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Lessons of Rochester Castle

Updated February 5, 2016

On an elevated knoll in the ancient City of Rochester, England stands an imposing structure known as Rochester Castle. The castle was built around 1127 A.D. to help protect England's southeast coast from invasion during the time of the Norman Conquest. The famous fortress still stands today even after centuries of embattlement. One of the reasons why the castle proved to be so formidable was its layered defenses. The castle was built of Kentish Ragstone on an elevated mound near a waterway, with walls 113 feet tall and over 12 feet thick. The castle's architecture included ditches, drawbridges, 125-feet tall turrets, Portcullis gates and walls equipped with embrasure openings. Doorways were deliberately narrow and staircases were constructed in a clockwise direction to hinder the use of hand-wielded weapons.

No one expects anyone to build their house like Rochester Castle, but homeowners can benefit from the time-tested technique of layering defenses. Make your home less desirable to would-be-burglars by layering your "castle's" defenses. First, always make your home look inhabited by keeping it neat and clean. Keep all doors, windows and gates locked when you are away. Leave an audible radio on near the front room so it appears that someone is home. Join a Neighborhood Watch program. Install an alarm system and keep your valuables in a safe or discreet area. Layering defenses is a model for success. Please visit for additional crime and safety information.


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