Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Tower houses

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Tower houses
    Posted: 23-Feb-2013 at 14:41
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/91/HallbarTower5.jpg/450px-HallbarTower5.jpg
Not every castle was the residence of a king or nobleman. In Northern England and on the Scottish borders, many farmhouses were fortified to defend against cattle thieves. These buildings typically had thick walls, a door above the ground, and a secure lower level for livestock. Small windows provided firing ports for arrows, battlements on the roof enabled the defenders to drop rocks on the raiders, and the upper levels were accessed not by stairs, but by ladders which could be quickly pulled up to prevent attackers capturing the building
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2013 at 14:33
Bastle house, named after the Bastille in France. The door at the top of the staircase is the entrance to the living quarters. The lower level was used to shelter the cattle
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/black-middens-bastle-house
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2013 at 11:40
Cross section of bastle house. These differed from tower houses as they only had two levels
http://www.biggararchaeology.org.uk/rp_bastlehouse.shtml
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
Mountain Man View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar

Joined: 16-Aug-2012
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 873
  Quote Mountain Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Feb-2013 at 17:08
They were popular with warlords, too.  Frankly, though, I'm doubtful of their ability to withstand much of a siege.  Not enough capacity for the necessary food supplies.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2013 at 12:23
Border reiver clans preferred hit-and-run tactics over siege warfare: if one farmstead was well defended they would simply attack another
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
Phoenix Rising View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 28-Feb-2013
Location: Durham, England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4
  Quote Phoenix Rising Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2013 at 08:08
Hi folks - new to the forum (have put a hello post in the intro section), but as I'm very interested in Border History and the Reivers, thought this might be a good place to start! From my understanding of the way these towers were built and the tactics employed, the basic thought seems to have been 'pull the ladder in and hope they get bored with trying to get in'. I don't think that they would have withstood a major seige, but borderers were more concerned with easier pickings were they could find them, and the cattle / sheep etc were certainly those. They did however employ a tactic known as 'scumfishing', whereby they basically went onto the roof and tried to prise the stone tiles off, therefore giving them access to the upper story.
 
It wasn't unknown for a family, if they had prior warning of a raid that might involve this sort of thing, to pack the tower full of peat and set light to it. Basically it would render the structure unusable to the raiders, but when they'd gone the family could come back, let the fire burn out or put it out, and then clean up and live there again!
 
Ah, the 'reivin times, they are a'callin...Smile
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2013 at 09:05
The landscape was certainly ideal for hiding cattle from other clans. There are some who equate the lawless borders with the Wild West
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.141 seconds.