Neck ditch

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Ground plan of the Rudelsburg with neck ditch (D)

As moat a man-made is digging referred to a castle does not completely surround but closes off only the pages of the site that are not protected by natural barriers. It is an important part of the defense system of many hilltop castles .

Originally, in castle lore, the term neck ditch was only used for castles in a spur position . Due to their location, these are protected on three sides by steep mountain slopes. An effective attack could therefore only ever be made from the mountain side. For practical reasons, the system was always separated from the ridge at the narrowest point of the mountain spur , the "bottleneck", hence the name. The castle was then only accessible via a bridge - usually a drawbridge .

L-shaped moat of Csobánc Castle (Hungary)

Nowadays the term neck ditch is sometimes extended to other types of castle complexes, provided that these have a deep dry ditch on one or two of their sides, while they are protected on the other sides by inaccessible terrain.

Examples of castles with moats neck in the classic sense are the Castle Liebenstein , the castle Rochlitz , the Kriebstein and the Isenburg .

If further parts of a castle, for example the outer and core of the castle, are separated from one another by such a ditch, one speaks of a section ditch .


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