This Day in History: 1270-04-07

The only part of Sandal Castle that can be dated exactly is the Barbican Tower, which was outside the main defensive keep but inside the defended courtyard. In the financial accounts of the local officials for the year 1270-71, it is mentioned that there is a supply of timber for building and scaffolding at the barbican. The Barbican Tower formed a stepping stone between the courtyard and the keep. Any attackers had to cross a drawbridge to reach it, then pass through its first gate that was protected by a portcullis, then turn through a right-angled passage, before having to deal with at least one other portcullis-protected gate within the tower. They would then have to cross a second drawbridge to reach the drum towers at the base of the keep. Finally, they would then have to ascend a stone staircase up the motte before reaching the keep, whilst being attacked from above.