7 Moat Around Castle Facts

What is a Moat? Is Moat used for Defense? What are the Drawbacks? What is Water Moat?
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Remember all those princess stories with beautiful castles surrounded by moats? Well, did you know that these water moats were not just for decoration? They were actually trying to keep these princesses of yours safe and sound. How so? Let’s read about moat around castle and moat around house further in this article.

1. Description of Moat around Castle

Before you start talking about a castle, you need to first know what is a moat? A moat is like a ditch, pressure around the castle, city wall, or other forts, often but not always flooded with water. This formed an important part of the defense system. So moat around castle is mostly meant for protection purposes in ancient history. (Also read Why Was Angkor Wat Built?)

2. Definition of Water Moat

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Moats may or may not be filled with water. A moat filled with water is referred to as a water moat.  These moats were common for castles, whereas moats without water were more popular for houses. A moat with water is more effective than a dry one in terms of defense. (Also read Legend of the Pretzel)

3. History of Moat around Castle 

In the medieval period, moats were built around castles. You have heard various medieval stories where moats built were filled with water and alligators in it. 

  • The Medieval Principles were intended to prevent unwanted criminals in the form of modern security standards. But they were attractive, too, so people regarded them as character symbols.
  • The medieval castle moat was very important among the fortresses for protection during the time of William the Conqueror. The moats of the medieval castle not only chased away the invading army but also provided valuable time for the defenders who refused to devise subsequent defensive tactics.
  • In all certainty, ancient moats were indeed filled with water quite often, but the alligator part of the story is certainly a myth. These moats were sometimes filled with fish, which was served as food. (Also read 4 Interesting Black Friday History Myths and Facts)

4. Construction of Moat around Castle

A moat and its structure in medieval times were the most important part of the fortress. The canal’s existence was a natural consequence of the reinforcement methods. The trench was produced by the removal of the ground to form a fence.

So the first requirement for constructing a canal was to reach a water source. For this reason, it was common to build castles near a water source such as a river, stream, or lake. A special dam was built to carry water to the ancient fortress. The depth of the medieval castle moat can be up to 30 feet, while it can be up to 12 feet wide. (Also read What Causes Potholes?)

5. Use of Moats

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  • The most important purpose of the medieval castle was to protect. The moat surrounding the fortress made it difficult to approach its walls to obtain siege weapons, including siege towers and ramparts.
  • In addition, moats in the medieval castle also served as an important barrier against the practice of digging tunnels under the castle’s walls to get into the castle.
  • There were several types of medieval castle moats, including intersecting canals that separated the different parts of the castle and the neck of the canals, which were dry holes. (Also read How Does Dynamite Work?)

6. Purpose of Moat around House

The effectiveness of moat built in earlier days implemented the concept in houses as well. Nowadays moats are not made in houses to serve the same purpose of defending houses against the enemy. It fulfills the traditional purpose of guarding the house by keeping its roots in mind. But today’s architecture also plays an important part in it as people want a bit of nature inside their house. So moat around castle is not an exclusive thing.

It gives a viewing satisfaction keeping the water close to your houses and also gives a sense of security based on the historical benefits of medieval moats. Moats in today’s time are basically concrete stepping stones whereas traditionally moats were built and crossed with a simple drawbridge. (Also read What Is The Purpose Of A Totem Pole?)

7. How Bridges are used by early Defenders?

There were various ways to conquer the medieval castle canal during the invasion. Once the ditch was dry, it was filled with wooden poles, stones, and other materials until the moat was successfully crossed. A temporary bridge, sometimes called a tow bridge, was used to cross the medieval castle canals.

One more way was by sailing across the ditch to the walls of the castle. In any case, it has been a long time since defenders refused to use it to their advantage. (Also read Ninja vs Samurai)

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