At first, the besieging army would send out a summons to surrender. After this was rejected, the army would draw up its own defensive walls around those of the besieged garrison, known as ‘lines of circumvallation’. Trenches would be dug to enable soldiers to approach, and eventually assault, siege defences. The besieged garrison would attempt to hold out for as long as possible in the hope of being relieved. After a prolonged bombardment, the besieging army might achieve a breach, or breaking down of the siege defences. After this, the siege ended in either surrender or storm. An early surrender might result in safety for the besieged population. If a final summons to surrender was rejected and the garrison was stormed, both the soldiers and civilians inside could be treated without mercy.
Insert image: 6 Storm of Basing House (please include attribution in image title)