Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

(pron. muh CHICK a LAY shun)

In medieval fortifications, a projecting gallery or parapet supported on corbels having openings through which stones or boiling water could be dropped on an enemy.

In fortifications a balcony or walkway projecting from the face of the wall. The floor of the projecting area contains openings enabling the defenders to drop items onto the attackers below.

Missiles dropped from Machicolations

The Missiles dropped from the 'Murder Holes' in the Machicolations included heavy stones, hot sand, molten lead, boiling water and boiling tar or pitch.

During siege warfare any rotting materials such as dung or dead bodies would also be dropped from the murder holes in the machicolations.

- Ancient Fortresses (online Jan. 2016)


Photos and their arrangement © 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
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