Why Is It Called A Sally Port?

Ever wondered why military installations are guarded by guarded gates, known as sally ports? Furthermore, how does this type of gate, with its two sets of doors, partially covering a wall and granting passage to a complex, get its distinctive name? In this article, we will take a closer look at why sally ports are called sally ports, and how the name itself dates back to medieval times.

So, keep reading to gain insight into the origin, usage, and significance of these guarded passages!

Why Is It Called A “Sally Port”?

Have you ever heard of the phrase “sally port” and wondered why it was used?

A sally port is an entrance or exit in a fortification that was used in past centuries for defense. It is a term that is still used today, but its origins have gone largely forgotten. In this article, we’ll explore what a sally port is, why it was used and where it gets its name from.

What Is A Sally Port?

A sally port is a gate or passageway from the outer wall to the inner walls of a fortress. It has two doors, one opening to the exterior and another to the interior of the fortification, allowing access and passage between the two areas.

The door facing the outside is usually heavily shielded and was designed to help repel attackers as they were entering the sally port. In times of siege, the doors were often reinforced with metal sheeting and heavy wooden beams.

Why Was It Used In The Past?

The sally port was used in past centuries as a way to gain access to the fortification without exposing oneself to attack or incurring harm. The port was a form of defense, allowing access to the inner walls through a secure entrance.

It allowed for covert movement between the two areas, helping to repel attackers as they entered. The sally port also allowed for quick access to the main gate and entrance of the fortress, giving its defenders a strategic advantage.

Where Does The Name “Sally Port” Come From?

The origin of the word “sally port” is unclear, but theories abound as to its origin. Some believe that the term comes from the French word “salle” meaning “hall” or “room. ” It could also be derived from the Spanish word “sala” meaning “room” or “hall. ” Other possible origins include the Scottish word “sally” meaning “the opening of a port or a sliding gate. ” The end origin of the term “sally port” is still unknown, but it has been long used in the English language to refer to this passageway in a fortification.


The term “sally port” has been used for centuries as a way to gain access to the inner walls of a fortification without exposing oneself to attack or danger. The origin of the word is uncertain, with theories from French, Spanish, and Scottish sources all being debated. What is certain is that the sally port has been an important part of fortification since the Middle Ages and its name will continue to be used for many years to come. Citations:https://www. britannica. com/technology/sally-porthttps://www. encyclopedia. com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/sally-porthttps://www. wordsense. eu/sally/

Leave a Comment