This Is The Technical Reason Why Stairs In Medieval Castles Were Always Built In A Clockwise Direction


Visiting Medieval Castles always makes you awe at the ingenious architecture and the masterful design. There is always some part of history attached to the stone walls and the intricate floor map. But have you ever though why these spiraling stairs were always made in a clockwise direction? Surely it wasn’t just for aesthetics, and today we are going point out some of the secrets behind this particular style of construction.

The basic reason behind the design of the castle was to provide maximum protection to the inhabitants. The hidden secrets of the looping, narrow and clockwise stairwells was also to act as a defender against the approaching armies.

Pic Credits: thevintagenews

Any attacker who approached the castle usually used their right hand to hold the sword. When running on the stair, using the sword against the interior curve was very difficult, and often used to get broken down by the wall when attempting an exuberant strike. On the other side, the defenders held their sword on the outside wall, meaning they had free room to swing.

The stairs were also made to be uneven in height, some of them were tall, and others were short. While the inhabitants of the castle were familiar with the uncertainties of the patterns, and moving down them is relatively easier than moving up, the attackers would always get bogged down and fall in the dimly lit stairwell. This slowed down their attacks and helped in pushing off the surge.

Pic Credits: thevintagenews

Certainly, a lot of thought went into making these stairs the way they were! Have any other explanation for the medieval staircases? Comment below!


1 Comment

  1. James Smith Reply

    Your explanation makes a certain amount of sense. The first picture shows a counter clockwise staircase.

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