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Ships and Castles

Architecture of ships developed alongside architecture of buildings – some designs and purposes were similar in both.


Early ship building used timbers shaped directly from the branches of the trees – this influenced the structure.


Examples: canoes in the Pacific Islands and of Australian Aboriginal nations.


Examine the building of the Mary Rose.

Find some of your own examples.


Some equipment or locations on ships have words taken from castles – from the periods when both ships and castles were used in defense of an empire, kingdom or a country.


Example - forecastle or the shortened common word fo’csle - this was the forward area to be defended near the front mast. If you look at drawings of the Spanish galleons or HMS Victory which is now restored in Portsmouth, England you can see the fo’csle in the bow ( pronounced baow) with turrets for weapons - bows (pronounced boze) and arrows or guns! The high sides and decorated construction even looks like a castle! The aft castle is the same kind of defended area at the stern of the ship.

Can you research any others? Here are two to start you off- hold, bridge


A ship was commanded similarly to a military establishment.

Research the titles of the people in command and their crew.

Watercolour of HMS Victory - by W Mackenzie                                                          A classic European castle

            Royal Museum, Greenwich

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