Category Archives: Castles

The Castle Book

Got to gather a lot of information when it comes to building a castle.

If you are familiar with my website and youtube channel then you probably already know that I want to build a castle – a real one! I have built plenty of paper castles. ANd those are great. I even have a downloadable packet of the paper version of the castle I want to build ( That’s here ) But when it comes to building a real castle there are two major things:

  1. Money – It’s just like everything else in this world – you need money. And to build an actual castle you need a whole lot of it.
  2. And you need to know how to do it. I would say that for me this is the fun part.

About this second requirement

I traveled all around America visiting castles to try and understand what they were about, how and why they were built. And I learned a whole lot. I have taken away a few overarching ideas from all this. First, I needed to keep a notebook for all the information, thoughts, and ideas.

And the second big thing that I learned is that there is a thousand ways to build a castle. Yup, each castle was built in it’s own way. And isn’t that kind of cool?

This uplifts me and reinforces the thought that I can build a castle – and do it a unique way. My castle will have it’s own story.

Another installment in my Medieval America series

Some interesting spots in Southern California

This is my latest video in my series on traveling america and seeing mostly medieval sites. I have a strong focus on castles in this adventure. And in this particular video, posted today to youtube, I visit the famous Hearst Castle.

I also visit several other places in southern California including the Golden Gate Bridge, The Winchester Haunted House, and a breeding grounds for elephant seals.

I never expected to spend this much time in California. Nor did I realize that I would love it so much. It is an amazing state with a lot to offer.

You can watch the video on my youtube channel right here.

If you are interested in reading more and seeing lots of pictures from my trip around america I have a whole section of the website dedicated to it here: Will Travels Medieval America.

Castles, rumors, and movies

Castles are visually appealing and they are often rumored to be the inspiration for movies and more

I recently completed a trek around the USA visiting all kinds of sites including lots and lots of castles. It was a wonderful trip. And one of the by-products of the visits to castles was the rumors and stories each of them have. Here are two quick rumors about a couple of castles.

The Wizard of Oz Castle

Castle Rock hidden in New York State

This is Castle Rock. It is a private castle that you can’t get close too. But, being perched up on a hill like this means that you can get some pictures of it from afar. Like I did with a zoom lens in this photo. I am actually a couple of miles away from it.

Anyway, this castle is purported to be the inspiration for the Witch’s castle in the Wizard of Oz. It definitely has that feel to it.

Hogwarts Castle

This is a castle turned private school in Great Barrington Massachusetts. It’s called Searles Castle (Now the John Dewey Academy). And it is purported to be one of the inspirations for Hogwarts Castle. I can see it.

if you love castles like I do be sure to visit my website devoted to them: Medieval Castles

Every Castle has a story

Even the younger ones in America have a story to tell.

It isn’t necessarily about castles; it’s more about human beings and the things we do. People have been people since the beginning of time. And this means, victories, triumphs, betrayals, murders, disappearances and stories of human effort and triumph.

But these stories tend to stick around with castles because castles tend to stick around. So, there is an anchor that keeps the story going. In some cases for hundreds of years.

Last week I told you about my journey around America in my quest to visit many sites including castles.

I have been thinking a lot lately about writing a book about the interesting stories of American castles. Send me an email if you think this is a good idea. Or if you know a story linked to a castle.

And just as a teaser … I included in this post a picture I took of a castle. It is called “Castle Rock” and it is in New York state. You can’t get anywhere near it. It is on private land and you can only get pictures of it from a distance like I did. But an interesting story about this castle is that it is rumored to be the inspiration for the Witch’s castle in the movie The Wizard of Oz.

Want to learn more about castles in America? I have a whole section of my website right here: Will travels Medieval America

Paper Castle and More Paper Castles

I have had an obsession with castles for a long time.

And this obsession took a peculiar turn when I got a Christmas present from a family member.

I had never thought about the possibilities of paper castles until I got the christmas present of a cut and make paper castle (Caernarvon Castle).

My first paper castle

And I was hooked! I absolutely love this kind of project. And since that first paper castle I have made quite a few more of them. But I also have expanded my love of paper castles into the realm of designing and printing my own paper castles. Yup… and they are all available for free right here on my website. So, if you want to make a paper castle but don’t want to spend any money feel free to either follow my tutorials on how to do it or even download one of my free packets that you can print up and make.

I promise lots of free fun.

