In medieval fortresses, a bretèche or brattice is a small balcony with machicolations built over a gate and sometimes in the corners of the fortress' wall, with the purpose of enabling defenders to shoot or throw objects at the attackers huddled under the wall. Depending on whether they have a roof, bretèches are classified in two types: open and closed; the open ones were accessed from a crenel. Medieval latrines were similar in construction, but they were not placed over doors. In Catalan and Portuguese the word for bretèche was in fact derived from the Byzantine latreys, but this regionalism did not carry over to other languages; because the places protected by bretèches were vital, they were manned by professional soldiers mercenaries in the Middle Ages. As a result of these circumstances, the word for latrine denoted a mercenary in some regions. A bretèche is pictured in Bellifortis, Livro das Fortalezas, in several other medieval military texts. Bartizan Murder-hole
A bridge tower was a type of fortified tower built on a bridge. They were built in the period up to early modern times as part of a city or town wall or castle. There is a tower at both ends of the bridge. During the 19th century, a number of bridge towers were built in the Gothic Revival style – Tower Bridge in London is the best known example; these towers were built in pre-medieval and medieval times to guard access to the bridge and to enable the charging of tolls on important roads crossing rivers near towns and cities. The rivers were part of the defences of these settlements; as a result, it was important from a defensive perspective that the bridges did not allow attacking enemies to break in. The bridges acted as a bulwark and had a small drawbridge. In addition to their genuine protective and defensive functions they played a symbolic and architectural role; these towers were the first public buildings that the travellers saw when approaching the city. Sometimes, the same building served as bridge tower and bridge chapel, for example at the Krämerbrücke in Erfurt.
The high cost of such towers was paid for by charging tolls. The gates of bridge towers were closed at night, so that no-one could cross the bridge during silent hours; the Halebija Tower the Tara Tower on the Stari Most at Mostar and Herzegovina The Old Town and Lesser Quarter bridge towers on the Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic Bridge tower in Stříbro, Czech Republic Pont Saint-Bénézet at Avignon, France. Le Pont Vieux at Sospel, France. Le Pont Vieux at Orthez, France. Pont Valentré, France. Bridge tower of the stone bridge in Regensburg Medieval tower on the Old Lahn Bridge in Limburg an der Lahn Bridge Gate in Heidelberg Towers on the South Bridge in Mainz Neo-Romanesque tower of the Nibelungen Bridge in Worms Bridge Gate in Traben-Trarbach Portal of the Old Harburg Elbe Bridge Bridge gate in Miltenberg Tower of the Friedrich Ebert Bridge in Duisburg The tower of the Ponte Milvio in Rome, Italy Castelvecchio Bridge, Italy Pont de Besalú, Besalú, Spain. Puente de Alcántara, Spain.
Puente de San Martín, Spain. The Wasserturm, part of the Kapellbrücke complex in Lucerne, Switzerland; the Monnow Gate on the Monnow Bridge at Monmouth, Wales The bridge tower at Warkworth Bridge in Warkworth, England Tower Bridge in London, England. The actual function of these towers is to support a high-level walkway. Bridge chapel Gate tower Gatehouse
An Albarrana tower is a defensive tower detached from the curtain wall and connected to it by a bridge or an arcade. They were built by Muslims when they occupied the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and the 15th centuries from the 12th century during the Almohad dynasty and in the south of Spain and Portugal where the Islamic influence was the longest. In Spanish, they are called torre albarrana; the towers of typical appearance, with a square section, were built several meters in front of the curtain wall. They were accessible by a bridge walkway from the curtain wall. More the bridge had a removable wooden section allowing the tower to be isolated from the wall if the tower is occupied by attacking forces; the earliest Albarrana towers were pentagonal or octagonal in plan but a more rectangular plan became the norm. In France and the north of Europe, flanking towers remained a part of the wall; the keep were sometimes built as a part of the wall instead of inside the yard at the center of the castle.
