Why do medieval buildings overhang their lower floors?


  1. Sean Brian

    Sean Brian23 hours ago

    So where did you get your winged spear in the back ground? I've been looking for a nice one like that but I don't invest in wall-hangers.

  2. Boris Farage

    Boris FarageDay ago

    Come on, divs, everyone knows it was to do with taxes. The ground floor was taxed by cubic space so they made it small to pay less. The upper stories, which weren't taxed, are bigger to give more room.

  3. D P

    D P2 days ago

    First starts to answer the headline question at 2:07. Your welcome.

  4. windy pup

    windy pup2 days ago

    You gotta get to the point quicker otherwise we lose interest.

  5. Leonard Wong

    Leonard Wong5 days ago

    love it. rain. drips off n doesn't weather the foundations n rest of the building so much. sensible. I love castles.

  6. Simon He

    Simon He5 days ago

    The thing with the castles was not invented by the romans. For example the egyptians had it before.

  7. Pyree

    Pyree6 days ago

    12:59 hehehe more like cramparts

  8. Wrathwine

    Wrathwine6 days ago

    a lot of this pictures seem to be from guild 3

  9. David Stopa

    David Stopa7 days ago

    My understanding of the over hang in civilian buildings was because of a land tax. At least this is so in the UK. So you would buy land to build on then use as much as you could then the upper floors would over hang for more space as you said. The owner would then pay land tax on the land used. So a tax scam in a way. I also believe the style became fashionable and so was used more as it looks good but like most things, money was the motive..... well money and space. This idea would also add reason to to country side buildings as well. Anyway that my understanding, what do you think Shade?

  10. Svet3

    Svet38 days ago

    14:55 That might be maybe usefull for Spilling boiling hot tar/oil on enemys that try to damage/climb the wall. Now I dunno if that was actually done in the medieval age but if - it might explain it.

  11. Churck

    Churck10 days ago

    The real reason is to prevent spiders from climbing your castle walls, everyone knows that

  12. Churck

    Churck10 days ago

    9:10 That would have been the perfect moment to scream "machicolation!!!"

  13. Kantia

    Kantia12 days ago

    Because it's pretty duh

  14. lewis ward

    lewis ward12 days ago

    Is there a limitation as to how many floors a building could have if you were making it in this style??

  15. J. C.

    J. C.13 days ago

    Dude, in case you don't hear it enough, you have great hair. It always looks thick and well cared for.

  16. Sjøhof

    Sjøhof13 days ago


  17. Lucille Hino

    Lucille Hino14 days ago

    The term cantilever from architectural and structural standpoint IS easily explained in three minutes [apologies if duplicative as I only have a five minute attentions span

  18. The Toxic Avenger

    The Toxic Avenger15 days ago

    What is the name of the castle at 9:25 ?

  19. Evonik

    Evonik15 days ago

    yeah thought it was to aid throwing shit buckets out the window before flush toilets.

  20. Gendo3s2k

    Gendo3s2k15 days ago

    To keep people from climbing up

  21. Brian Baber

    Brian Baber15 days ago

    You ramble way to much . Make your point

  22. Jordan Nieuwenhuis

    Jordan Nieuwenhuis16 days ago

    actually the main reason was because people would empty out their chamber pots and the overhang would make it so that it wouldn't be pored on peoples head.

  23. 000000AEA000000

    000000AEA00000016 days ago

    whenever I watch your videos, your credebility instantly suffers a bit from all the crap you hang on your walls.

  24. Yare Yare

    Yare Yare17 days ago

    if you put those holes under the battlement in the examples you said where they were their to reclaim space for people to mave, then you loves (practically) all the space when you put the ho;es there no? unless you can trust soldiers to not get their feet falling through them as they walk over essentially stumps in the heat of a battle

  25. Joseph Lorentzen

    Joseph Lorentzen17 days ago

    Why did I start watching this? Oh well, I did enjoy it. I have no need for what I learned, but what the hey?

