The Language of Authority

The Expression of Status in the Scottish Medieval Castle

The forms and appearances of Scottish medieval castles are the products of an architectural style centred on the representation of social status.

The architectural features had both military and symbolic functions. As a type of fortification, the real strength of castle architecture lay in its symbolic, not military, value. The castle physically represented the socio-political authority of the castle holder.As a symbol of authority, the visual appearance of the castle was synonymous with the castle hoider's claim of lordship. Thus, the communication of "strength" through architectural forms supported the credibility of the castle holder's authority.

This expression forms thebasis of the "castle style" of architecture.

Read the full thesis HERE

M. Justin McGrail

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