Licence to Crenellate
Once-a-time, when castles wore a crown of battlements,
Their merlons hid the archers in the toothy parapet –
And when the peasantry came by to pay their serf-and-chattel-rents,
It wasn’t solid walls that awed them, but the holes that made a net.
If only they had known how they were more for show and ostentation,
Arrow slits too small to use, and windows big and weak –
A single siege would give the lie to strength in crenellation
But who would dare declare their home as battle-less and meek ?
So castle-style continued long past castles were of any use,
As if a Henry Tudor were no diff’rent from a Robert Bruce.
To be clear, battlements are very effective when their big enough, but by the time of Bodiam (1385) and Herstmonceux (1441) things were on the slide.