  26. Benedikt HRO

    Benedikt HRO18 days ago

    These small overhangs without defensive structures might also have a practical reason: Rain! If the water that hits the upper stone wall just rinses down, it will run into the windows (remember - most were open and had no glas). Allowing it to drop off a slight extension kept your rooms dry, plants from growing up the walls and water from washing off the soil around the foundations.

  27. Steve Cochran

    Steve Cochran18 days ago

    So you clear the lower floors when you toss your piss bucket out the window.

  28. me not you

    me not you18 days ago

    blah blah blah... this is as bad as listening to a woman

  29. ACTS

    ACTS18 days ago

    Look at a security fence. Woven wire with barbed wired strands (usually 3-5 strands) at the top. I'm not talking about concertina wire here, btw. The barbed wire is set in holders that angle out, towards the direction you want to prevent intrusion FROM. If you want to prevent anyone from going over the wire from either direction you have a "V" shaped top where the "V" is perpendicular to the fence. Looking edge-on at the fence: "Y" Otherwise, you have this "/" or this "\" at the top over the woven wire. Why is that and why is that principle the same as what you're talking about in this video? Woven wire is relatively easy to climb but when you get to that barbed wire hanging out over the fence you've got a real challenge to go further. It makes scaling the fence very difficult because to climb over the barbed wire strands at the top you have to lean OUT from the fence. The same goes for those higher stories and the jettying outthrust on a castle wall. It makes scaling the walls difficult or impossible. You can scale the wall or the fence up to the point where you run into that overhang and then you're stopped. That's why they did that on buildings and why they did it on castles where there is no machicolation to shoot through or pour boiling oil down on the enemy. On buildings, it makes the upper floors MUCH more secure, it's almost impossible for a sneak thief to climb the walls to access an upper story window. On a castle, the attacker gets to the overhang and has to expose himself to archery fire from the ramparts while defeating the overhang. On a farmhouse out in the rural areas, it makes it nearly impossible for someone to access a second story window by scaling unless they're carrying ladders around in their pockets. Plus the fact that there would be dogs on the ground level ... I don't fancy there were a lot of bandits running around the forest toting great big ladders with them and in an urban environment, it would have been obvious what you were up to if you were toting a ladder around after dark. I'm kind of surprised you didn't know this, Shad Person.

  30. Richard Bonnette

    Richard Bonnette18 days ago

    6:11 gets to the main point: stone below, wood above to prevent rotting and lower stone costs. ~7:00, gets to floor beam efficiency by stabilizing wood beams and also, geometrically sophisticated -- so it looks cool! Then, you get a good amount of size from expanded buildings and prevents cramped rooms and spaces -- also allows for greater space in between roads and street buildings in larger cities. For castles, fake "machicolations" can intimidate attackers and other castles while giving it a better look. Also, Catholic people like tall buildings - you are closer to God and farther from the ground, and we love skyscrapers, so why not make awesome big walls with cool architecture?

  31. Fox Mcloud

    Fox Mcloud18 days ago

    How od you know your music is accurate to medieval Eruope/

  32. Chuck Gordon

    Chuck Gordon19 days ago

    Not a mention of the "Other" reason - Open Sewers. Many towns of the time had gulley channels in the streets which carried sewage away. Many houses of the period were built to place a privvy above this on the first floor. You can see this in period accurate movies and shows, where the characters carefully step over the gully when entering a house. Generally, these privvies were not positioned above the front door. The same goes for castles, you can see in towers on historic castles, slots and channels where the privvies empty to the moat.

  33. Eric Steele

    Eric Steele19 days ago

    Another reason for the small extensions is also to make it harder to scale the walls.... instead of being able to throw a grappling hook up and walk up the wall.... It would be out far enough that you would have to pull the full weight of yourself and weapons up the rope without the assistance of being able to walk up the wall....

  34. Rory Christel

    Rory Christel19 days ago

    Just as an FYI, the actual construction term for "stump" foundations is piers or piles, depending on the style used. Carry on!

  35. captainboggles

    captainboggles19 days ago

    jeez... get on with it....

