын
This is just incredible, the amount of footage, illustrations and knowledge you've gathered here are NOT EASY to come by at all! My deepest and most sincere congratulations!!! I wonder if there is a single model showcasing all known castle features, regardless of historic period explaining what they do for didactic purposes.
FlatBlue 6 ай бұрын
Very impressive depth of knowledge! Thank you for making this. Its amazing to learn that most of the fancy embellishments on castles were actually defensive or useful in some other way, but makes sense given the utilitarian mindset.
Leigh 6 ай бұрын
Yep that was pretty damn good. I get a sense of respect for the old designs as well - the immense power of the Caerfilly barbican structure is great but it just wasn’t possible every time.
GBResaleKing 6 ай бұрын
When I was a kid I absolutely loved the ultimate visual series books about castles and Knights and this is the adult equivalent. Awesome work and info. :)
NoCapes99 6 ай бұрын
Got those for Christmas as a child. Still have them! You a real one.
Chode Meister
Chode Meister 6 ай бұрын
are those the Stephen Biesty books? I probably mispelled his last name. Cross sections and such?
GBResaleKing 6 ай бұрын
@Chode Meister yupp
BGHearns 6 ай бұрын
Excellent work. One point about moats being 'open cesspools' though. They weren't. They were fish ponds. Human and food waste was put into the ponds, which was broken down by algae which fed the fish. It is still common in rural Vietnam for example. Cities in Europe used such ponds to deal with waste as late as the 19th Century, until the population became too dense.
Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon 5 ай бұрын
They would’ve become cesspools in times of siege. When everyone crammed into the castle and the attackers would deliberately pollute the water with dead rotting animals and faeces.
Anonymous User
Anonymous User 7 ай бұрын
Wonderful overview. Probably the most comprehensive I've seen.
Any Reality But This One
Any Reality But This One 6 ай бұрын
I'm genuinely a little irritated that the KZbin algorithm waited until this had been available for a YEAR to recommend it to me. This is just wonderful. Absolutely S Tier edutainment. Thank you!!
lfcmike12 Жыл бұрын
Fantastic content, very well detailed and obviously a lot of passion for the topic, happy to have found your channel
Gregg Weber
Gregg Weber 5 ай бұрын
Attacking the castle in Perpignan France, after entering the gate and passing under the murder holes, you turn left and go up irregular steps. Archers are shooting arrows from i think all sides. At the end, you turn 180 degrees to the right and continue going up. Eventually, you are at the top, which is the ground level outside the smaller residence castle for the king of Majorca.
GSR 85
GSR 85 Жыл бұрын
Incredible amount of research ! What a a fantastic video ! Thanks a lot !
Christopher Bergendahl
Christopher Bergendahl 6 ай бұрын
We’ll done here! I’m working on my master’s in history and your research of this topic was impressive! I was in Belgium last summer and saw the Gravensteen castle. Have you done research on this one?
Kobean History
Kobean History 6 ай бұрын
I haven’t done a specific video on it but I did research a bit about it for this video. I grew up around Ghent so I have visited it a few times as well.
Eric Hudgens
Eric Hudgens 5 ай бұрын
I think most castles had a main gate, but for smaller items, or maybe even people they can hoist them above the wall, to avoid risk of leaving the gate open.
Peter Leban
Peter Leban 2 жыл бұрын
Loved the original series, too. Great stuff!
Scalp MicroPigmentation Houston, Texas
Scalp MicroPigmentation Houston, Texas Жыл бұрын
dude your channel is absolute gold. thank you for making these, youre incredible
Sol Rosenberg
Sol Rosenberg 6 ай бұрын
This video is excellent, very interesting and well put together.
itsnotrightyouknow 6 ай бұрын
I am English and castles have always absolutely fascinated me. Been to many, such history within all of them, if you read about each one before you go
SockMonkey648 2 жыл бұрын
This is the most comprehensive video I've seen on castles! It was a pleasure to watch :) I was wondering, does anyone know how the people assaulting a castle lowered the drawbridge? Aside from climbing the walls, have any attackers ever lowered a drawbridge from outside a castle? Or possibly bridged to a raised drawbridge and broken through it?
Kobean History
Kobean History 2 жыл бұрын
I haven’t looked into it in depth yet but I heard that with smaller drawbridges using exposed rope to lift them, it was possible to shoot the rope with arrows and open the drawbridge that way. Ive also heard of attackers filling the moat in a certain place to get to the castle wall so I imagine they could have done this at the gatehouse as well and break through the drawbridge that way. It is something i will look into further for a video in the future
@Kobean History the draw bridge would be locked in place most castles weare taken by stealth or the defenders opening the gates like Krak des Chevaliers they surrenderd
Foxglove963 7 ай бұрын
So what? The portcullis would stop the attackers.
