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A Glossary: P

Palisade


A wooden fence used as a fortification later replaced by stone curtain walls. It was made of heavy timber, locked together with horizontal beams and braced or propped up at the back. The disadvantages were that the wood was prone to rotting very quickly and was susceptible to fire.

Parados

Tantallon Castle, Scotland (Olaf Kaiser at Burgenwelt)
Low wall on the inner side of an allure.

Parapet

Low wall on the outer side of an allure.
See Parados

Pele Tower

Ponteland, England (Michael Taylor)
Note: this pele tower is to be restored. You can read more about it on the linked site

A strongly built tower, frequently separate to the main castle, used as a place of refuge and a look-out. It often had a small attached walled yard.

Portcullis

Angers, France (Castles of the World)
Iron grille with spikes at the base in front of the wooden door of a gate house which could be raised or lowered through slots. A quick release mechanism was often present for emergencies when a guard could hit the release latch with a sledge-hammer and the portcullis would drop immediately.

Postern Gate

Peel castle, Isle of Man (image courtesy of Isle of Man.com)
A secret gate at the back of a castle to enable raids or escape.

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