  36. WillN2Go1

    WillN2Go119 days ago

    Not a good video. Results of recent research about houses in the U.S. shows that houses with 4' overhanging roof eaves had significantly fewer water intrusion issues issues than houses with 2' overhangs. No overhang by far had the most problems. Consider too, that these contemporary structures have sealing methods and materials not available in the past. Now, most medieval structures do not have significantly overhanging roof eaves, so most of these overhanging upper floors are probably for three purposes. 1. To protect the foundation from water intrusion 2. To encroach on public space-- in towns and cities over the street and 3. To provide some degree of shelter outside a structure. I've yet to see a definitive study of this. (I remember asking about it in a medieval architecture class in college in the late 1970s. The professor said no one knows, and shrugged at my suggestion it was to protect the foundations.). Now,, with some direct observations of medieval structures in Europe and Japan, protection of foundations seems the primary reason, encroaching over a street a second reason. (Encroaching seems to be supported by these overhangs being more common in more urban areas than in rural areas.) Medieval foundations can be anything from piles of rocks (the house (shack) my grandfather made in the 1930s were just piles of rocks, not even dry fitted. The last time I looked at these in about 2010 they were still in place.) More common in medieval structures were grade beams. Untreated (obviously) beams laid directly on to gravel or dirt. (After 500 years even a bedding of gravel would infill with dirt) Keeping a grade beam dry gives your structure a better chance at some durability. Ask an old carpenter what are the critical parts of a house, he'll tell you foundation and roof. If either of these fail, the structure is doomed. The reasons castles and keeps would employ overhangs would as the video states be for defensive purposes. But all of these buildings would have massive stone foundations. So wooden frame structures and stone structures are two completely separate areas.

  37. Music

    Music19 days ago

    Figured it out before I saw the clip. It's so they can throw chamber pots into the street.

  38. David Robert Gibson

    David Robert Gibson20 days ago

    Thanks - I learned a few things. What is the music please?


    JACK STANFIELD20 days ago

    Castles had moats. Can you guess what added to the moat "float"? Yep. The occupants had compartments that stuck out from the walls and overhung the moat. So, after "use" of the toilet-like compartment, the matter expelled by the occupant, ie:fecal, urine, etc. fell into the moat. A great system worthy of the times, which have been classified as "the dark ages" Ah, hurry up; bring on the Renaissance. PS. Question: What did they use for toilet paper? Tough, scratchy parchment?

  40. David Hayes

    David Hayes20 days ago

    Nice little video.

  41. FijiWater ONLY

    FijiWater ONLY20 days ago

    I thought it is because its harder to climb in to the windos / over walls

  42. Corwyn Corey

    Corwyn Corey21 day ago

    Because when you toss the chamber pot into the street, it neednt hit the building. When its done on castles, its done defensively.

  43. RedSkin8008

    RedSkin800821 day ago

    You maybe wouldn't want to add machicolations because they're just dangerous. Not deadly but in the heat of a battle, maybe even at night, you wouldn't want to lose valuable manpower to snapped or twisted ankles because your soldiers keep stepping into them. I've seen Machicolations on French castles that are surrounded by small walls to prevent just that but then again you lose the valuable space on the battlement that you've built it (and then the Machicolations and then the small walls) for in the first place... Plus, if you can see and work through them, so can the enemy. Of course it's harder but stray or even well aimed arrows or poking lances were happening. So as big the advantage might be, I can see the disadvantages very much and therefore maybe the decision to not have them at all. Another advantage that I found extended battlements (even without Machicolations) may have, comes from for example my climbing experiences: overhangs are always a challenge. As in: the higher the angle between the floor and the wall becomes, the more challenging ist is to climb it. In regards of the battlements: if your latter is too short, there is no way you can just climb the rest like that, using whatever tools; is you're using ropes the distance between your feet and the wall is extended by the thickness of the battlement; whatever tool you use, there will always be a gap that's a nuisance and we all know that nusiances can very quickly turn into dangers if used properly or under the right circumstances. So maybe their "active" use does not have such a great impact on warfare but if you can just annoy the shit out of your opponents while creating more space and advantages for yourself, why not? The smartest thing I've seen so far was Machiculations in a smart distance from each other, so that their angles of effective engagement overlapped a bit and covered by small hatches if not used. Doing that, they reduced the holes in the battlement and the risk of them becoming a danger rather than an advantage, the actual "danger zone" and the areas where the battlements gets narrower becomes smaller but the extended battlement still has the added advantage of Machiculations.

