Forum:Medieval Life And Culture
Topic:where do falcons live?
Want to register?
Who Can Post? Any registered users may post a reply.
About Registration You must be registered in order to post a topic or reply in this forum.
Posting Tips: You will receive a much better response to your questions if you include your age and as much detail as possible. Both of these things allows a person to give you an answer specific to your question and age group.
Your UserName:
Your Password:   Forget your password?
Message Icon:                                           
Your Reply:

*UBB Code is ON
[IMG] UBB Code Not Allowed!

Options Show Signature: include your profile signature. Only registered users may have signatures.

If you have previously registered, but forgotten your password, click here.

*If HTML and/or UBB Code are enabled, this means you can use HTML and/or UBB Code in your message.

T O P I C     R E V I E W
deborahknowlesDoes anyone know the name for the building where falcons were kept in medieval castles? I don't suppose it was an aviary but I may be wrong... Thanks.

"She was full more blissful on to see Than is the newe perejonette tree"


The traditional name for the place where falconers kept their birds is the 'mews'. This name has now been adopted to mean a courtyard building in modern English but this is the origin of the word.

Originally meant to signify the place where the hawks and falcons were kept while they moulted (ie when they couldn't be flown).

I don't think there was any particular type of building for the mews. They could be temporary wooden structures or more permanent stone buildings. Modern falconers still use this term for the place where they keep their birds.

It is claimed that Emperor Frederick II (who was a fanatical but also scientific falconer and was responsible for a famous treatise of falconry as well as commissioning scientific expeditions to find breeding grounds of migratory birds) kept falcons in a luxurious mews on the top floor of Castle del Monte in Southern Italy.



PaulVery interesting ElCid and thanks for that.

I know that I've read somewhere that the lord or king of a castle would have his favourite hawk sleep on its perch in his bed chamber and I've been searching my library since to no avail.
You mentioned moulting, apparently that is where we get the word "Haggard" from.
One is tempted to say it refers to an ugly bird.


deborahknowlesYes, of course, mews!
Thanks to you both!

"She was full more blissful on to see Than is the newe perejonette tree"

ElCidHere is a page from a facsimile of the treatise on falconry I mentioned, commissioned in the original by Frederick II

The large number of terms, phrases and general words in the English language that originate from falconry terms (eg 'fed-up' 'cadger' 'hood-winked' 'haggard' as mentioned) are interesting survivals. The importance of falconry in the medieval period as an elite sport and as a means of catching food to eat is hard to imagine nowadays.

The fact that so many common phrases survive in common language is perhaps a measure of the universal importance it had.

Does this survival of falconry terms survive in other European languages as it does in English?

The most sought after birds (eg the Gyrfalcon - a large white falcon breeding in the arctic) had a very high value in the middle ages due to their rarity.

Falcons and hawks were rarely bred in captivity (as they are today) but had to be taken from wild breeding birds either as young in the nests or as adults caught in nets. Protection of wild breeding falcons and hawks on royal and other gentry estates was common with severe penalties for theft.

As wealthy Arab sheikhs do today, I'm sure medieval lords lavished vast sums on their falconry.



deborahknowlesThanks for all that again.

I know that the gyrfalcon could only be flown by a king. I think queens and princes got peregrines.

"She was full more blissful on to see Than is the newe perejonette tree"

Contact Us | Castles on the Web

Powered by: Ultimate Bulletin Board (UltimateBB), Version 5.40
© Infopop Corporation (formerly Madrona Park, Inc.), 1998-1999.

Castles on the WebHome
Castles on the WebIntroduction
Castles on the WebCastle Quest
Castles on the WebSite of the Day
Castles on the WebCastle Tours
Castles on the WebCastle Collections
Castles on the WebNew Sites
Castles on the WebPopular Sites
Castles on the WebPhoto Archive
Castles on the WebMiscellaneous
Castles on the WebCastles for Kids
Castles on the WebCastle Glossary
Castles on the WebPalaces & Homes
Castles on the WebMedieval Studies
Castles on the WebAccommodations
Castles on the WebTop Rated
Castles on the WebCastle Postcards
Castles on the WebHeraldry Links
Castles on the WebMyths & Legends
Castles on the WebOrganizations
Castles on the WebCastle Books
Castles on the WebAbbeys & Churches
Castles on the WebWeapons/Supplies
Castles on the WebRandom Site
Castles on the WebAdd A Castle Site
Castles on the WebAcknowledgements
Castles on the WebSearch Options
Castles on the WebPlease Help Us!
Castles on the WebPlease Link To Us
Castles on the WebContact Us

Castles on the Web Copyright 1995- | Privacy Policy