Innovation day

Hi there hermione here, today I am going to tell you about my Innovation project.

What  did i need to build?

I needed to build a medieval castle with:

  • a working drawbridge
  • a pulley system
  • if you can add a gear system

Facts about the Medieval times

Lord’s versus serfs

Lord’s,Lady’s,Kings,and Queens had a privileged family with a nice house,servants,good food,  clothing, and schooling. Which also meant that they owned lots of property including towns and villages.They accumulated wealth by serfs paying taxes (such as money,crops, and livestock) serfs also paid for mill use to make flour for their family. Serfs grew the lord’s food and tended to his livestock. In exchange for their hard work the lord would let them use some of the land for their family. Since serfs were poor they did not get to be educated and had small houses made out of wood and mud, the roof was made out of rushes and straw. Inside there was one room, straw beds, and a table. Serfs were under strict rules such as not allowed to hunt in the lord’s  forest or the lord must approve marriage and travel. But there were also freemen who were sttil as low as serfs in the feudal system they had more freedom. Serfs had a risky chance to become freemen they would have to run away to a town and manage to survive and stay hidden they would become freemen too.  here is the feudal system freemen and serfs on the bottom and lords and king at the top  


A castle was a home to an important person. The first type of castle was the moat and bailey castles. Motte and bailey castles had a motte, a bailey, two ditches, a keep, and a palisade. A keep was where the lord and his family slept and a palisade is a wooden stake fence, and the bailey is an enclosed courtyard. Since motte and bailey were vulnerable to fire they did not last long. After they started to build fortresses out of stone which still had a keep and  moat. They were stronger, had a lot of defense, and less vulnerable to fire, but also more expensive and time consuming. These castles were square and if someone dug under the corners it would collapse . Then builders made castles more round and added towers . The gate house was the weakest point of castle defence, so castle builders made sure to include extra defence. They added a drawbridge, portcullis which was a heavy wooden lattice (a wooden fence with a square pattern ) which could be raised or lowered to block the gate way.  After the drawbridge and the portcullis was a wooden gate. In between the gate and portcullis there were arrow slits and murder holes (which were holes that they dumped hot tar, oil, or rocks). 


 There were different types of soldiers not just knights. For example, there were foot soldiers, archers and crossbowmen.  The knights were the most respected soldiers. Most of the knights were sons of wealthy  people. It was very expensive to become a knight because  you needed to afford a horse and armor. You also needed to find someone to train you. As a knight you can become very wealthy and receive a title.  The first few years of training you help dress and serve the lord and train to use a lance and a sword. When you are ready you move to become a squire. As a squire you learn more challenging skills like learning how to use weapons and fight, but you are still a servant as a servant you groom and saddle horses,clean and polish armor. The dubbing ceremony was were the squire got knighted.  Once knighted they were expected to protect the lord, church, and the weak members of the society, they also needed to treat knights who were captured in a battle as a guest until family paid money. 


A drawbridge was a part of the gate house. It briged a moat or a ditch. It can be raised or lowered to give access to the castle which was a form of defense.  Before they were just plain old bridges that were easy to destroy when the enemy was approaching. There were different types of drawbridges. A simple drawbridge was a winch and pulley system which was for lighter bridges. A more complex system was a counter weight system which worked better with heavier bridges. How a counter weight system  worked was you had a hole and two pulleys you also had a chain which had weights on it. You had to drop the weights down the hole, but you had to make sure the hole was the right depth so the bridge wouldn’t  go up with a lot of momentum and damage both the castle and the drawbridge.     



Here is my design of what I wanted my drawbridge to look and how it would work:


Here is my design of my castle:


Procedure and Materials:


    what I used:

  •   3 equal pieces of cardboard
  • 2 strips of cardboard
  • 2 skewers
  • 4 pulleys
  •  3 paper towel rolls
  • 1 mini box
  • paint

Final results:

Self reflecting conclusion:

If I did this again I would make the castle longer so I have more room for the additional features such as the lords chamber. Because I did not have enough room for lords chamber  in this build.I was not happy with the size of my drawbridge.

I also would try to add the gears  in a useful way.  A gear system is a simple machine that is used for moving  something heavy such as a drawbridge.


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