Castle Watchtowers

Medieval watchtowers varied in size but were usually high structures, as the name suggests the towers needed to be high so that the surrounding areas could be watched for attacking enemy soldiers.

Usually, a watchtower or lookout would have a 360-degree view and the watchman or guard could literally see for many miles all around.

Castle Watchtower

Castle Watchtower

Watchtower History

Watch towers were used right across the world and date back to ancient times, the Romans built watch towers for their fortifications. The Romans used a network of watchtowers that covered vast areas to control large parts of the Roman empire.

Roman Watchtower - History of Watchtowers

Roman Watchtower

Each tower was visible to the next one along with the network, which created an amazing messaging system to warn other areas of impending dangers, the Romans used semaphore signaling to send messages between the watchtowers.

Italian Coastal Watchtowers

Italian Coastal Watchtowers

In early medieval times, the Italians built a series of coastal watch towers, these watchtowers were to warn of attacks from the Saracens and other Muslim threats.


Knights of Malta Watch Towers

The Knights of Malta that were made famous during the crusades were also excellent engineers and they also built many notable small and large watchtowers across the coast of Malta.

Watchtower Advantages

  • Alert the castle of an impending enemy attack (siege)
  • Spot returning soldiers and visitors in the distance
  • Check the coast was clear before leaving the castle
  • Send messages to distant people using recognised signals
Hadrians Wall

Hadrian’s wall

Famous Watch Towers Examples

  • Hadrian’s wall was an early example of a network of Roman Watchtowers
  • The Martello Towers in the UK were Famous Watchtowers
martello towers fort

Marellos Towers Fort