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Modern Moats

Water filled trenches as a security feature
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In past centuries, it was common for castles to be completely surrounded by moats, deep ditches full of water. These prevented access to the castle except by means of a retractible drawbridge.

Many modern industrial parks seem to use water features - ponds, artificial rivers, waterfalls - to break up the monotony of low slung glass-fronted buildings and car parks. If we were to extend these all the way around buildings, they would provide an effective security measure to deter opportunistic thieves, casual vandals, and anyone else who would benefit from quietly slipping inside an empty building.

Access would be via a retractible ramp - only a footbridge (with disabled access) would be required. Sheer walls at the building side of the moat would make it harder for people in the water to gain access to the building. Obviously, determined thieves could use an inflatable dingy or swim across, and scale the wall on the far side, but this would still cut down significantly on crime. It might also provide entertainment for staff on hot summer days, if kept clean.

The only real drawback seems to be the likelihood that they would be used to stop staff getting out rather than criminals getting in.

pottedstu, Oct 19 2001

Bionic Tower http://www.you.com.au/news/486.htm
baked? [stupop, Oct 19 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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       Cool <anticipates modern day sensor activated boiling oil>
stupop, Oct 19 2001
  

       I've just been let back into my building after having been evacuated for two hours due to a 'security alert', nature unspecified. I wonder what effect a moat would have had.
angel, Oct 19 2001
  

       It would have to be nice and deep for two reasons:   

       1) So that when the shopping trolley gets chucked in, it sinks below the surface.   

       2) If people have to abandon the building by jumping out the window, they won't die.
stupop, Oct 19 2001
  

       blissmiss - yes, I frequently get a wierd feeling that there's a bit of prestidigitation going on here somewhere, but like any good magic show, you can't tell where it is. We're all looking at the boquet of flowers and rabbits and doves, all while the magician's other hand has not only prepped the next trick, but also the one after that.   

       <on-topic> Moats, yes.. And I want a basement office with a window.
quarterbaker, Oct 19 2001
  

       Keep the moat. Give me a drawbridge.
phoenix, Oct 19 2001
  

       Some walled cities had parapets built so that the defenders manning them could defecate upon those attempting to scale the wall. I wonder if we could update that medieval defense device, too?
beauxeault, Oct 19 2001
  

       Hmmm. Not lethal (unless they were drinking cheap beer and eating cheap Mexican food the night before), but enough to keep *me* away.
phoenix, Oct 20 2001
  

       A basement window in the moat would be way cool,put fosh and sharks in it so it's like a big giant fishtank. Don't forget the drawbrisge that lands with a huge BANG. maybe not for security, but it sure would be cool.
dr_photon, Mar 03 2002
  

       Gated "communities" are pretty much this I reckon. If enough people got together and really wanted a moat (and paid enough money) I bet Walt Disney Inc would build you an enchanted castle isolated from the modern world. Joint the ultimate clique..... Picket fences, white curtains - sounding good? Maybe get some little bluebirds in to sit on your finger and whistle a happy tune every morning. NIMBY thanks.
notripe, Mar 03 2002
  
      
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