Medieval Castles - Water, Wells

medieval castle wellWater supplies were absolutely critical to medieval castle life, not just for everyday use but also as a scarce resource during sieges. Spring water was of course ideal but more usual was a dug well. Basically the well would have to be wide enough to accommodate the diggers as they strove to reach the water table. Once the water was extracted from the well there would be various ways to distribute it around the castle.

Photo: Medieval well at Brougham Castle (protected with a modern grid to guard against tourist accidents!)

Typically water for drinking or washing would be available on each floor. This water would be provided by a cistern at a higher level which would then supply the water through piping.

Bathing would be in a wooden tub which might well be covered with a canopy in cold times.

It was quite common for the bath and bed to accompany the Lord on his travels.

Brougham Castle in Cumbria still has its well visible within the castle grounds