Castle Defenses

Food Storage

Having adequate amounts of food, water and wine supplies was always a concern for a medieval castle, especially during a siege. Food storage was very difficult and quite often, having too much food meant spoilage and the possibility of poisoning the castle inhabitants.

Meat and fish could be salted, smoked and cured to make it last longer. Salt was the main preservative used in the Middle Ages, but was not effective with fruits and vegetables. While some foods could be grown inside the walls of larger castles, most had to bring in food from outside farmland.

Food and water supplies were closely guarded while a castle was under siege. Spies would try to infiltrate the castle walls and poison these supplies to bring a quicker end to the battle. Castles that had a well within the walls were fortunate, as the attackers would often try to cut off all water supplies to the castle. Those trapped without water would resort to drinking blood from horses, each others' urine and would bury themselves in damp soil hoping to absorb any possible moisture.