How big were defensice harbour chains in the medieval period?

by Shadowmant

How big were the chain links for harbour protecting chains? (You know, those links in lenghs of chains they would use to block ships from entering a harbour during sieges)

So, I know people hate this but I really don't have a more specific timeframe to give than "medieval" though I suspect it didn't vary too much. If it helps, my inspiration for the question was the Golden Horn of Constantinople but isn't limited to it specifically.

Google really doesn't much to help answer this question. I can't see what we would percieve as a regular modern day chain doing much to stop a ship such as a galley from entering (though maybe I'm wrong?) and too heavy of a chain would have been unrealistic (I assume).

How big of a chain would have been used?


So in the title that is "Defensive" since I'm not allowed to correct it.


They were pretty big. u/sleepygeeks had a post on this like 9 years ago which deals with some of the chain logistics but doesn't address chain size itself.

Fortunately, there are loads of exhibits around Istanbul which give visitors a sense of the chain's scale. What I've been unable to work out is if these are actual remnants of the chain or modern recreations.

Of course, as times change, the chains do to. By the time of the Revolutionary War, chains were considerably bigger. Here's the remains of one of the chains strung across the Hudson from during that conflict.