A portcullis is a latticed wooden or metal gate which could be raised on ropes or chains using a winch. They often have spikes on the bottom, and were used mainly in castles as a form of defence. There were usually two portcullises at the entrance of the building. The first would be raised, then closed before the inner gate was raised. This trapped enemies in the short corridor between the two gates, where they could be picked off by arrows or killed with burning material dropped from above.
Ormond Castle, also known as Avoch Castle, was a medieval castle overlooking the village of Avoch on the Black Isle, a peninsula in the Scottish Highlands. The Barony of Ormond became an Earldom for Hugh Douglas, one of the ‘Black Douglasses.’ After the civil war in 1455 between King James II and the Black Douglasses, however, the Earldom of Ormonde was forfeit. The castle was seized and given to George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, the ‘Red Douglas’ and enemy of the Black Douglasses. The castle is not still standing today.
Canting is an architectural term for constructing part of a facade at an angle to the rest of the building. This gives the appearance of bits of the building being ‘pushed forward’ from the rest. It is particularly common in the late 16th century. A practical use of canting was that it would allow goods or furniture to be pulled up to the top rooms of the house without bumping the walls on the way up, or waste to be thrown from the window into the street without hitting the side of the house.
An image of a house (not Tudor period) which provides a good example of canting.
Beelzebub (‘Lord of the Flies’) is an old deity worshipped by the Philistines in Ekron, considered a demon and one of the princes of Hell by Christians. He is also identified with Satan in the New Testament.
From 2 Kings 1:
And Ahaziah fell down through a lattice in his upper chamber that was in Samaria, and was sick: and he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.
(Ahaziah is then condemned to die by God’s words because he sought advice from Beelzebub instead of God.)