They were philippian towers. The main albarrana towers are: Torre de Espantaperros in Spain; the first albarrana tower, built by Abu Yaqub Yusuf in 1170. Its plan is octagonal. Torre del Oro, Torre de la Plata in Sevilla Torre de la Malmuerta in Cordoba Town of Talavera de la Reina near Toledo with several albarrana towers Òdena castle near Barcelona Castle of Paderne in Portugal 2 albarrana towers in the Santa Catalina castle in Jaén Castle of Loulé in PortugalAlbarrana towers are uniquely confined in the Iberian Peninsula. In the other parts of the medieval Muslim world this defensive feature seems not to be used; the only example of a true Albarrana tower in England can be found at Pontefract Castle. The castle now lies in ruins, but one Albarrana tower called Swillington Tower is visible on the models of the castle and the remains of the tower itself can be seen to the north of the castle. Burton, Peter, "Islamic Castles in Iberia", The Castle Studies Group Journal, 21: 228–244 Burton, Peter, "Islamic Castles in Iberia", Postern, 21 http://www.elperiodicoextremadura.com/noticias/noticia.asp?pkid=435528 https://web.archive.org/web/20140606060349/http://castlesofspain.co.uk/TorreAlbarrana.html
A burgus or turris is a small, tower-like fort of the Late Antiquity, sometimes protected by an outwork and surrounding ditches. Darvill defines it as "a small fortified position or watch-tower controlling a main routeway."Burgus was a term used in the period of the Roman Empire, in the Germanic provinces. Burgus is a Latin word, used from the end of the second century but more common in late antiquity, derived from the Germanic languages, it refers to a fortified tower, sometimes designed for observation. From 369 AD, under Valentinian, an extensive fortress building programme was set under way on the borders of the Empire; this entailed the construction of two-storey, rectangular towers, so-called residual forts in limes camps, denuded of their complements, granaries envisaged for border troops. These burgi were a development of the limes towers of the middle imperial period and consisted, in the case of the larger examples, of a tower-like central structure and outer fortifications. A conspicuous feature of buildings of this type of the Late Antiquity is the significant increase in size of the central tower.
Most of these new fortifications were destroyed by about the middle of the 5th century. Burgi were erected along border rivers and along major roads, where they are to have been used for observation, as forward positions or for signalling. Buildings such as smaller watchtowers, civilian refuges at estates and fortified docks for riverboats on the Upper Rhine and Danube, were called burgi. Troops at these posts carried out policing duties on the roads and looked after the maintenance of law and order in the villages. Burgi might serve in emergencies as a places of retreat. Larger towers such as one at Asperden served as refuges for the surrounding population and as granaries. A special type of burgus contained a river landing. In addition to a rectangular building near the river bank, these had crenellated walls that extended up to or into the river like pincers, thus protecting a landing stage or berthing bay for cargo ships and river patrol boats. Castrum/castra Castellum Limes Burh Thomas Fischer: Die Römer in Deutschland.
Theiss, Stuttgart, 1999, ISBN 3-8062-1325-9. Jörg Fesser: Frühmittelalterliche Siedlungen der nördlichen Vorderpfalz. Dissertation University of Mannheim, 2006. Dieter Planck, Andreas Thiel: Das Limes-Lexikon, Roms Grenzen von A-Z. Beck, Munich, 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-56816-9, p. 21. Yann Le Bohec: Die römische Armee. Steiner, Stuttgart, 1993, ISBN 3-515-06300-5, pp. 175–177. Ute Naberfeld: Rekonstruktionsversuch des spätrömischen Burgus von Asperden. In: An Niers und Kendel. 11, pp. 16–17. Baden State Museum: Imperium Romanum, Römer, Alamannen-Die Spätantike am Oberrhein. Theiss, Stuttgart, 2005, ISBN 3-8062-1954-0
The sudis is a Latin word meaning stake. It was the name given to stakes carried by Roman legionaries for employment as a field fortification, sometimes called vallus, it is but incorrectly, called a pilum murale meaning'wall spear'. The stakes were carried by Roman legionaries; each stake was made of hardwood oak, about 150–180 cm long and about 50–100 mm wide at the thickest point. Square in section, the shape tapers to a point at both ends; the central part is narrowed in a way that suggests the function of a handle, although this may not be its actual purpose. Examples that have been found are rough, it seems clear. However, the exact manner in which stakes were used is the subject of debate among experts, it is possible. Projecting from the ramparts at an angle, they would present a barrier to an attacker attempting to climb up. Alternatively, they could have been placed vertically at the top of the rampart as a fence. Experiments with reconstructions have been disappointing in that such barriers are not strong, as the symmetry of the stakes makes them easy to pull out of the ground.
