Point 6. The guard house

Point 6. The guard house

The other feature complementing the fortification at the gates was the guard house. Also referred to as the phulacteria, armora, casemate or bastion, this adjoined the west tower. It was built at the same time as the gates, involving the partial demolition of two former Cerretanian houses where there had been looms for weaving fabric.

It was built using the same construction technique as the towers at the gates, using large amounts of flat pieces of slate laid horizontally, in this case alternating with blocks of stone. Here too the stones were held together with a mixture of earth, mud and pebbles.

It was a rectangular building which was also measured out in perticae, with an internal length of 8.8m (3 perticae), divided into two symmetrical rooms. To the north the rooms were closed off by a partition wall where the entrance would have been.

Buildings of this type were primarily defensive, but also served to house soldiers and store weapons or provisions. It is to be supposed that access to the upper floors was by removable ladders, and the guard house was probably over 5-6 metres high.

Images: Ground plan of the structures of the guard house

Images: Hypothetical plan of the structures of the guard house

Illustration in colour: Axonometric view of the guard house showing the interior