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Basic Information

A barbican is a fortified structure built on the outside of a gatehouse to increase the protection of the gate. Quite often this will turn out to be - effectively - another gatehouse slapped onto the front of the first, but more elaborate designs are common, including those that require at least one change of direction in the approach to the gate1. On occasion the barbican may even be a free standing structure, usually on an island where the castle is surrounded by a lake or ravine. Like gatehouses a barbican may end up as quite an elaborate structure in its own right and adding the two together can create such a formidable strongpoint that it becomes easier to break through the curtain wall. Indeed in some of the later concentric castle designs, the combination of barbican and gatehouse became so elaborate as to effectively do away with the need for a keep.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Hard to tell from the gatehouse in most cases.
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