It has been proposed that the stakes were lashed in pairs at intervals along a log or beam to form a Cheval de frise. This could be used, as a moveable barrier to bar a gateway. Alternatively, three stakes might be roped together into a defence resembling the Czech hedgehog — a sort of giant caltrop. Defences of this type, employed en masse, can be pushed aside only with difficulty and cannot be collapsed; the advantage of such suggested modes of use is that they are consistent with the symmetry of the stakes and account for the hand grip at the centre, required to bind the stakes together. In the Battle of Mount Algidus, Cincinnatus ordered his men to provide twelve valli each, used them to build a fortification around the Aequi, who were, at the time, surrounding another Roman army. ^ Peterson, Daniel. The Roman Legion Recreated in Colour Photographs. Windrow & Green. ISBN 1-872004-06-7
A crannog is a or artificial island built in lakes and estuarine waters of Scotland and Ireland. Unlike the prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps that were built on the shores and were inundated only on, crannogs were built in the water, thus forming artificial islands. Crannogs were used as dwellings over five millennia, from the European Neolithic Period to as late as the 17th/early 18th century, although in Scotland there is no convincing evidence in the archaeological record of Early and Middle Bronze Age or Norse Period use; the radiocarbon dating obtained from key sites such as Oakbank and Redcastle indicate at a 95.4% confidence level that they date to the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age. The date ranges fall after around 800 BC and so could be considered Late Bronze Age by only the narrowest of margins. Crannogs have been variously interpreted as free-standing wooden structures, as at Loch Tay, although more they exist as brush, stone or timber mounds that can be revetted with timber piles.
However, in areas such as the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, timber was unavailable from the Neolithic era onwards. As a result stone crannogs supporting drystone architecture are common there. Today, crannogs appear as small, circular islets 10 to 30 metres in diameter, covered in dense vegetation due to their inaccessibility to grazing livestock; the Irish word crannóg derives from Old Irish crannóc, which referred to a wooden structure or vessel, stemming from crann, which means "tree", plus a diminutive ending—literally "young tree". The modern sense of the term first appears sometime around the 12th century. There is some confusion on what the term crannog referred to, as the structure atop the island or the island itself; the additional meanings of'crannog' can be variously related as "structure/piece of wood. The Scottish Gaelic form is crannag and has the additional meanings of "pulpit" and "churn", thus there is no real consensus on what the term crannog implies, although the modern adoption in the English language broadly refers to a or artificial islet that saw use from the prehistoric to the Post-Medieval period in Ireland and Scotland.
Crannogs are widespread in Ireland, with an estimated 1,200 examples, while Scotland has 347 sites listed as such. The actual number in Scotland varies depending on definition—between about 350 to 500, due to the use of the term "island dun" for well over one hundred Hebridean examples—a distinction that has created a divide between mainland Scottish crannog and Hebridean islet settlement studies. Unknown crannogs in Scotland and Ireland are still being found as underwater surveys continue to investigate loch beds for submerged examples; the largest concentrations of crannogs in Ireland are found in the Drumlin Belt of the Midlands and Northwest. In Scotland, crannogs are found on the western coast, with high concentrations in Argyll and Dumfries and Galloway. In reality, the Western Isles contain the highest density of lake-settlements in Scotland, yet they are recognised under varying terms besides "crannog". One lone Welsh example at Llangorse Lake exists a product of Irish influence across the Irish Sea.