Here are my paper (and cardboard) castle making projects for you:

Easy Paper castle for kids to make

Some paper, some glue and four bathroom tissue tubes is all you need to make this castle It’s very popular with kids and I have hundreds of pictures sent in from people who have made this project. You can do this project right here: Make a Paper and Cardboard Castle

Merry Mead Paper Castle

This is a pdf that you download, cut out and glue together. It includes everything you need. And it comes with all the instructions on how to make it. Download this free pdf right here: Merry Mead Paper Castle

Castle – in a box

This is a fun little project. You download it, print it up, and put it together. It is inspired by the Japanese art of Tatebanko which is a scene box. In this scene is a castle. Castle in a box

My latest project is a castle made out of a single cardboard box. It is a fun and easy box project. And the kids will love it. There are two benefits to this project. First you have the fun of making the castle; and second you and the kids have the fun of using the castle for play! I love it.

You can watch the video tutorial on my youtube channel right here: Make a castle out of a cardboard box.

Make a 1 Box Cardboard Castle

It is a very popular project and a cardboard box lends itself perfectly to making a castle.

My website is called stormthecastle.com and that is because I love everything castle! I already have lots of castle making projects and this one is my newest and my most funnest. You can turn a single cardboard box into a nice little castle -easily.

Watch my youtube video to find out how to do it:

Ep 13: Deja-vu and Castles

Did you ever have an incident of Deja-vu in your life. It’s a very funny thing. I have had a few very strong ones in my life. One was inside a castle. In this episode of my Friday Fish and Chips I talk about this.

Cardboard and Tudor houses

I have been working on a cardboard project. It’s a dollhouse in a tudor style. It’s a nice project and a lot of fun. (That project is on my youtube channel here if you would like to see it)

Anyway, I have a friend over in the UK named Stephen and he went for a walk and took some pictures of Tudor buildings. These are around New street and Friar street in Worcester.

All the lines are crooked and the buildings all lean forward. And don’t get me started on how amazing the glass windows on the upper floors are. The buildings just have a wonderful hand-built feel to them. No mass manufactured cookie cutter stuff here.

Aren’t they amazing?

Just think about the fact that these buildings are probably older than America.

I have been thinking a lot about going over to the UK so I can see castles. But now I am thinking that there are whole lot of other things I will need to see including Tudor buildings and of course. . . I will need to get me some authentic Fish and Chips!

Tudor building in the UK - Worcester

The Things I am learning from Visiting Castles

You may already know but I have the goal of building my own castle. It is part of the reason why I have been adventuring around America. I am visiting lots of castles and learning a lot about them, why they were built, how they were built, and what makes each of them unique.

It has been a wonderful learning process for me. And I have learned a lot. Let me give you an example.

Here is Grey Towers Castle in Pennsylvania. It’s a wonderful 100 year old castle. Yet pretty standard stuff when it comes to the castles in America.

But, I did discover something about this castle and gained a wonderful insight. You see, this castle is a bit unique, a little bit different than many of the other castles I have visited.

 

 

 

This castle has a wonderful network of narrow paths and secret areas around back. You can go for a walk in a charming wooded area just outside the castle. And in this area is a group of secret and intimate little spots like a covered gazebo a small fish fountain and some little buildings. It is just wonderful!! So, when I build my castle I am going to have an area just outside the castle like this. It is perfect for having intimate little gatherings of friends, maybe have dinner outside or a barbeque and drinks.

Want to learn more about Grey Towers Castle?   

Here are some pictures of intimate little areas around the castle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While browsing around an old bookstore in New Orleans

I am on a journey around America. I am visiting all 48 states and seeing a whole lot of sights. And while in New Orleans I found an old bookstore. It was a great little place with a lot of old books. And I discovered this set of three books:

 

 

 

 

 

I almost didn’t pull them down off a high shelf. There is no telling how long they were sitting there. And the spines were damaged so the title of the books is missing. It was simply a look to see. I figured nobody would bother to look at them. The title pages are missing on the inside so it’s almost impossible to know the titles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And much to my surprise they were wonderful books! Just my kind of thing. And one of the books has a yellow post it note inside:

 

So, I am guessing that the name of the book is Decorative Antiquities to illustrate a variety of design details.  And in three volumes.

 

And the books are full of illustrations. Simply that, lots of illustrations.

 

There are towers, cartouches, cariatides, columns, caissons and much more… wood carvings, candelabras, stairways, human figures, statues and much much more. It is a wonderful set of reference books. And perfect for me considering the fact that I am building a castle!

One of the wonderful things about traveling is that you run into unexpected little surprises of every type, food, entertainment, interesting people, new scenery and even mysterious little book stores. Yup, good to see America still has mysterious little book stores.