The Floor Plan for every Medieval Castle was different but there were some rules of thumb that they pretty much all followed. Here are some guidelines to help you draw a castle floor plan that is realistic and attractive.
Whether you are drawing a castle floor plan for a school project, a website, or a board game it can be difficult to find good information on some of the more important points of why and how medieval castles were built.
There are two very important aspects of a castle that you have to consider when drawing out your castle floor plan. The first is the concept of concentric circles and the second is the thought that a castle needed to be self-sufficient for long periods of time.
The Concept of Concentric Circles
This is a very important aspect of castle design. It is the concept of putting lines of defense inside each other. This way an attacking army had to overcome an obstacle and when they did that they still had another obstacle to overcome. This is how a typical castle would be built. Around the castle would be a large area clear of all brush and trees. Then there would be a moat, then an outer wall, an inner wall, then finally the keep. All of these obstacles would have to be broken by an attacking army one at a time.
Here is how you draw it:
- Draw a large circle on your piece of paper. This is the area around the castle that is cleared of all trees and brush.
- Draw a rectangle in the middle of your clearing. Make it about three quarters the size of the clearing. This is your outer wall. Around this outer wall draw a band about an inch or two thick in blue. This is the moat.
- Now draw another rectangle inside your outer wall. This is the inner wall and the castle proper. In this area there would be many of the rooms and functions of your mini self-sufficient village.
- Finally, make the top third of the last rectangle you draw into the Keep. This is the last line of defense for your castle. In this rectangle would go some basic rooms like the main hall, living quarters, dining hall and armory.
- Most of your other rooms and functions would go in the courtyard between the inner wall and the keep. These rooms would be formed along the walls all the way around the inside of the rectangle.
The Concept of Self Sufficiency
A castle had to have everything needed for the occupants to survive inside without any help from the outside world for a long period of time. This was because a major tool of any attacking army was the siege. This was when they would surround the castle and not allow anyone or anyone in or out. This would starve the occupants of the castle into surrender.
So inside the castle you should add all of the major components of any medieval town. Put these inside the Keep:
- A Main meeting hall
- A Dining Hall
- An Armory for storage of weapons and armor
- A Chapel
- Living quarters for Royalty, Knights, soldiers, servants and peasants
- A Kitchen large enough to feed the castle
And inside the Castle proper hugging up against the inner castle wall put these rooms and functions:
- Multiple storage rooms for foods, grains and meats
- A large garden, the inner courtyard of a castle was often fully used to grow vegetables
- Livestock pens
- Bakery and grainery – bread was an important part of the medieval diet. Grain stored well for long periods of time and bread was easily baked
- Dungeon and prison for captured enemies
- Craftsman Shops such as Blacksmith and Carpenter
- A well for drinking water
If you are making a castle floor plan as part of a game you can get very creative with the way the castle is laid out and you can add many functions and rooms not described here. But if you follow the concepts of Concentric circles and Preparedness against siege you will still have a castle that has a sense of authenticity to it no matter how elaborate or imagined your plans are.