How drawbridges worked

[fototag id=”Drawbridge”]

Classical, medieval drawbridges worked via the simple principle of counterweight, with large wood and metal bridges pivoted via a series of balancing weights in a castle’s gatehouse. The weights, which were attached to the bridge’s lifting chains, enabled the platform to be raised via a windlass, which in turn rotated a pair of lifting drums that gathered in the chains. By employing counterweights, incredibly heavy bridges could be operated by just a few people – useful when under attack. Along with a moat, a reinforced drawbridge served as a two-fold barrier, making it much more diffi cult for any enemies to invade a fortifi cation or city.