Leigh 6 ай бұрын
@Foxglove963 if they had one! You need a fair bit of advancement in your physics to build and use one.
Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon 5 ай бұрын
Bribery and spies were a common way to get through drawbridges and or gatehouses. Attackers can also fire huge rocks from Trebuchets and catapults at them, build ramps and use battering rams, or a multitude of other ploys. That’s the sheer beauty of castle sieges, the imagination is the limit for both attackers and defenders. The most imaginative and inventive side and the one that prepared and had the most supplies, usually won the battle. Most siege outcomes were determined by illness and starvation. Whoever lost the least soldiers and had the best hygiene and food quality, would inevitably come out on top over a longer siege. And also which side could get reinforcements and relief from allies and supply chains. One of the most epic sieges of all, was the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans. There’s many fantastic videos about it on YT. There’s a 3D virtual reality modelling video of it that I saw some years ago. Also the last hold out of the Jews by the Dead Sea, was another all time epic siege. I won’t say what happened at these two sieges, bc I don’t want to spoil them for you, but you will be awestruck trust me.
Deepthought 42
Deepthought 42 7 ай бұрын
Great video. 👍 As an avid castle visitor it would have been great to have a subtitle with the names of the castles and places in the video.
badlandskid 6 ай бұрын
You are very thorough! You covered wet moats and dry moats. But you left out emotes.
William j Hunter
William j Hunter 6 ай бұрын
Hunterston Castle in Ayrshire Castle is from 1263 AD. Made to prepare for the Battle of Largs. It is the best preserved Pele Tower in Scotland and still owned by the original Clan Hunter family. I made the longbows and warbow forvthe Castle in 2014 and shot them on the estate 180 yards in a Clout meet with the Ancient Society of Kilwinning Archers, which I was a member of at the time.
Michal Šopor
Michal Šopor 7 ай бұрын
Dude this was awesome! I learned a lot! Thanks!
Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon 5 ай бұрын
I L💛VE CASTLES! I thought I knew everything already about them, but I learned so much from this brilliant documentary. TY!
Andrew Grasso
Andrew Grasso 6 ай бұрын
Best video I’ve seen in a while - better than old History channel!
Adam Wee
Adam Wee Ай бұрын
28:09 should be said that moats were not a hard counter to siege weapons like towers. There are many historical accounts of besieging armies filling in moats before assaulting the walls with towers.
Raao1 6 ай бұрын
This is monumental work, be proud of yourself.
J. J.
J. J. 6 ай бұрын
Best guide ive found to help me build my dream castle.
ADB1979 Жыл бұрын
Most excellent, I will recommend your channel to anyone interested in such history :D
Rajesh Kanungo
Rajesh Kanungo Жыл бұрын
I was going to mention spikes, something I saw in many Indian forts and castles to protect against elephants. Pretty much made useless after the introduction of cannons and gunpowder.
Kinslow Rainer
Kinslow Rainer 2 жыл бұрын
Best. Castle. Video. Ever.
TomDanks 4 ай бұрын
And that's not an opinion it's a fact
the round arrow slits were gun ports or cannons so later in design.the draw bridge at dover is an internal gate so not very defended not a main defence i think the main gate house is the 2nd and behind that wall so it leads to a court yard dover has 2 or 3 walls and was breached but the english held off the french and filled in the breach in the wall.the solid portcalis may be later and to defend from musket fire as an open lattich design you could fire though
edi 6 ай бұрын
I think that I've seen examples of gateless castles. However, if you'd call them a castle is a different story... The ones I'm thinking of were not much more than a single tower, or house on top of a rock. I have no idea how they were constructed in the first place, but it probably included a 30m climb... Anyway, they were somewhat common in the German-speaking areas. However, a far more common castle form that shares two similarities were church-like castles. In the same region, we had a lot of castles that often didn't even have a walled-in section, but were merely a house (timber frame, or stone) with an accompanying keep. This keep usually had no entrance in the ground floor, but a hand-cranked elevator to the ground floor. This windowless room on the ground floor could be used as a prison cell, but more likely as a vault for things that you would want to keep safe. Quite commonly, this castle had not much more than a great hall above some stables and above the vault, there were a few more floors with the private chambers of the lord, possibly a room for the scribe, and a weaponry and a lookout.
