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Author Topic:   Besieging a castle!
posted 09-09-2001 11:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bev     Edit/Delete Message
Dear Sir,

Do you have any information on how Castle's were besieged??

If a Castle was besieged today would the people who besieged it be able to claim it as their own??

Many thanks,


Senior Member
posted 09-09-2001 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Radella     Edit/Delete Message
The thing about the main time in which castles were used was that you couldn't claim a castle until you could get through the walls and overpower the beseiged force or if the beseiged force gave up or so many died due to lack of food and good water that they couldn't hold up the deffences anymore. With the castles with so many residents (many knowing how to fight) it was impossible to just strut up to the castle and inform the Lord that you were taking over. THats all that I know, but I also know that there are many on this site that know A LOT more than I do. They can answer all your questions thoroughly. Good luck!

posted 09-09-2001 02:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bev     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for your reply,

I was wondering if there were any laws still in place regarding besiegeing a Castle??

posted 09-09-2001 06:44 PM           Edit/Delete Message
A castle seige would be an unlikely event these days unless we are talking about a war situation. Even then it would be unlikely to last long since modern weaponry could destroy most castle fairly easily. Even attempting to take a castle intact would be a little pointless since your enemy could return with that same weaponry and blast you out. Castles were built in times when weapons were relatively simple by comparison. This is one reason why they are no longer built.
However to answer the topic more directly, no.
Where the law of the land is still in force, you would have taken someone elses property without their consent, and it would be taken from you. Possession no longer means ownership.
In a war situation, if you did take it rather than destroy it, then it would belong to you as long as you could prevent it being taken back.
Beseiging a castle these days would be the same as beseiging someones house...you would go to jail....if you were caught.

'Demeure par la verite'
Visit; Gordon's Scottish Castles Resource Page

Senior Member
posted 09-10-2001 04:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Merlin   Click Here to Email Merlin     Edit/Delete Message
Even in medieval times, a successfull siege often wasn't enough to become owner of an enemies castle! If a local nobleman would take his neighbour's castle and possessions, the Count or even the Earl of that area had to look for peace and try to garant anyones property. So you could only be successfull if the Count, Earl or the King himself supported you and if you had a claim (real or a good invented one) to the castle. There were always a lot of such claims when the last male descendant of a powerfull family died. And there have been much more local wars and violent takeovers of castles if there was temoprarily no King or Earl in a kingdom or earldom. Best example: The 'interregnum' in the holy roman empire, from 1250 until 1273, when hundreds of castles and cities were besieged by powerfull counts and bishops, who tried to profit from the situation that there was no rightfull King...


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