Classic Castle dot Com



Lexicon: A-B

by Kevin Blocksidge, 20 Sept. 2003, Updated 9 Nov. 2003

Ever wonder what a machicolation is? Do you get the words “crenel” and “merlon” mixed up? Here you will find the first in a series of articles dealing with many terms relevant to castles. Each term is accompanied by a simple definition and an illustration made out of LEGO.

Allure- The walk way around a curtain wall.

Arcade- A range of arches.

Arch- The head of an opening.

Arrow Slit- A narrow slit in castle walls to fire arrows through.

Ashlar- Blocks of smooth, squared stone used on walls that had rubble as the primary construction material.

Attiliator- A crossbow maker.

Bailey- A defended courtyard surrounded by the castle walls. Also called a ward.

Batter- The thickening of a wall for strength and support. Can also be called a plinth.

Battlement- Jagged stonework protection the allure. Can also be called crenellation.

Belfry- A wooden tower mounted on wheels. They often had drop-bridges on top, allowing attackers to cross over the castle walls.

Bellcote- Small roofed housing for a bell.

Berm- The space between the wall and the moat.

Buttress- A narrow support to a wall. Sometimes added after a weakness was detected.

That’s it for A-B. If you think that I’ve missed an important term, that I’ve defined something incorrectly, or that I am simply a big doofus, please e-mail me at

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