POTD: Unsafe at Any Speed

Unsafe at Any Speed
Abbeylara, County Longford

I read once that castle spiral staircases were always built in a counter-clockwise direction looking down. The reason for this was so that right-handed swordsmen defending from above had more room to draw and swing their swords than swordsmen invading from below (unless of course they were beset with left-handed invaders). This particular set of stairs was in a Cistercian Abbey rather than a castle. I’m not sure how much sword work the monks participated in so tradition more so than defense may have been the reason for these stairs being built that way.

2 thoughts on “POTD: Unsafe at Any Speed”

  1. That’s an interesting idea about the counter-clockwise rotation. But if I’m a right-handed swordsman, then I’m drawing my sword against the wall side if I’m going down. Seems backwards to me! (Same for those coming up the stairs.) Maybe I just don’t understand swordsmanship! 🙂

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