  44. leroykid

    leroykid21 day ago


  45. Miike_Snow

    Miike_Snow21 day ago

    An historian tell me, this is also (in some countries) because of the taxes you had to pay for the area of your house in contact with the ground. So people were building more space on the first floor to have bigger houses, with less taxes haha.

  46. Jamie

    Jamie22 days ago

    the video taught me a lot...and the comments section even more so!! wow, what a cool phenomenon.

  47. Corvus

    Corvus22 days ago


  48. Zuriel 883

    Zuriel 88322 days ago

    A question that I never had in my mind. But now that I've seen this video, I'm happy it was answered.

  49. temuulen Batuumur

    temuulen Batuumur22 days ago

    my god just just the fuckn reason.

  50. Christopher Ryan

    Christopher Ryan22 days ago

    Wouldn't it also be harder to climb up the wall without assistance?

  51. Zachadocious aDreming

    Zachadocious aDreming22 days ago

    i read epic fantasy and i very much enjoy your movies you got a fan

  52. Harry Monk

    Harry Monk22 days ago

    This guy has no fucking clue what his talking about

  53. destroyer806

    destroyer80622 days ago

    Dont they do it also so that invaders cant climb up the wall?

  54. M Hurly

    M Hurly23 days ago

    Sometimes it was a matter of property taxation... which depending on locales, local tax laws and how detail or often they were written or property assessed...(same today even).. For example, a residence might be assessed by the square footage it's "foundation" or ground floor occupies... with additional multiplier for additional stories...However, unless the rules specifically stated a "square footage" for the upper floors... the ownwer could add more space on the upper stories without additional penalty... in some places its more about "frontage" width on streets... especially in dense urban areas, where the depth of a building mattered less than cramming as many entrances closer together to encourage taller buildings... the more people you could squeeze onto a block of buildings, the more taxes could be collected for a given neighborhood, without constantly raising the taxes based on sq. footage alone... Also, some places didn't count attic or space within the eaves as living spaces.. the dutch and french tilted their roofs outward to take advantage of that rule to expand the attics into additional space... thus Dutch barnstyle roofs and French mansard roofs became popularized ... Some rules counted closets as rooms in victorian days... thus the heavy use of armoires rather than built in closets. Some rules counted spaces with single entry as a room, while a space with multiple doors allowing aternative passage to other rooms were classified as hallways, rather than bedrooms... thus victorian homes had lots of unnecessary doors to keep the number of rooms assessed as "bedrooms or livingspaces' to a technical minimum to avoid further assesments. Other regulations counted "individual chimneys" to limit smoke effects in cities initially during the industrial revolution, thus the rise and application of back to back, side by side and corner fireplaces could consolidate flues into single chimneys to avoid "smoke taxes", and save on bricks needed for each fireplace... (later individual flues were counted and residents responded by joining flues... not always safe or effective as chimneys... I had a home once, where a previous owner added a fireplace to a subdivided larger room below to create an apartment in... they apparently decided to route the new flue into the old one on the upper floor to avoid getting an external building permit, cutting a second hole in roof and hide the enhancement from taxing authorities... neither fireplace worked right until I separated the flues). Window taxes combined with frontage taxes meant rooms were arranged front to back with little light penetration in the inner spaces... these were partitioned off with large double doors to give privacy at at night when light was provide within...while allowing daylight in when doors were opened between rooms during the day. Some areas taxed ground level floors that were often used as "shops or retail space" at a higher rate than upper floors that were used for living and not commercial purposes... thus owners would take advantage of the difference by building outward on upper floors... it also offered better security, because thieves couldn't scale the walls using lower window ledges to gain access to open bedroom windows on hot summer nights.

  55. Diana N.

    Diana N.23 days ago

    "Have you ever wondered why?" Nope, but I'm sure glad you brought my attention to this because now I'm wondering.

