1) Associated generally with the parapets of buildings such as castles and churches.
1437 Pro le Batyllyng turris ... infra Castrum de Skipton
1443 ad facturam unius batilmentt super ecclesiam, York. Also used occasionally of a crenelated brim of a cup or bowl: 1444 j stantem peciam coopertam cum bend in medio et batilment deaurato, Beverley. Regionally, though, it was the the usual word for bridge parapets, although I have found no reference to this usage elsewhere. One of the earliest examples is in a contract of 1579 which required the mason who was responsible for the rebuilding of Elland Bridge to construct the batilments of well hewen stones one yeard in Height. The bridge would later serve as a model for other stone bridges in the district, and similar instructions are found in later contracts. In 1702, a bridge over the River Laver, between Studley and Ripon, was to have an arch of fourteen yards and battlements … one yard above the pavement: the space between the battlements was to measure ten feet. At Downham, in 1705, the arch was to be twelve yards long, and three yards were to be allowed between the battlements . Similarly, Buckden Bridge had also to be 3 yards wide within the Battlements in 1689. The importance attached to this width reflects the need to allow sufficient space for carts to pass on the bridge. Three yards may seem inadequate but there is evidence that carts in south Yorkshire could be no more than 3 feet 6 inches wide in the eighteenth century. There are several incidental but illustrative references to this term, and the frustrated petition of one freemason in 1697 is worth quoting in full. He had, he claimed: … been putt to losse and damage five severall times by having the batlements of Horbury Bridge throwne down into the water, which he had cramped with irone and leade, and … hath beene at cost and charges for setting severall stones upon the said bridge to keepe waines and cartes from comeing to neare the battlements .On the same theme The Leeds Mercury of 5 October 1731 carried the following notice:Whereas the Battlement of Shipscar-Bridge, about Ten Yards in Length, was on Wednesday Morning, being the 22nd of September last, thrown down and the Cramps broke by some disorderly Persons … any Person who can discover the Offenders so that they may be brought to Punishment, shall have Ten Shillings Reward