Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by Bermudaonion’s Weblog. Kathy says: “Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.”
Rick Steves’ Ireland has a sidebar on castle architecture with a diagram and definitions. These are the words from the list that are either entirely new or that I didn’t fully understand. All the definitions are from Rick Steves’ Ireland.
Castle Architecture, pages 406 and 407.
The Keep (or Donjon): A high, strong stone tower in the center of the castle complex that was the lord’s home and refuge of last resort.
Hoardings (or Gallery or Brattice): Wooden huts built onto the upper parts of the stone walls. They served as watch towers, living quarters, and fighting platforms.
Machicolation: A stone ledge jutting out from the wall, fitted with holes in the bottom. If the enemy was scaling the walls, soldiers could drop rocks or boiling oil down through the holes and onto the enemy below.
Barbican: A fortified gatehouse, sometimes a stand-alone building located outside the main walls.
Postern Gate: a small, unfortified side or rear entrance used during peacetime. In wartime, it would become a “sally-port” used to launch surprise attacks, or as an escape route.