Today, less about a specific castle and more about three P’s – the portcullis, privy and pele tower.
Portcullis is a grilled door made from iron clad wood, usually oak. Invented by the Romans in 200s BC and incorporated into castles in the 12th century. In later developments, the portcullis was linked to the drawbridge, so both would rise and fall together using ropes, pulleys and wheels.
Since these gates were made from wood, they decayed leaving behind only the slots in the stone walls.
The crowned portcullis is the official symbol of the UK parliament.
Privy – also known as necessarium, jakes, draught, garderobe and gong (those who emptied toilets were given the title of gong farmers). Usually in castles, the waste fell straight down a chute and into the ditch or moat below. In order to stop any brave besieger from climbing up the chute, iron bars were added to the ‘seat’ – how comfortable!
Pele tower – a strong tower built for refuge or as a lookout. Fires would be lit to signal approaching danger. Pele means enclosure. They were common along the borders of Scotland and England and there are 78 surviving Pele towers in Great Britain.
needs the jakes
cold legs have the shakes
with no portcullis to protect