If it was authentic... it wouldn't have bathroom inside either.... I know what you are saying.. but I think times have to change...
Oh, I agree. It's just this strange dichotomy of nostalgia and convenience. You see it at RenFaires, too - from chemical toilets to refrigeration.
I don't think the insides of castles were stone hung with tapestries, at least not in the primary living spaces. We think that way because all we've ever seen is ruins. In reality there were tiled floors with carpets, coffered wooden walls and so on. If you go to Sterling Castle, where they are recreating the original interiors, it's a bit of a shock to the system. You're expecting bare stone with tapestries, and what you see is wood, plaster, and so on.
Wow, cool. I had no idea.
I like the way they think it'll cost $350K to build the whole thing.
One can't buy a 'starter home' around here for that!
2005-09-25 02:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Eff-ing Hilarious
They are doing most of the construction themselves, that cost does not include the cost of the land, and it is in West Virginia. They are probably underestimating by some, but it'sa totally different market than you're experiencing.
Yeah, the modern interior is off-putting. Even the bathtub installation is completely normal. What? Not even a resin clawfoot tub?
I wonder what they do to afford so much land and time to dedicate to the project.
Yeah, I was surprised by the mundanity of some of their choices, but that may be budget restrictions. I wish I could spend my time building castles!
I was watching one of those "do your own repairs" kinds of shows on TLC several yers back, and they were building a log cabin. And they hung sheetrock in it. And for some reason, my "wtf"-sense was activated. I mean, I know it's nice to have a good flat wall for hanging stuff and everything... I just always thought the point of having a log cabin was for the semi-rustic appeal.
oh and.. http://www.dupontcastle.com/castles/martin.htm
this link show a castle that is not far from my home. There is a lot of info on that page, but it's somewhat outdated. It has been purchased and is being rebuilt after a disasterous fire last year. The new owner hopes to rebuild the living quarters to their original specs.
2005-09-25 05:33 pm (UTC)
My grandparents live in Lexington, and I was always curious about that castle.
fascinating read. I am glad that they're doing something with it.
People live in homes shaped like triangles.
People live in homes shaped like 20 sided dice. (Have you ever been in one of the geodomes? they are pretty neat.)
But this castle thing? I think would of made different astethic changes. I'm not fond of carpet- for one. But hey, I would be one of the first putting bathrooms inside.
Gotta have the bathrooms. And Electricity. And even though I found myself wishing they had made the illusion complete- when they end up living in a modern castle and I do not- I do find myself green with envy.
Those people rule and I hope they rock the castle!
Thanks for the linkies :)
Have seen a number of geodomes. They make a ton of sense, but don't retain their resale value. It's sad.
Well, beyond just the "nice, flat walls for hanging stuff," there is also the fact of "it is a PAIN in the ARSE to try to run electrical wire and plumbing pipes inside a stone wall.
For my $0.11 (damn inflation!), I would point out that they're builing this thing out of half cinder blocks, not natural stone. And, dude, com' on! There's not much pretty about cinder blocks. AT ALL. Even cinderblocks with Tapestries on them.
There are ways to get around that - run them between the ceiling and floor, for example - but you definitely have a point about the cinderblocks!
2005-09-25 03:42 pm (UTC)
My uncle built a castle house
2005-09-25 06:42 pm (UTC)
Re: My uncle built a castle house
Cool. Too bad you can't trace him.
2005-09-25 03:45 pm (UTC)
The evils of sheet rock
My Welsh uncle told me once about people over in the UK somewhere doing a similar thing, which he referred to as "playing at silly buggers."
I'm not a fan of sheet rock at all. But after tearing down the plaster walls in one room of our 1895 home, and discovering no insulation behind, and needing to run more electrics, we're going with sheet rock just to save our own sanity. All the research I've done indicates that trying to do plaster the authentic way is horribly difficult. It'll still look pretty when we're done... it just won't be as authentic.
And I was surprised, reading a Victorian housebuilder's manual, how sophisticated things like plumbing were in the Victorian era.
2005-09-25 05:49 pm (UTC)
Re: The evils of sheet rock
My husband had some of his apprentice classes last year at a different school (he's a stone derrickman/rigger, a kind of ironworker) and it was the school that the 'rodbusters' went to. They are the ones that put the bars in concrete, and happen to do plaster walls. (Because of the metal lathing in them.) He said he saw some of the students doing some amazing work, ornate plaster work. It's not something they had first year students do, that's for sure. (I think he could take a class in it for continuing ed, if he wanted. Which would be nice.)
And then people wonder why skilled tradesmen cost so much...
Sheetrock or no, I want a castle!
What bothers me even more than the sheetrock is how BORING it is inside...that bathroom looks like your average hotel bathroom. But it's their house and I guess they want dull...you just wouldn't expect that from the outside.
The outsides pretty drab as well... Kinda boring with nothing strucurally pretty at all.
I mean.. I wanna live in a castle.. but I wanna live in pretty castle!!
My husband and I have been wanting to build a castle ever since we saw an ad for a place that can build one for you in our Renaissance Magazine. http://www.castlemagic.com/
From what I remember about their castles is that they put a space between the inside and outside rock. In there you put all your plumbing, electric work, insulation, etc. That way it is all hidden. The do drawbridges, moats and everything.
My husband wanted to work for them, once. They do beautiful work! (HE may still want to work for them for all I know.)
This really makes me appreciate the work I've seen Dan and his coworkers do...now I really do feel that not everyone can put stone and the like all together and look beautiful. It is an art.
God I sound smug. Too bad. :P
It's definitely an art. Looking at the CastleMagic page is such a difference.
I can get behind the sheetrock and stuff. I mean .. they still have to adhere to building codes and stuff.
But that's just .. really strange.
An odd juxtaposition. It was food for thought.
One of my personal favorite castles is Castle Gwynn
in Triune, Tennessee. The owners have built it themselves over the past twenty-odd years, and it still isn't completed. When the owners got tired of random strangers coming to look at their home, they started hosting the Tennessee Renaissance Festival
every May. It's a relatively small festival, but it's the closest one to where I live, and I try to make it evey year.
What a great place for a festival, too!
I remember in high school, a friend's dad bought the ruins of an old "castle". It was a big stone mansion with the foundation intact. He was in all the papers, moved the family into a little trailer and started building.
Before they even finished the downstairs exterior, there was a divorce.
It's local lore/common sense. Don't build castles without talking to your wife.
House projects are very taxing. More than a few "dream homes" have been finished so that they could be sold and the proceeds split in the divorce.
i would have made it more self-sufficient.
If I were building a place in the country, I would incline toward self-sufficient rather than castle-like. But at least they are living their dreams!
I wonder what kind of castle structure one could do with (reinforced or framed) straw bale. And if it'd make more sense, cost-wise, than cinderblock.
Huh. Dunno how high you can build with straw bales. Interesting thought, though.
Wow, West Virginia is going to be castle state!
I don't know if you know this, but there is already a mock castle there. It was on sale a few years. That one was build by some 19th century eccentric who was into medievalism--about the same as these people, I suppose.
I have to agree with other commenters, though: I understand modernizing, but why's the inside so blah? It should be possible to build a modern, electricity-running bathroom that nevertheless looks "old-time." I mean... beige tiles?
The other west Virginian castle is rather more impressive-looking inside:http://www.castles-for-sale.com/sale/Berkeley_W_Virginia/
Yeah, that castle is much nicer. I think part of it is cost - sheetrock and standard appliances are a lot cheaper than paneling and custom fixtures.
Of course, when the end result looks like you've stuck a mobile home inside a castle....