Medieval tower house plans

Medieval tower house plans DEFAULT

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Image Gallery of 22 Spectacular Castle House Plans With Towers

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22 Spectacular Castle House Plans With Towers


Castle Floor Plans, Blueprints, House Plans & Layouts

Our collection of castle floor plans are full of lavish details that maximize luxury and feature smart amenities at every turn.

Castle floor plans are designed to impress. These upscale house designs make a bold statement with their steeply pitched mansard rooflines, complex facades, tall chimneys, and corner turrets. Stone, brick, and stucco are common materials used on the exterior of these swoon-worthy home designs. Other decorative exterior elements include towers, cast-iron cresting, and balconies. Castle floor plans feature functional floor plans with a large island kitchen (with plenty of room for casual seating) that open to the spacious great room. Some of these opulent house plans sport open dining rooms, while others feature a more formal dining space (great for hosting a dinner party). With elegant outdoor living spaces (that include fun features like an outdoor kitchen or stone fireplace), castle floor plans boast plenty of space for relaxing and entertaining when the weather is favorable. Some castle floor plans feature an in-law suite or another private and comfortable space for family and guests. Looking to build your forever home? Many of our castle floor plans have the master suite located on the main-level making it easier to age in place. You may also be interested in our collection of luxury house plans.

Architectural features of Castle Floor Plans include:

  • stone, brick, and stucco
  • decorative exterior elements, e.g. towers/turrets
  • large, functional island kitchens
  • formal dining spaces
  • chic outdoor living
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Castle House Plans

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Tower house

Type of stone structure, built for defensive and habitation purposes

This article is about stone structures in general. For the house designed by William Burges in London, see The Tower House. For the Grade II-listed building in Brighton, see Tower House, Brighton.

A tower house is a particular type of stone structure, built for defensive purposes as well as habitation.[1] Tower houses began to appear in the Middle Ages, especially in mountainous or limited access areas, in order to command and defend strategic points with reduced forces. At the same time, they were also used as an aristocrat's residence, around which a castle town was often constructed.


Further information: Tower houses in Britain and Ireland, Welsh Tower houses, and Tower houses in the Balkans

After their initial[citation needed] appearance in Ireland, Scotland, Basque Country and England during the High Middle Ages, tower houses were also built in other parts of western Europe, especially in parts of France and Italy. In Italian medieval communes, urban palazzi with a very tall tower were increasingly built by the local highly competitive patrician families as power centres during times of internal strife. Most north Italian cities had a number of these by the end of the Middles Ages, but few now remain, notably two towers in Bologna and fourteen secular towers in the small city of San Gimignano in Tuscany now the best group to survive.

Scotland has many fine examples of medieval tower houses, including Crathes Castle, Craigievar Castle and Castle Fraser, and in the unstable Scottish Marches along the border between England and Scotland the peel tower was the typical residence of the wealthy, with others being built by the government. In seventeenth century Scotland these castles became the pleasurable retreats of the upper-classes. While able to adopt a military nature, they were furnished for comfort and social interaction.[2]

Tower houses are very commonly found in northern Spain, especially in the Southern Basque Country, some of them dating back to the 8th century. They were mainly used as noble residences and were able to provide shelter against several enemies, starting with the Arabs and later Castile and Aragon. However, due to complex legal charters, few had boroughs attached to them, and that is why they are usually found standing alone in some strategic spot like a crossroad, rather than on a height. During the petty wars among the Basque nobles from to , the upper floors (with defensive capacity) of most of them were demolished. Few have survived unscathed to the present day. Since then they have been used only as residences by their traditional noble owners (Saint Ignatius of Loyola was born in one of them, which stands to this day) or converted into farm houses.

To the west of the Basque Country, in Cantabria and Asturias similar tower houses are found. Furthest west in the Iberian peninsula in Galicia, medieval tower houses are in the origin of many Modern Agepazos, noble residences as well as strongholds.

A feature peculiar to Germany are the few preserved tower houses of Ratisbon, reminiscent of those in San Gimignano.

In the Balkans, a distinctive type of tower house (kule) was built during the Ottoman occupation, developed in the 17th century by both Christians and Muslims in a period of decline of Ottoman authority and insecurity.[3] The tower house served the purpose of protecting the extended family.[4]

In the Baltic states, the Teutonic Order and other crusaders erected fortified tower houses in the Middle Ages, locally known as "vassal castles", as a means of exercising control over the conquered areas. These tower houses were typically not intended to be used in any major military actions; for this purpose the crusaders relied on a number of larger order castles. A number of such tower houses still exist, well-preserved examples include Purtse, Vao and Kiiu castles in Estonia.

North Caucasus and Asia[edit]

Further information: Vainakh tower architecture and Svan towers

Old architecture in Shibam, Yemen

One theory suggests that private tower-like structures proliferate in areas where central authority is weak, leading to a need for a status symbol incorporating private defences against small-scale attacks. For example, the North Caucasus was a country where fierce competition over limited natural resources led to chronic feuding between neighbours. There are numerous examples of tower houses in Svanetia, Chechnya and Ingushetia, where a clanlike social structure survived well into the 20th century. Numerous examples of Svan tower houses are found in Chazhashi and Ushguli. See Vainakh tower architecture for details.

The Yemeni city of Shibam has hundreds of tower houses, some of which are among the tallest mud buildings in the world. Many other buildings in the Asir and Al-Bahah provinces of Saudi Arabia also have many stone towers and tower houses, called a "qasaba".

Similarly, hundreds of Tibetan tower houses dot the so-called Tribal Corridor in Western Sichuan, some 50 metres high with as many as 13 star-like points, and the oldest are thought to be 1, years old. They appear to have been created as much for prestige among village families as for defence.

Kaiping and some other towns in South China retain a plethora of watchtowers, or diaolous. Although they were built mainly as protection against forays by bandits, many of them also served as living quarters. Some of them were built by a single family, some by several families together or by entire village communities.

North America[edit]

Most notable in the New World might be considered a focal element of the Mesa VerdeAnasazi ruin in Colorado, United States.[5] There is a prominent structure at that site which is in fact called the "tower house" and has the general appearance characteristics of its counterparts in Britain and Ireland. This four-storey building was constructed of adobe bricks about AD, and its rather well preserved ruins are nestled within a cliff overhang; moreover, other accounts date this ruin somewhat earlier. The towers of the ancient Pueblo people are, however, both of smaller ground plan than Old World tower houses, and are generally only parts of complexes housing communities, rather than isolated structures housing an individual family and their retainers, as in Europe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^Sidney Toy&#;[Wikidata] () Castles: Their Construction and History, Courier Dover Publications, ISBN&#; (reissue of Castles: a short history of fortification from B.C. to A.D. ; London: Heinemann, )
  2. ^A. Mackechnie, "'For friendship and conversation': Martial Scotland's Domestic Castles". Architectural Heritage XXVI (), pp. 14,
  3. ^Grube-Mitchell , p. "a distinctive form of defensive tower-dwelling, the kula, developed among both the Christian and the Muslim communities during the insecure period of the decline of the Ottoman authority in the 17th century "
  4. ^Greville Pounds , p. "In southeastern Europe, where the extended family was exemplified as nowhere else in the western world, the home itself was often protected, giving rise to the kula or tower- house."
  5. ^Tower house structure at Mesa Verde

External links[edit]


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