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The Rock Fort Files, Part Trois

Oh-kayyy, continuing the tour (and referencing some of the comments) from the intro and part two, I showed you the business end of the murder holes above the drawbridge (and which are also featured along the Watch Wall). However, they are *holes* and you wouldn't want your fellow defenders stepping into one while performing guard duty at o'dark thirty, right? To preclude that, you pop murder hole covers on top of 'em. No big deal, until you get to a staircase, right?

Nope. Still no big deal. Just takes a tad more wood.

Okay, looks like everybody's got the theory and practical application (open cover, peer into hole -- if hostile person appears, drop something heavy or sharp on him) of murder holes.

Next up, embrasures. Holes piercing the defensive walls to allow the use of projectile weapons.

Comme çi...

Obviously anticipating the invention of the Maxim

All the embrasures at La Rochepot were originally designed for use with crossbows or arbalests, and when the hand-gonne arrived, said embrasures had to be modified to accommodate the difference in diameter between a quarrel and a barrel.

Okay, somebody asked for a view of the Jungle Room?

They kept the organic bench rest, though.

Hey, kat! This is what a firing port looks like from the *other* side. The extension leaf is original hardware, the staple and retaining pin aren't. Note the triangular opening which allows you to snipe with a crossbow. Pop the port open and you can snipe with a field piece.

A castle's gotta have a donjon, right? In this case, in 1789 or so, the representatives of Liberty, Fraternity and Political Correctness decreed that the donjon had to go. It was plainly a remnant of the aristocracy (despite an ancestral demonstration of Fashion Courage) and, worst of all, it was visible to the townsfolk -- a quotidian reminder that there was -- ummmmm -- a *castle* on top of the hill.

So, they started tearing it down.

Murray will *never* get the trebuchet in there…

Got it 90% demolished and then some unsung genius said, "Hey, if we're gonna turn this place into a tourist attraction two hundred years from now, we've gotta have a donjon for that certain castle je ne sais quoi." Unfortunately, the stone had already gone south to build a manse or a barn or something. So, since they had no hope of restoring the donjon with it's original stone, the baronial (but egalitarian) descendants stuck up a sign saying, "Yeah, this used to be the donjon. Anything else on your mind?"

The present descendants are usually out of town during tourist season. Something about harvesting chips in Monaco...

All righty, then -- to the comments.

Barb, I'm sorry, but I couldn't get into the dungeon -- the door was blocked with comic books, mostly old Asterix and Obelix and pre-1978 Métal Hurlant.

However, I wandered out along the moat (it's *dry*, remember?) and got this shot...

Please Do Not Annoy the Balrog. Oh, yes – * looking * at him annoys him…

Cricket - the kitchen's thirty feet wide and extends for most of the length of the east wall, which is probably seventy feet long. Five stoves and a scad of copperware.

NevadaDailySteve - If there was ever any stained glass in the chapel windows, it fell victim to the ages, but there's more edged weaponry in the armory and barracks than you can shake a stick at -- although our cute li'l tour guide said that most of the goodies were sold off in the 1960's to defray operating expenses. No interior pix allowed -- they sell 'em in the gift shop, though, to take care of those pesky operating expenses. Along with miniature knights, field pieces and toy Airbus A-380s. *shrug*

BCR - No Albigensians were harmed during the production of this post. Final editing was accomplished using recycled carbon-neutral electrons. Ummmm -- just don't ask about the balrog and methane, okay?

Murray - A castle isn't *quite* like a monastery. Monasteries don't generate Comment Parties and Castles *do*. As in, below. At least, I *think* it's a Comment Party -- they're obviously communicating...

Warning: Extremely Work Unsafe, unless you happen to work at the National Gallery, the Tate, the Guggenheim, the Louvre...

8 Comments

Oh, that's just Euro-art, Bill. That's okay!
 
One word. Pronounced "Feh-SEE'-shus"...
   
Well, yeah, I knew the dude with the dinky horns and cloven tootsies was a satyr (all those extra syllables a Kansas thing?), but I hadn't realized that oreads were so zahf'tĭg. Kinda kicks the definition of sylph-like in the kneecap...
 
A satyr and sylph Decided to play On a keg of wine One Bacchanal day. They rolled and they tumbled A good time was had Until they got to the barrel and lo, they were sad. For so immersed in their play and intense their desire They forgot that others would also require A drink.
 
Wheeee! Cricket's giving Cassie some competition!
 
Technically, I'm not sure those qualify as murder holes. They look more like angled embrasures for archers, arbalesters and/or gunners to directly sweep the drawbridge. I've always heard the term "murder holes" applied only to vertical holes in the ceiling of the entry tunnel, just inside the drawbridge. Attackers bust the drawbridge/door, rush in, get stopped by the portcullis, and then the defenders drop all sorts of nasty things down through the holes. Boiling water, hot sand, rocks, stuff like that.
 
Wolf - Technically, you're absolutely right about the drawbridge -- a murder hole is an opening in a floor, rather than a wall, and were most commonly used in the vaulting over the entry passageway. Also technically, I think they're called machicolations (if that's the proper spelling) when they're incorporated into the overhang. But "murder hole" just sorta resonates, doesn't it?