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A Glossary: D

Ditch

(also known as Fosse)
Windsor, England (Castles of the World)
A dry moat.

Donjon

See Keep

Drawbridge

Muiderslot, The Netherlands (Jayhawk)
A heavy wooden movable bridge normally crossing a ditch or moat in front of the gateway. The earliest versions were fully removable but later versions were hinged on the inside and had ropes and pulleys so that guards within the safety of the castle could pull up one end. Later still, chains were used instead of ropes because of the greater strength and counterweights added to help the pulling. When fully pulled up it stood vertically at the front of the gate and formed an additional defence.

Drum Tower

Guerande, France (GillB)
A large, circular, low tower built into a wall connecting stretches of curtain wall.

Dungeon

Blarney Castle, Ireland (Mark Dotson)
A corruption of the French word 'donjon'. However while the donjon of a castle was its keep, the dungeon was the prison. It was frequently near or inside the main gatehouse so that the enemy did not see the defences inside the castle. An additional advantage to this positioning was that the gatehouse guards could keep a close eye on their captives.

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