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Someone Illustrates Why Stairs In Castles Were Spiral And Why Left-Handed Knights Were Physically Unable To Joust
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History3 years ago

Someone Illustrates Why Stairs In Castles Were Spiral And Why Left-Handed Knights Were Physically Unable To Joust

Many history enthusiasts probably know that the Middle Ages that were sometimes referred to as the ‘Dark Ages’ were not so dark. In fact, these were the times when people started building castles – majestic and complex buildings intended to be a safe retreat in case of attacks. Normans were the leading castle-builders of the period having started their constructions on forts left by the Romans. However, what they probably haven’t taught you at school is that those narrow, spiral staircases were actually built that way for a purpose and for a very practical and thought-out one as well. This interesting fact on the staircases of Medieval castles was posted on a Tumblr account and quickly ignited a fascinating discussion for history lovers.

More info: nasanerd09

Image credits: Krzysztof Golik

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Compared to other species, humans have a higher proportion of right-handers with lefties making up just 10 percent of the entire population. Scientists are yet to discover why right-handedness among the majority of the population won in comparison to left-handedness. Some think that it may be because one side of our brain is pre-specialized for fine-motor control.

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N G
Community Member
3 years ago

There are a few castles in Wales with counter clockwise spiral staircases, these were defended by left handed swordsmen. I think this was to confuse attackers who would presumably send their left handers upstairs first.

Emzy HippoZimmer
Community Member
1 week ago

When I got into fencing as a kid and while I’m ambidextrous, I found it more natural to use my left hand and it really threw off all the right handed adults in the group who’d started months before me! I did occasionally switch hands with no trouble, but was more fun being the awkward leftie lol! Kind of reminds me of story I heard growing up, how native Americans noticed white soldiers always mounted horses from left, so they started to only mount form right and make sure their horses wouldn’t stand to be mounted from left, so if captured they’d be a pain in the a*s for soldiers. Moral of story is train horses from both sides! I ended up training horses and quickly realised their left and right sides of brains don’t communicate! So while some would be good as gold with you mounting/tacking up/desensitising etc on one side, they would explode if you did exactly same thing on other side. I’m not sure how true that story is, but it’s a good message if you work with horses!

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Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Very interesting read!

Gillbella
Community Member
3 years ago

Most churches in the UK have left hand spiral staircases; although a few do have right hand spiral ones. Winchester Catherdral's bell tower changes direction half way and has a few trick steps (diffent sizes/ thicknesses etc), so I presume the monks would have taken the treasures up the tower and defended it if required. Pain in the backside if you just want to ring the bells though...

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Dani
Community Member
3 years ago

I liked this post! Most of the time BP content is far superior to it's quality but this was quite well written and interesting!

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N G
Community Member
3 years ago

There are a few castles in Wales with counter clockwise spiral staircases, these were defended by left handed swordsmen. I think this was to confuse attackers who would presumably send their left handers upstairs first.

Emzy HippoZimmer
Community Member
1 week ago

When I got into fencing as a kid and while I’m ambidextrous, I found it more natural to use my left hand and it really threw off all the right handed adults in the group who’d started months before me! I did occasionally switch hands with no trouble, but was more fun being the awkward leftie lol! Kind of reminds me of story I heard growing up, how native Americans noticed white soldiers always mounted horses from left, so they started to only mount form right and make sure their horses wouldn’t stand to be mounted from left, so if captured they’d be a pain in the a*s for soldiers. Moral of story is train horses from both sides! I ended up training horses and quickly realised their left and right sides of brains don’t communicate! So while some would be good as gold with you mounting/tacking up/desensitising etc on one side, they would explode if you did exactly same thing on other side. I’m not sure how true that story is, but it’s a good message if you work with horses!

Load More Replies...
Hans
Community Member
3 years ago

Very interesting read!

Gillbella
Community Member
3 years ago

Most churches in the UK have left hand spiral staircases; although a few do have right hand spiral ones. Winchester Catherdral's bell tower changes direction half way and has a few trick steps (diffent sizes/ thicknesses etc), so I presume the monks would have taken the treasures up the tower and defended it if required. Pain in the backside if you just want to ring the bells though...

Load More Replies...
Dani
Community Member
3 years ago

I liked this post! Most of the time BP content is far superior to it's quality but this was quite well written and interesting!

Load More Comments
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