The End of Castles

The End of Castles


All four photographs show why castles were doomed. The earliest cannons (top left corner) and the smallest mortars (bottom left corner) to the much larger mortar (top right corner) and the large cannon (background of bottom right) were all capable of inflicting damage on castle walls. The smaller cannons were barely effective, but they grew into much larger weapons that could knock down a castle wall with sustained gun fire. Though they were far from reliable, these weapons could knock down walls and they made castle building an irrelevance. Gunpowder outdid stone. Why spend a fortune on building a castle which could be blown apart, when you could spend the money on developing your artillery (as cannon became known as)?

Mortars, as seen in the top right and bottom left hand pictures , were used to fire cannonballs over walls into a courtyard to kill soldiers and cause general damage. Cannon, in the top left hand and bottom right hand pictures, were used to shoot cannonballs directly into castle walls.

Castle defences were of little help against continuous cannon fire. The use of rounded walls could deflect a cannon ball but this would only be by luck. If a cannon ball hit a rounded tower face on, it would still do much damage.

MLA Citation/Reference

"The End of Castles". 2014. Web.

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