Arch – A structure that spans a space and supports structure and the weight above it. Usually used to describe a number of features in a castle including windows, doors, blind arches in walls etc. Can be round headed – semi-circular, segmental – partly circular, pointed – arching to a central point. Sometimes with a large keystone.
Arrow Loop – A narrow vertical slit cut into a wall through which lights and air could circulate within the castle. Arrows could be fired from the inside.
Bailey – The ward or courtyard inside the castle walls, includes exercise area, parade ground, emergency corral.
Barbican – The gateway or outworks to a castle.
Barrel vault – Cylindrical roof in the shape of a half barrel.
Batter – An sometimes steeply sloping base of the castle wall or walls associated with the castle.
Battlement – The very top of the castle walls often crowned with raised portions (merlons) between crennellations (the gaps); a narrow wall built along the outer edge of the wall walk for protection against attack.
Biodiversity – the diversity of life, The diversity of all the organisms that occur on Earth. Biodiversity includes the diversity of: Individuals within a species (genetic diversity), species within an ecosystem or habitat (species diversity) and ecosystem or habitats (habitat diversity).
Curtain Wall – A enclosing wall hung surrounding the castle and bailey.
Corbel – A projecting block of stone built into a wall during construction; step-wise construction, as in an arch, roof, etc.
Donjon – A great tower, the residence of the lord.
Drawbridge – A heavy timber platform built to span a moat between a gatehouse and surrounding land or a stone platform and pit that could be raised when required to block an entrance.
Ecology – The branch of Biology that deals with the relations of organisms (living things) to one another and to their physical surroundings.
Ecosystem – A community of organisms all interacting with each other. Complex – it involves all sorts of different species and different groups of species e.g. in a woodland it includes: the birds nesting in the trees; the lichens living on the trees; the tree leaves rotting on the ground and the fungi living on them; the insects living in the trees etc.
Ecosystem Services – All benefits humans receive from ecosystems
Footings – Base of a wall usually used when only the base of the wall remains.
Forebuilding – A smaller building through which the focal building of a site, usually the donjon can be accessed.
Fosse – Ditch.
Garderobe – Technically a dressing room but used to describe a latrine (toilet) either built into the thickness of the wall or projected out from it.
Habitat – The home environment of an organism or a number of organisms. Some species only found in one type of habitat e.g. a whale only found in the sea. Some species are found in a few habitats e.g. some grass species found in both open fields and woodlands.
Jamb – Side posts of arch, door, or window.
Joist – Wall-to-wall timber beams to support floor boards.
Joist-socket – The aperture when the ‘joist’ fitted into the wall, usually square.
Keep – The main tower; now more commonly known as a donjon.
Light – Glazing component part of window, the area which could potentially hold glass.
Lintel – Horizontal stone or beam bridging an opening.
Loop – Narrow, tall opening for light, air or sometimes considered for shooting arrows.
Moat – A deep trench usually filled with water that surrounded a castle.
Mural-stair – Staircase built into the thickness of a wall. Mural meaning ‘of the wall’.
Offset – Ledge marking the narrowing of a wall’s thickness, sometimes used to support a floor.
Oilette – A round opening at the base of a loop.
Parapet – Low wall on outer side of main wall which encloses the wall-walk.
Portcullis – A heavy timber or metal grill at a castle entrance and could be raised or lowered from within the castle. It dropped vertically between grooves to block passages, entrances within the castle or gatehouse.
Rear-arch – Arch on the inner side of a wall or window.
Relieving arch – Arch built in the fabric of a wall for extra support and to relieve pressure.
Voussoir – Wedge-shaped stones in arch.
Wall-plate – Bracket to hold roof –timbers.
Wall-walk – Passage along castle wall; may be roofed, behind the parapet.