Reconstructed Irish crannógs are located in County Clare, Ireland. This centre offers guided tours and hands-on activities, including wool-spinning, wood-turning and making fire, holds events to celebrate wild cooking and crafts, hosts yearly Midsummer and Samhain festivals. Crannogs took on many different forms and methods of construction based on what was available in the immediate landscape; the classic image of a prehistoric crannog stems from both post-medieval illustrations and influential excavations such as Milton Loch in Scotland by C. M. Piggot after World War II; the Milton Loch interpretation is of a small islet surrounded or defined at its edges by timber piles and a gangway, topped by a typical Iron Age roundhouse. The choice of a small islet as a home may seem odd today, yet waterways were the main channels for both communication and travel until the 19th century in much of Ireland and Highland Scotland. Crannogs are traditionally interpreted as simple prehistorical farmsteads.
They are interpreted as boltholes in times of danger, as status symbols with limited access and as inherited locations of power that imply a sense of legitimacy and ancestry towards ownership of the surrounding landscape. A strict definition of a crannog, which has long been debated, requires the use of timber. Sites in the Western Isles do not satisfy this criterion, although their inhabitants shared the common habit of living on water. If not classed as "true" crannogs, small occupied islets may be referred to as "island duns", although rather confusingly, 22 islet-based sites are classified as "proper" crannogs due to the different interpretations of the inspectors or excavators who drew up field reports. Hebridean island dwellings or crannogs were built on both natural and artificial islets reached by a stone causeway; the visible structural remains are traditionally interpreted as duns, or in more recent terminology as "Atlantic roundhouses". This terminology has become popular when describing the entire ran
A promontory fort is a defensive structure located above a steep cliff only connected to the mainland by a small neck of land, thus using the topography to reduce the ramparts needed. Although their dating is problematic, most seem to date to the Iron Age, they are found in Brittany, the Orkney Islands, the Isle of Man and Cornwall. Only a few Irish promontory forts have been excavated and most date to the Iron Age, though some, like Dunbeg might have originated in the Bronze Age. Others, like Dalkey Island contain imported Eastern Mediterranean pottery and have been reoccupied and changed in the early medieval period. Some, like Doonmore are associated with the middle ages. Dunbeg contains an early medieval corbelled stone hut. On the Isle of Man promontory forts are found on the rocky slate headlands of the south. Four out of more than 20 have been excavated and several in Santon, can be visited using the Raad ny Foillan coastal footpath. All have a rampart on their vulnerable landward side, excavations at Cronk ny Merriu have shown that access to the fort was via a built gate.
The Scandinavians who arrived in Mann in the eighth and ninth centuries AD sometimes re-used these Iron Age promontory forts obliterating the old domestic quarters with their characteristic rectangular houses. Promontory forts can be found all along the coast of Penwith. Maen Castle, near to Land's End is one of the oldest, having been dated to around 500 BC, they are found in other districts, e.g. The Rumps near Padstow and Dodman Point on the southern Cornish coast as well as Rame Head close to Plymouth. In Devon, Burgh Island and Bolt Tail are located on the south coast and Embury Beacon and Hillsborough on the north coast; the famous site at Tintagel may be a rare example of promontory fort whose occupation continued into the post Roman and from there into periods. Caesar's de Bello Gallico describes the Veneti in southern Armorica – a powerful sea-faring people allied with the southern British during the war of 56 BC – as living in clifftop oppida, their capital was Darioritum on the Morbihan bay, now modern Vannes/Gwened.
The Veneti were linguistically British: they spoke Breton, derived from Cornish, they once ruled Cornwall and Devon. They had close trade ties; when they were attacked by the Romans in Brittany, Julius Caesar reports that Cornwall sent them military aid. Hill fort Nancy Edwards, The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland. Manx National Heritage - Promontory Forts Cronk ny Merriu MNH Maen Castle Retrieved 14 May 2007. Pretanic World - Chart of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Celtic Stone Structures