From Wikipedia.

"A goat tower is a multi-story decorative goat house, modeled on a European garden folly, an early example of which was built in Portugal in the 19th century. The first goat tower was built at Aveleda, a winery in Portugal's Vinho Verde region. Since 1981, several other goat towers have been built in South Africa, Norway, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Argentina; these include three at other wineries. The towers typically are multi-story with climbing ramps spiralling the exterior and often become tourist attractions"

How feasibility would this be in the middle ages, in particular the spiralling ramps? The actual tower itself seems reasonable to construct. However getting someone to fund something like this back then would be difficult I imagine. I know goat welfare wasn't a priority back then.

goat tower

  • $\begingroup$ isnt medieval castle/tower staircase usually spiralling like that though? usually its not outside though but it possible as far as i remember. outside of aesthetic reasons, is there any benefit for the goat? seems like if they get startle they can end up death from falling, also pretty sure they taking care of their animal husbandry very well since they depend on it to keep their lifestyle, outside of pig as far as i know. btw is this mean for the noble pet? $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Dec 5, 2020 at 7:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @LiJun, have you ever seen videos of wild and feral goats in mountains (and on big dams)? They go much higher on very steep 'walls' and seem to survive the experience. $\endgroup$
    – Willeke
    Dec 5, 2020 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ This is a video of Ibex (wild goats) on a dam: youtube.com/watch?v=RG9TMn1FJzc But I doubt that mediaval people would spend the time and money unless someone rich wanted a show of wealth. $\endgroup$
    – Willeke
    Dec 5, 2020 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Willeke well i mean with that kind of stair like in the image, i doubt the goat can cling on the wall when they fall.....but yeah i agree with you if this was for the peasant i doubt they can afford or build this, but if this for the noble that has goat as their pet its not impossible. $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Dec 5, 2020 at 14:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @LiJun I assumed you were talking about faiting goats with the startle and fall idea, otherwise the idea of a goat getting startled and falling does not make sense, climbing animals rarely suffer from startling and goats are excellent climbers. As a side note the tower will have little impact on breeding, medieval breeding is done by excluding (killing) unfit males. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Dec 21, 2020 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


In the middle ages it was already common to have dovecotes


A dovecote or dovecot /ˈdʌvkɒt/, doocot (Scots) or columbarium is a structure intended to house pigeons or doves.

The oldest dovecotes are thought to have been the fortified dovecotes of Upper Egypt, and the domed dovecotes of Iran. In these regions, the droppings were used by farmers for fertilizing. Pigeon droppings were also used for leather tanning and making gunpowder.

In some cultures, particularly Medieval Europe, the possession of a dovecote was a symbol of status and power and was consequently regulated by law.

To turn a dovecote into a goat tower you just need to add the ramp and some intermediate floors, which are all within capabilities of middle ages tech. You just have to stick some wooden or stone beams out of the walls, which is how stairs were made.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A dovecote has a function and ultimate value to the owner. A goat tower is just a spectacle. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Dec 5, 2020 at 15:22
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Spencer The questioner didn't ask about motivation, merely plausibility. $\endgroup$ Dec 5, 2020 at 17:45
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ @Spencer "…was a symbol of status and power". Enough function for a spectacle. $\endgroup$
    – Bergi
    Dec 5, 2020 at 17:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ In the middle ages, Bologna (in Italy), was like this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Towers_of_Bologna#/media/… There were up to 180 towers, the highest like 97m tall, and they were built in a race for each family to have the most beautiful tower. They were a symbol of power. $\endgroup$
    – xanatos
    Dec 5, 2020 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ So it was basically a middle ages version of a Ferrari. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2020 at 5:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .