A New Medieval Castle Rises in Arkansas
Today we’re not goign to talk about graphics, website design, SEO, or any of the things I normally talk about. It’s something far more magical and wondrous: there is a castle that’s being raised in the U.S., in Arkansas, of all places. The Ozark Medieval Fortress is being built, using the same tools and techniques that were available in medieval times. That means hand-cutting of stone, ladies and gentlemen.
They picked a site where the requisite building materials were already available (earth, sand, water, stone, and wood). The site was originally owned by a retired French couple, the Mirat family. They knew about Michel Guyot, who bought and restored the castle Saint-Forgeau castle in Burgundy, France. They invited him to come, sold him the site, and voila! The project’s home page has architectural drawings in a twenty year plan.
The site provides teaching from workers to “time traveller” tourists each day. They will also be teaching visitors how to make wattle and daub homes (for the peasants), flaxen rope, terracotta roof tiles, and lime-based mortar. (Interestingly, Mayan pyramids are made of lime. Althought they crack from the earthquakes, they also self-repair, because the lime runs off during rains and often fixes the walls.) And last, but not least, full scale catapults, the medieval seige weapon of choice, will be in existence by 2011.
I heard about the project from an Arkansas architect, Steven Hurd, who’s involved with the project. His wonderful wooden cathedral and castle toys, are on sale in the museum shop. His website is Westworks Designs.com.