The myth of the motte and bailey castle in Scotland
An assessment of medieval earthwork fortifications in Scotland and their relationship to traditional Anglo-Norman motte and bailey castles, and earlier Scottish sites....
Amongst the most interesting features of Burgos castle are the medieval well, siege tunnels and counter mines that have been preserved below the surface.The well was dug in order to provide a reliable water supply for the castle in the 12th or 13th century and was excavated deep into the bedrock on which the castle was built.
The main well is some 1.7 metres wide and goes down 63.5 metres until reaching the natural water table underground at this depth. Castle wells are not unusual on a European level although in Spain water storage cisterns both below ground and above ground to collect rainwater are just as common as wells. What makes the Burgos well special though is the ashlar spiral staircase that runs alongside the well, deep into the ground, to provide maintenance access to the deepest part of the well.
The well shaft itself has been lined with finely cut ashlar blocks for the whole depth and include slits at regular intervals that provide a degree of natural light from within the well shaft into the adjoining spiral staircases that otherwise would be completely devoid of daylight.
If the presence of a deep spiral stair alongside a well shaft wasn't remarkable enough, the arrangement of these stairs is exceptional. Burgos pozoThe spiral stair and well shaft were constructed as a single engineering project with the ashlar blocks cut from a single block of stone where the curve of the stair and the well shaft meets. The stairs are constructed in six stages, each one about 10 metres deep, with a connecting corridor at each stage linking to the next length of spiral staircase.
Author: Peter A Burton
Article and Image Source: http://www.castlesofspain.co.uk/
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