Drawbridges are used for defense! Hundreds of years ago there weren't planes, and there weren't tanks or big bombs. In order to attack a castle, invaders had to get inside of it. Fortunately, drawbridges can be raised and lowered! By using chains or ropes and winding them up, one end of the bridge can actually be lifted into the air! With no bridge, invaders would have a hard time crossing the moat.
Drawbridges were very heavy, so in addition to the chains and ropes, there was usually a counterweight (a really heavy object) inside the castle that helped the people in the castle pull the bridge up.
ExplorationDrawing a Drawbridge
Grab some pencils or crayons and get ready to draw a castle. Imagine that you're a king or queen, and draw a castle you'd like to live in. Focus on features like the drawbridge that will keep you safe from any possible invaders. How will the moat help protect you? How about the high walls? How about lots of knights?
Sources & links
Thomas, Jeffrey L. "Castle Terminology" 2009. Castle Wales. 10 May 2010. "movable bridge." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 10 May. 2010 "winch." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2010. Merriam-Webster Online. 10 May 2010.