Description of the Buttress
The stone used to build Medieval Castles was extremely heavy. The weight of the ceilings would tend to buckle the walls outward and large piles of stone would be stacked along the wall in intervals to buttress (or support) the walls from pushing outward - these piles of stones became distinct features of Romanesque Architecture and buttresses were introduced to the basic design. The great stone fortresses with their thick, heavy walls were supported by the development of buttresses.


  • What was the Origin, Meaning or Definition of the Buttress
  • Description of a castle Buttress
  • What was the purpose of the Buttress?
  • How many types of Castle Buttress existed?
  • When was the Castle Buttress introduced?


Different types of Buttress
There are five types of buttress which were used in Medieval architecture:

  • The Clasping buttress
  • The Set-back buttress
  • The Diagonal buttress
  • The Angle buttress
  • The Flying buttress

Purpose of the Buttress
The purpose of the Buttress was to make a castle wall stronger and defensible by reinforcing with a buttress.

The Introduction of the Buttress
The buttress was introduced with Norman and Plantagenet castles during the Medieval period 1066 - 1485. The old Medieval Castles were a symbol of wealth and power and were often the centre of historic battles and Medieval sieges. These great old castles were built for Medieval warfare and defence and new parts of the castle were designed accordingly! This section of ‘Castles’ provides interesting facts and information about the many different parts of Castles! The buttress was an essential part of castle architecture.


Parts of a Castle

  • What were the purpose of the different parts of the Medieval Castle?
  • What was the difference between the parts of a castle called the Garderobe and the Wardrobe?
  • Identifying parts of a castle - Description, purpose and function of the Moat, Dungeon and Portcullis
  • Description, purpose and function of the Barbican, Gatehouse, Crenellations and Drawbridge
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