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Castle Moats & Drawbridges Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Nola Bridgens

Nola has taught elementary school and tutored for four years. She has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, a master's degree in Marketing, and is a certified teacher.

Have you ever built a fort or a clubhouse and had a drawbridge or a moat around it? This lesson will teach you the history of moats and drawbridges and how they were used to protect medieval castles.

Medieval Times

Let's go on a journey to medieval times and explore some of the most interesting and important parts of a castle - moats and drawbridges. Imagine you are riding on a beautiful white horse, and in front of you stands a huge gray stone castle surrounded by trees, beautiful flowers, and a moat.

A moat is a deep ditch that can be filled with water that surrounds a castle or a fort for protection. You want to go explore inside the castle, but cannot get across the moat on your horse. You need a drawbridge, a bridge that can be lowered and raised quickly, to cross the moat. You find a large wooden drawbridge on the side of the castle, and it lowers so you and your horse can walk across it and get to the castle.

As you are standing inside the enormous castle, you wonder: why do castles have moats and drawbridges, anyway?

A castle with a moat and drawbridge
castle

Why Build Moats and Drawbridges?

With a moat surrounding a castle, you cannot simply walk up to it, so the moat serves as a barrier and a form of defense against unwanted intruders. However, the drawbridge serves as an access point to let in visitors who are welcome. A drawbridge can quickly be raised and lowered to let in people who are welcome and keep out people who are not. Moats and drawbridges were built around castles to protect the people inside from their enemies.

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