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posted 07-05-2004 11:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyCordelia   Click Here to Email LadyCordelia     Edit/Delete Message
When it rained on a castle, did the battlements flood?
It rained really hard out here the other day, and that got me wondering...

posted 07-05-2004 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ipflo   Click Here to Email ipflo     Edit/Delete Message

a simple and good question.

and i don't have a clue, what they exactly did against the water in the old castles. On the moment I am looking quickly in Burgenkunde by Otto Piper. it has a one chapter only about water, and it doesn't say anything about it. It mostly discusses about what they did to get water in the castle, how they make a springs etc. So i think that when it flooded, they probably did everything to lead the water to a sort of spring or fountain in the castle.


posted 07-05-2004 03:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
As Ipflo said, an interesting question.
Which in part should be answered with;
it depends where the castle is.
Hotter climes would have a very sophisticated system to channel every spare drop of water to underground cisterns. Never under estimate what could be done in those medieval times.
I know of one castle in northern Italy where the water cistern there could be opened to flood a dry moat surrounding the castle. Though what they used for drinking etc afterwards I'm not sure !
But rest assured, it was something that was dealt with with soak aways, gulleys etc to lead water to wherever it was, or was not required.

posted 07-06-2004 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Maria   Click Here to Email Maria     Edit/Delete Message
How about Gargoyles? They are showy, but I'm not sure how useful they were.

posted 07-09-2004 05:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Levan   Click Here to Email Levan     Edit/Delete Message
It depends on the castle design. The battlements at Castle Levan frequently flooded when it rained - and it certainly rains in Scotland!

The battlements are in essence a rather large gutter. Just like properly installed guttering, the floor of the battlements has a very slight slope so that the water runs away to a pair of large drains located in opposite corners of the castle. These drains run down the inside of the walls and are joined by the outlets from the garderobes - the rain water effectively acting as a flushing mechanism for the toilets (today the toilets have outlets to modern plastic pipes - but these still run down the inside of the original drain).

At the bottom of the walls the drains had an outlet to a sluice running to the burn (stream) which runs a few meters down to the sea.

So that the battlements didn't flood too much, there are also slots in the wall a few centimetres above the battlement floor. Some castles had chutes and gargoyles to propel surplus water beyond the sides of the walls (so the walls didn't get too wet), but at Castle Levan they're just plain slots - the main drains being more than sufficient to handle the water levels.

Hope this helps.

posted 07-09-2004 03:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LadyCordelia   Click Here to Email LadyCordelia     Edit/Delete Message
Yes. That satisfies my curiosity very much. Thank you.

[This message has been edited by LadyCordelia (edited 07-09-2004).]

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