The arch is a mechanical means of spanning an opening using wedged-shaped units, keeping one another in position, and transforming the vertical pressure of the superimposed load into components transmitted laterally to the abutments.
At Château Cramirat, we have three arches, two as doorways and one as a gateway.
The main double arch that has remained, is located on the north wall of the chateau, functioning to this day as the entrance to the compound. The inner-facing arch and the outside-facing arch are modeled differently in design, with the external one more elaborate.
Based on our research, we can assume that the wall around this north entrance was topped and surrounded by a guard step way, perhaps supported (like our tower) by a typical machicolation, starting at the inner house wall, right by the blocked-off door on the second floor, and through to the end of the north wall.
It is possible there was another arch, on the south side, positioned directly across the courtyard and facing the arch that has remained to this day, yet time has only left faint clues around its base arch stones.
Serving as entrance points to the chateau grounds, dedicated safety measures can still be found today around these arches, including peeping holes, which are narrow cross-shaped slits; an armor plaque fixed to the center of the arch, stating allegiance or serving as a family crest; round-shaped openings, which could have been used for barricading with wooden poles; and detailed decorative stonework for ornamentation.
Both doorways and gateway arches are: “A pointed four-centered arch” and a “Tudor arch.” — The Dover Historic Architectural Encyclopedia