moh amed
moh amed 5 ай бұрын
Hello sir Do you have any pictures or old depiction of those keep with hand cranked elevator ?
edi 5 ай бұрын
@moh amed I can't remember where I've seen a reconstruction. Maybe it was good old Violet LeDuc. Anyway, I've seen castle ruins where there were the tower had a room that could only be accessed from above, be it via a ladder or an absurdly steep stairway, this I cannot tell. In any case, you can still find many timber frame houses even in cities that had a hand cranked cargo lift. It's always the top window and below the remains of a pulley. I bet that these towers had something similar and probably a ladder.
moh amed
moh amed 5 ай бұрын
@edi Thanks for feedback
1joshjosh1 6 ай бұрын
Holy crap this is a good video. You have a new subscriber. Me!!! Most of the castles I have seen have been in the middle east or the Mediterranean. But they seem to follow all the rules.
Don Loughrey
Don Loughrey 7 ай бұрын
Wonderful presentation. Thank you.
Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon 5 ай бұрын
Bribery and spies were a common way to get through drawbridges and or gatehouses. Attackers can also fire huge rocks from Trebuchets and catapults at them, build ramps and use battering rams, or a multitude of other ploys. That’s the sheer beauty of castle sieges, the imagination is the limit for both attackers and defenders. The most imaginative and inventive side and the one that prepared and had the most supplies, usually won the battle. Most siege outcomes were determined by illness and starvation. Whoever lost the least soldiers and had the best hygiene and food quality, would inevitably come out on top over a longer siege. And also which side could get reinforcements and relief from allies and supply chains. One of the most epic sieges of all, was the siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans. There’s many fantastic videos about it on YT. There’s a 3D virtual reality modelling video of it that I saw some years ago. Also the last hold out of the Jews by the Dead Sea, was another all time epic siege. I won’t say what happened at these two sieges, bc I don’t want to spoil them for you, but you will be awestruck trust me.
1joshjosh1 6 ай бұрын
Your videos rule and the historical content is amazing but just 1 little suggestion. Other than the castle in Syria( I got to go to the krak pre-war) and when you specifically name the place you show all these beautiful pictures but I don't know where they are. Maybe just a small label corner of screen.
Pinned on Places
Pinned on Places 2 жыл бұрын
Incredible! really did enjoy watching
Oldman99 6 ай бұрын
The most important feature of any castle is to build it over a well.
олег тунаков
олег тунаков 6 ай бұрын
Отлично.Спасибо. Очень интересно.
moh amed
moh amed 5 ай бұрын
White wash was not to make the castle look nice but it is a protective layer from humidity
Adam Maley
Adam Maley 5 ай бұрын
Let's say we built a home for defensive purpose; Wouldn't walls (wood or stone) just provide trespassers/intruders with cover?
odyssey shack
odyssey shack 6 ай бұрын
The most informative video ever!
gideon bolt
gideon bolt 8 күн бұрын
Castles in england go back further than the Normans. There are early examples from 400-600 AD and possibly before like Tintagel in cornwall.
Kobean History
Kobean History 7 күн бұрын
I didn’t say there weren’t castles before the Normans, I said Normans introduced stone castles.
Mikael Zakan
Mikael Zakan 6 ай бұрын
Forgive my ignorance, but what is the point of sieging the castle as opposed to starving it of necessary resources (a war of attrition if you will)? Can’t one also control the surrounding territory with the surrounding army which, I assume, is the ultimate goal of the siege?
NoCapes99 6 ай бұрын
Hard earned sub! Was a great video
edi 6 ай бұрын
What's the point of having a round or semicircular barbican? Unlike circular towers, I see the shape here more as a disadvantage in terms of distributing fire. I'd rather have it a small castle with round towers, or make it triangular to concentrate the fire while keeping the dead angles at a minimum. BTW: I missed a concept, we call Zwinger. It's a narrow section with two separate gatehouses. It can be a small yard, a barbican, or a part in between the inner and outer wall. The key factor is that you need to cross it and break through the second gate and while doing so, you'll be attacked by archers from three if not all sides! The craziest iteration of it is the double spiral of death in Hohenzollern castle (two yards with a ramp spiraling up to the level of the main castle)
Daniel J Stark
Daniel J Stark 5 ай бұрын
Nice. I only wish those parts of castles not spelled out had labels showing their spelling.
Sauntor 6 ай бұрын
Thank you for the education!
Ivan L
Ivan L 6 ай бұрын
Best defensvife strategy: Just build chapels all over the castle to cause the god's rage towards attackers.
Adamast 6 ай бұрын
For the attack on castle gaillard 1204 they entered through the newly added chapel "ils se seraient introduits en réalité par l'une des fenêtres basses de la chapelle que Jean sans Terre avait fait construire bien mal à propos."
sunsetlights100 6 ай бұрын
Comprehensive castles overview touching medieval style music
Davie Shire
Davie Shire 7 ай бұрын
Amazing, thank you!
Woog75 6 ай бұрын
Thank you so much for this.
Humphrey 6 ай бұрын
I feel confident enough to storm a castle
Wouter L
Wouter L 7 ай бұрын
That's the Gravensteen or Count's Castle on the thumbnail, isn't it? Cool. 🙂
Philipp Hammer
Philipp Hammer 6 ай бұрын
Yes, I was in Gent last autumn and stayed directly across the street. Very cool view
Wouter L
Wouter L 6 ай бұрын
@Philipp Hammer That's great. I really hope you enjoyed your stay in my beautiful city.😃
Philipp Hammer
Philipp Hammer 6 ай бұрын
@Wouter L yes I really did. Went there for a conference and I must say Gent is such a beautiful city
Wouter L
Wouter L 6 ай бұрын
@Philipp Hammer Very glad to hear that. 😃
Ry Hol
Ry Hol 5 ай бұрын
Learned so much.
Rallemeister 6 ай бұрын
Doug Pridgen
Doug Pridgen 25 күн бұрын
In one of your videos, unless I misheard you, you said Jericho had walls dating to 8,000 BCE. That sounds factually incorrect, given that Egypt wasn't even unified until 3,100 BCE (Narmer Pallete), making this date Prehistoric (only 2,000 after the Neolithic Revolution). Did you mean to say 800 BCE or is that what you said and my memory is off? Thanks!
Kobean History
Kobean History 24 күн бұрын
Yes, thats right, I did say the walls of Jericho possibly are as old as 8000BCE. I based it on the information I found on Encyclopaedia Britannica:,water%20supply%20from%20human%20intruders.
edi 6 ай бұрын
I still struggle to understand machicolations. I've never seen any examples that were in their original form. I could imagine two different versions: 1) Putting trapdoors or wooden planks on top of the holes so that you cannot fall through (especially, when you're in low-light situations, or high-stress situations). It would offer more space and allows you to get directly to the wall, which gives you a wider field of view. The disadvantage being that you would need to manually remove the cover if you wanted to attack below, which would take time and potentially alert the opponent. 2) Putting a railing behind the holes. In that case, you can rest your crossbow or musket on the railing and you can quickly switch between firing far or down. The disadvantage being that you're further away from the loophole, which makes your job harder and the battlement would be more cramped...
ciprian I
ciprian I 2 жыл бұрын
Thanks Mate!
SonOfTheOne 5 ай бұрын
Why are the castle walls in central Milan full of holes?
Ed Huber
Ed Huber 6 ай бұрын
Well done.
Peter Heyes
Peter Heyes Жыл бұрын
Question please. Is a bartizan the same thing as a turret?
Kobean History
Kobean History Жыл бұрын
A bartizan can be classed as a turret but not all turrets are bartizans. A turret can be generally defined as a tower or part of the defense that is elevated from the rest, while the bartizans most defining feature is that it overhangs from the wall.
Peter Heyes
Peter Heyes Жыл бұрын
@Kobean History thanks for the reply. Woukd you be abke to make an in depth video about bartizans vs turrets?
Francisco Osuna
Francisco Osuna 6 ай бұрын
You say the earliest castles date from the 800's. What about Kayseri Castle in Turkey that dates to 238 AD? Not to mention numerous other structures in the middle east that look a lot like castles in the middle east of about the same period? Some of them started as Roman earthen forts that could place the beginning close to the birth of Christ. What makes the European structures castles that the Turkish structures do not fit in that category?
Kobean History
Kobean History 6 ай бұрын
If I remember correctly (correct me if I’m wrong), those were built as more of a communal defence. One of the defining features of a castle is that it was the residence of a lord or noble. Which sets it apart from a fortress or citadel.
