Sand Castle Building Terminology - Part Three

Sand castle building terminology comes in handy in many places, especially if you are a hobbyist who is still finding a way around the intricacies of sand castle building. You can join courses or clubs and sit around for hours with people who are already building sand castles, but if you are not aware of the jargon and sand castle building terminology they use, then you are in a spot of bother. So here's the third part of our series on sand castle building terminology.

You can find the other parts here: Sand Castle Building Terminology - Part One and Sand Castle Building Terminology - Part Two.


The central post around which a spiral staircase wraps itself is called a Newel. It can also be the main post that supports the end of a balustrade

Oriel Window:

A large bay window that tends to be on or above the first floor of a castle. It tends to come with support structures like brackets or corbels that allow it to project outwards, beyond the actual surface of the wall. It also has a sitting area on the inside, like a window-sill seat


A dungeon that had a trap door leading into it. If someone entered the dungeon or was inside it, there would be no way to open the door from the inside. In other words, it is a door that only had a door handle on the outside


A wooden fence or a wooden wall that was built as a defensive structure but was more of a dividing unit or a privacy wall due to its relatively fragile nature when compared to a stone wall. There was no fixed height for a palisade; it's height would depend on where the wall or fence was being built


The room where all the cooking utensils, serving crockery & cutlery and provisions are stored - usually placed quite close to a kitchen


It is a part of the castle's vertical wall that extends above the roofline of the castle and the part that extends above the roof automatically becomes a wall, usually a very short one, above the roof. This wall allows people to stand on top of the roof and provides protection from below, when defending against a siege, and also prevents people from falling over the edge

Pele or Peel Towers:

These are small fortified towers or keeps that were used as signalling posts. These towers were present high up on the castle and had the provision of lighting signal fires that could be seen for miles. Different kinds of signals were sent out based on the kind of message that needed to be passed on


A heavy and strong metal or wooden gate that is built like a grill and is lowered or raised vertically from inside the castle. It is a means of providing added protection to the castle gates and it would drop vertically down, between set-grooves, to seal the gate shut and keep people out or trap people in

Postern Gate:

A side gate for the castle that isn't the main gate and is generally used by merchants, traders and other non-military uses to get in and out of the castle


A stone that was placed at an angle to the castle. It is usually the rafter-part of the frame for a wooden roof and is placed outside of the regular angle to provide a place to pitch the roof in a sturdy and secure way


Nothing but rough fragments of stone that have been broken by the elements or by humans

Sally Port:

It is a small door built into the castle walls or in other parts of the fortifications that wouldn't be visible or expected to be a part of the castle. These doors would almost be "hidden" during a siege and would allow raiding parties to, what was known as, "sally forth" (hence the name) or sneak out of these doors and lay down surprise attacks on the siege-holding armies

Sand Castle or Sandcastle:

A castle-like structure that is built out of sand. Depending on the skill of the maker, these can be extremely simple or extremely realistic. In the latter case, a lot more detail can be found in them, which is where this sand castle building terminology list really helps

Sand Dollar:

The name given to flat or disc-like creatures that live on the sea bed or in sandy bottoms off the coast of the United States of America

Sand Dunes:

These are ridges made entirely of sand and are like mounds on the beach. They can be found in deserts as well and are formed by the action of wind carrying sand. Sand dunes can move around overnight depending on the wind conditions

There are so many different reasons to know and learn about sand castle building terminology but the most important reason is that if you are building a sand castle or even looking at something someone else has made, you will find it hard to understand or remember or learn anything more about the castle if you do not know about each part individually. Hence, knowing about castles and sand castles is almost the same thing.

To find out more about sand castle building terminology, check out our final part, Sand Castle Building Terminology - Part Four!

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