Medieval architecture has been a rich subject of study for architects and historians since their existence. Of them, the staircases built in a spiral manner has been observed frequently in several towers and manors. A recent finding by blogger Will Kalif explained, the medieval architects built the staircases to wrap around in a clockwise direction in order to disadvantage any enemies who might climb them. This was done since most soldiers wielded swords in their right hands, this meant that their swings would be inhibited by the inner wall, and they’d have to round each curve before striking.
At the same time, these spiral clockwise staircases not only hindered the attackers but put the defenders in an advantageous position. As the defenders descended, they could swing their swords in arcs that matched the curve of the outer wall, and use the inner wall as a partial shield. The study further explains that as the outer wall runs along the wider edge of the stairs, there was also more room for defenders to swing. The entire finding was explained in Will Kalif's blog.
Kalif explains that the individual stairs themselves provided another useful advantage to protectors of the realm. As there were individual steps, they weren’t all designed with the same specifications, it made for much more uneven staircases. The irregularities were not likely to impede the defenders as they would have grown accustomed to the inconsistencies of the staircases in their home castle, but it could definitely trip the attackers. Moreover, going down a set of stairs is always less labor-intensive than going up.
Will Kalif is a researcher and author who writes on several unique subjects from history. His Website All Things Medieval is devoted to all kinds of medieval things from history to weapons, armor and more. This website is part of a series of websites by Kalif that cover a broad variety of subjects. The website includes topics like Medieval Castles, Medieval History, Medieval Art, Medieval Knights, Medieval Weapons and The Knight Medieval which are subsites of www.stormthecastle.com . To know more check Kalif's blog.