  56. Orion Walker

    Orion Walker23 days ago

    Before I even watched the video I answered the question on the thumbnail in my head with: MACHICOLATIOOOOOONNNSSS

  57. Jody Nicely

    Jody Nicely23 days ago

    I found this video interesting. I am a veteran and a historical construction anthro major. Well done on the explanations. It was simplified and informative. And I would like to add that one of the reasons for having the crenellations being only a little overhung without the holes was to stop skip arrows from hitting the defenders. Because of the angle that a archer/crossbowman would be firing at from the foot of the wall, projectiles such as arrows, bolts, bullets, etc. will tend to skip very shallow and slide along the surface. A defender leaning out or being over the drop hole would be endangered. Otherwise, great video!

  58. Fraususemil

    Fraususemil23 days ago

    This was extremely interesting. Thank you veeeery much!

  59. J Vincenzi

    J Vincenzi23 days ago

    What a laboriously slow plodding and uninspiring method to explain something which is quite interesting.

  60. Probably Not

    Probably Not24 days ago

    14:00 Why don't they just build a wooden platform farther into the keep to extend the rampart?

  61. Alan The Fortunate

    Alan The Fortunate24 days ago

    Too busy to wait and wait for the answer...

  62. Ryan Edmonds

    Ryan Edmonds24 days ago

    Thank you! Very informative!

  63. Tiger Boy

    Tiger Boy24 days ago

    must this be 18 minutes long?

  64. victor bruun

    victor bruun24 days ago

    Oh and when adding murderholes, do add them to the waterheater.. and be ready to pump a few cubic meters of boiling water on unwanted trashmail deliverers :D

  65. victor bruun

    victor bruun24 days ago

    The Parthenon is another example of a seemingly symmetrical and yet isn't. The pillars being thicker on the top... making them look symmetrical.

  66. MEGAdudes36

    MEGAdudes3624 days ago

    Bro do a video on the swords of Sword Art Online

  67. Shona GRIFFITHS

    Shona GRIFFITHS24 days ago

    In the past here in England the council taxed your property depending on how much ground area it took up. Therefor you limlted the size of the ground floor and expanded the width of additional floors and thus limited your tax liability.

  68. SammaelAndHisGuitar

    SammaelAndHisGuitar25 days ago

    Small advice here : perhaps when you define something (like jettying), when it's a word that is not commonly used, you should write it somewhere on the screen in your video. It would makes it way easier to learn, understand and remember, especially for the foreigners like me :) I understand english well but since it's not my native language, that would be greatly appreciated. By the way, I love your videos !

  69. m b

    m b25 days ago

    Water views?

  70. Bazza Cuda

    Bazza Cuda26 days ago

    Interesting stuff, excellently presented. Great visuals. Thanks.

  71. InternetTAB

    InternetTAB26 days ago

    about 10:30 I thought you were going to be talking about boiling oil

  72. scottyjoeful

    scottyjoeful27 days ago

    Very informative but long winded

  73. DWJ42

    DWJ4227 days ago

    is that first picture in axebridge?

  74. Pamela Hawthorne

    Pamela Hawthorne28 days ago

    Thanks! I love medieval history but never heard this explanation for the architecture. Some is self explanatory, like the castle structures.

  75. max Payne

    max Payne28 days ago

    Lot of reasons on castles it was for defense they had wholes to drop stuff on enemies. He misses a big reason Taxes tax were on ground floor sq footage. On a small lot it was the one direction you could extend a house. Not done for looks that's just wrong.

  76. Silverous Leonidas

    Silverous Leonidas28 days ago

    I originally though it was to stop thieves as they would have to put stretch backwards while trying to climb up the stone base.

  77. Nick Nick

    Nick Nick28 days ago

    You've also got shelter when they throw their crap out of the upstairs window. As they did before sewage drains

  78. Michael Richter

    Michael Richter28 days ago

    To pour molten metal from on your enemies.