Adamast 6 ай бұрын
Even in early europe, the romans mention gallic defenses made of stone backed by wood. Back then the romans see castellum as smaller than castrum and not by the presence of a small unelected war chief, still holds in early medieval period. Or later as for example Richard last castle siege (Châlus) isn't about the residence of a noble.
john doe
john doe 7 ай бұрын
My castles barbican has 2 barbicans 😂🤣😂 that last king was compensating me thinks
Fred Wood
Fred Wood 6 ай бұрын
This castles must have been incredibly expensive to build and maintain, where did the Lord get the money for them? Was there a kind of credit union or bank where they could get credit or was everything paid for in cash, on order? (I understand that arranging credit was a function of the medieval Church as well as King's banks and foreign money lenders, but all had to be paid sometime.) Taxes on local produce and industry could only go so far.
Gern 6 ай бұрын
Want to know the REAL reason why they stopped building castles? Two words. Chuck Norris. Nothing built can withstand Chuck Norris.
Matthew Exline
Matthew Exline 8 ай бұрын
@14:06 I have to question the validity of what you're saying. The muzzle shouldn't come out past the wall, you say, to avoid detection? I find this statement hard to believe. In modern combat, this is true, for several reasons: in modern combat, when people shoot from buildings, these buildings don't have arrow slits; they have massive windows and the walls around them aren't bullet proof either, so it's important in modern combat for a shooter not to expose himself with the barrel of his gun. Much less true for people in stone castles firing through arrow slits. The 2nd objection I have is the old-fashioned gun powder they would be using in the case of firearms and canons (which were the weapons being spoken of at 14:06). This propellant gave off massive plumes of thick smoke in every shot. I find it very hard to believe that they'd prefer to keep this inside of their fortification.
Don Pin
Don Pin 8 ай бұрын
I believe they actually fired from inside the building, over the smoke, most castles, to my knowledge, had some air outlet for smoke from guns, like windows, ducts or chimneys
Thanks for being REALLY COOL.
keth templar
keth templar Жыл бұрын
YOUTUUUUBE! YOUR LOSING YOUR EDGE! I MEAN, REALLY?! How, HOW, does someone with my kind of search history NOT give you the Idea that i WANT to know a channel like this exists?
Chris S3
Chris S3 6 ай бұрын
Nice vid. Funny how most caslte words came from french.
Don Pin
Don Pin 8 ай бұрын
about machicolations, i had a shower thought these days, has any defender ever fallen from a machicolation? haha
moh amed
moh amed 5 ай бұрын
You forgot box machicolation It's an early tipe of machicolation it was invented by the romans
Justahound 4 ай бұрын
I enjoyed watching this, love castles tho...
Jod5nn 6 ай бұрын
I like how he say matchicolations
moh amed
moh amed 5 ай бұрын
Some most have fish farm in it
Khairu Maikano
Khairu Maikano Ай бұрын
War technology has always been advanced
那个 2 жыл бұрын
Damn, somebody send this to Shad
TrangDB9 7 ай бұрын
Shade's also very good with this topic, but the infos are scattered over too many videos.
Bryant Compton
Bryant Compton 6 ай бұрын
Sigirya is an interesting place.
Asraph Ampatua
Asraph Ampatua 2 жыл бұрын
love the video
Keef DGAF 7 ай бұрын
Good video.. However the Jericho reference sounds dubious to say the least
Chode Meister
Chode Meister 6 ай бұрын
40:28 middle right panel, eyes and lips lol. theres a couple in the door actually
larrywave 2 жыл бұрын
Great 😇
Lucas Hinch
Lucas Hinch 6 ай бұрын
Lucia 2 жыл бұрын
Wilton Godwin
Wilton Godwin 6 ай бұрын
Maine outdoorsman
Maine outdoorsman 7 ай бұрын
King David marched his troops around the walls of Jerico an god made them fall down
Brad Miller
Brad Miller 6 ай бұрын
Joshua, not David. David took Jersalem, not Jericho; commando attack, not display of Divine power.
David Rogers
David Rogers 6 ай бұрын
AzNrAvEcHiLd6i9 6 ай бұрын
How goes you, fellow Shad enjoyer?
David Rogers
David Rogers 6 ай бұрын
@AzNrAvEcHiLd6i9 I'm shadtastic! It's always good to meet another!
Neal Carhart
Neal Carhart 8 ай бұрын
Comso 6 ай бұрын
I agree
Lucia 2 жыл бұрын
Hey fellow kids
Joe Momma
Joe Momma 6 ай бұрын
pretty cool .
Israel Scum
Israel Scum 5 ай бұрын
Wondering when the freest walk of China was constructed.
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