Dropping the Portcullis allowed the castle guards to prepare to defend the castle. The Missiles to be dropped from the Murder Holes could be prepared. Archers could make ready in the Barbican. And most importantly the great castle doors could be barred. It gave the castle defenders valuable time. The portcullis combined visibility with security! Arrows could be launched through the portcullis and the immediate progress of the enemy could be easily seen. The open grid design of the Portcullis was not built to withstand a heavy attack. It was to gain valuable time in organizing a castle's defence. This is the reason that large, important castles had up to three Portcullis gates!
- What was the Origin, Meaning or Definition of the Portcullis
- Description of a castle Portcullis
- What was the purpose of the Portcullis?
- How did Portcullis help with Castle defenses?
- What was a Portcullis made out of?
Raising the Portcullis
There were various systems to raise the Portcullis, depending on the castle design. These might include counter weights, pulleys, and rope. A late design of the Portcullis combined its mechanism with that of the Drawbridge - when the Portcullis was dropped the Drawbridge was automatically raised.
Origin, Meaning of the word 'Portcullis'
The Origin and Meaning of the word 'Portcullis' derives from the Old French words 'porte coleice' meaning sliding door.
Portcullis - Part of a Medieval Castle
The most prolific of the castle builders were the Plantagenets. English King Edward I. These old Medieval Castles were a symbol of wealth and power and were often the centre of historic battles and Medieval sieges. These great old castles were built for Medieval warfare and defence and new parts of the castle were designed accordingly! The Portcullis features in the Medieval castles built by the Plantagenets.
Facts and information about the many different parts of Castles! The Portcullis was an essential Castle part as a form of rapid response defence against intruders.