Portcullis Perils

3 min read

There are lots of reasons not to attack a Castle. They are specifically designed to repel people who are outside. Sometimes though, you don’t have a choice and you must. If you’d asked Owain Glyndwr what his thoughts were on the matter, he’d have rolled his eyes and said, “no chance”. True to his word, he took one look at Pembroke Castle and decided not to bother.

Castles are on hills, they have high walls, they have moats, they have murder holes and they have the mighty portcullis.

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Lets say your castle is about to be breached. The attackers have managed to get up the hill and are about to breach your property. Not to worry this is where you get to play your final card. The Portcullis is a huge grated gate that can be lowered or dropped down blocking the entrance. It is usually made from a good bit of solid oak or iron and takes an age to bash through. Some castles had a solid iron one. Once it was on its way down nothing was going to stop it, the weight was quite intense. You can see one being operated at Warwick Castle.

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Both battering rams and humans were no match for a mighty portcullis. What was a really clever feature was that the spikes it had on the base were lined up with holes in the floor and flagstones. When they come down and sink neatly in there is very little getting in or getting out. If the castle was lost it would certainly buy you some time so that you could escape. Whilst we can’t install a portcullis to protect our modern homes, an Englishman’s home is still his castle! Why not consider the protection from an Electric Gate Company Gloucester instead? For an Electric Gate Company Gloucester, visit Complete Gate Automation.

One of the nastiest features of the castle and its portcullis was to lure the attackers into the gate house. “Success!” the attackers would cry, and they would go steaming into the gap ready to cause as much havoc and slaughter as they could. But what is this? As the attackers reach the end, a portcullis has dropped!  And one behind them too, trapping them in the gate house. Suddenly above their heads wooden panels are removed and the smell of boiling oil or pitch fills the air. Down it is poured on the attackers as the Yeomen also launch wave after wave of arrows from their longbows. There are lots of reasons not to attack a Castle.

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