Fortified Manor House
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Basic Information

A fortified manor house is, surprisingly, a manor house, which has been fortified. These are generally bottom tier fortifications, slightly above the level of secure construction to be expected of any pre-modern home of quality, but may be designed to push the lower level of the Crown's tolerance for unlicensed fortifications. The basic concept is European, but similar things appear in similar conditions worldwide - including feudal Japan and the medieval Middle East. Recent experience would seem to suggest that parts of Afghanistan consist of little else1.

Depending on local regulations, the threat expected and the resources available, fortifications may vary - they will not be of a kind to pose any significant problem to regular troops, artillery or siege engines (those sort of defences tend to upset whatever passes for central government) - but should handily resist irregulars and amateurs of all kinds, whether local rebels or bandits. For a start, the outer walls of the compound are likely to be made of fire resistant material (typically brick or stone), and even if not crenelated (crenellation was used as a syndoche for fortification in medieval English and French contexts) probably possess catwalks or similar access for guards and some anti-climbing measures. Pallisade fencing might be used where stone could not be afforded, but is distinctly low tier. Note that, due to the compound design of most of these structures, the outer wall could well include the walls of some or all of the component buildings - these would therefore be windowless for at least the ground floor and maybe more - arrowslits or equivalent provisions might or might not be considered controlled fortifications. A moat was also popular where it could be managed - wet for preference, a dry moat might be planted with thorn hedge as a sort of abatis. A reinforced gate was pretty much minimum tier - the presence or absence of a gatehouse again, could be a legal issue, as could the presence or absence of towers.

The tower house is the rough equivalent of the fortified manor, albeit usually in different conditions (by observation the fortified manor appears more common in lowland farming locations and the tower house in herding locations)



1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Likely to feature a lot in a setting which matches closely to medieval Europe.
  • Arguably the Ur-example in fRPGs would be The Moat House from T1: The Village of Hommlet.
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