  79. Russell Davis

    Russell Davis28 days ago

    I thought it was to make vertical sieges more difficult

  80. Ryan Gudger

    Ryan Gudger28 days ago


  81. Lynette

    Lynette28 days ago

    r/trebuchetmemes: DiD He SaY cOuNtEr WeIgHt?1?!

  82. legobit

    legobit29 days ago

    From what I learned in some tv-program regarding swedish cottages was that the reason was simply to protect the walls on the lower levels from the rain. The program was actually created around the fact that cottages out of tree was able to stand for over 100years without being touched by humans. And the solution was an extreme form of what is described here. So it's basically a way to protect the house from rain.

  83. Zenith Gaming

    Zenith Gaming29 days ago

    Not sure how I ended up here, but I glad I did. This was so so interesting. I feel like an expert on medieval architecture now!

  84. Insulting_bjorn

    Insulting_bjorn29 days ago

    1:15 yeeting my life is complete

  85. Krystian Zagórski

    Krystian Zagórski29 days ago

    How do you spell this style's name? Getiing?

  86. sdavtrl

    sdavtrl29 days ago

    Do you like castles? Check this out: mreporter.net/v/video-NsTjqTq-xkI.html Historically accurate 3D recreations of castles from Central Europe

  87. NameYourChannel

    NameYourChannel29 days ago

    Haha... accent fazed in and out. Silly americans.

  88. GreyMatter121

    GreyMatter121Month ago

    I would guess having such a small extension that you mention at 16:17 would be so they could make the wall a little bit thicker protecting the men. Think about how much stronger a wall is by just adding a few extra inches of thickness.

  89. Kai Rubix

    Kai RubixMonth ago

    Very informative video. Funny enough this is useful for a game called planet coaster. Trying to build accurate medieval buildings in a theme park.

  90. Fetroch

    FetrochMonth ago

    I heard that in the medieval times you paid tax for your building on how big it is at groundlevel (some cities in bavaria germany don´t know if anywhere else) so they build 2-4 stocks and make the top one bigger and bigger

  91. Noah

    NoahMonth ago

    I thought it was to avoid having rainwater pour directly down on you when walking out the door

  92. Jason Huntley

    Jason HuntleyMonth ago

    I'm going to use this. I want to create an interior room that appears to be outdoors. Jettying the windows in that area - even just a little - will give that appearance.

  93. Jim Jones

    Jim JonesMonth ago

    mucho waffle

  94. elroy31337

    elroy31337Month ago

    You sold me! If I build a castle, and the second floor hangs out like that, it's going to have some defensive machicolations.

  95. Brian Sanner

    Brian SannerMonth ago

    For defense, I thought it also had to do with climbing. Rough stone walls especially, having an overhang kept people from climbing by hand. With a grappling hook and rope it would keep you dangling away from the wall, so you wouldn't be able to walk up it with your legs and even a ladder would not have as good support. Plus if your ladder was too short you'd be stuck under the overhang. For timber buildings I also heard in some cases, anyway, it had to do with taxes. You were taxed on how much land your house took, so they built small first floors and overhung the upper floors. That lead to some very extreme examples where the city streets were like tunnels because the houses jettied out so far. That may have been from a fantasy/fiction book, though.

  96. dracher

    dracherMonth ago

    So, now we know why medieval buildings overhang their lower floors. All we need to know now, is why the telling of it took such a drastically overplayed and tediously long winded narration style.

  97. dragons45100

    dragons45100Month ago

    is it called cantilever ?

  98. Brennan Guernsey

    Brennan GuernseyMonth ago

    dude you restate yourself like 5 times before getting to the point.

  99. Zuzo's corner

    Zuzo's cornerMonth ago

    Found this video rather by accidnet, but veyr interesting one notn the less

  100. Jaakk0S

    Jaakk0SMonth ago

    Easy. It's because gravity was discovered by Galileo around 1550. Until that people didn't actually know that bodies tend to fall downwards, so they would sort of build their buildings in whatever directions. It was among the top causes of death to die of a building collapse but also to die simply of falling off a building, as people thought they could just walk out of windows and travel in a floating trajectory towards their desired target. Luckily this all changed with gravity.