Category Archives: Castles

The Words around Barnard Castle

I have a friend who lives in the U.K. (lucky) and he regularly contributes wonderful stuff to my various websites including pictures and articles about any castles that he visits.

He just recently visited a castle called “Barnard Castle” and of course he sent me lots of pics, and wrote a great essay about it. You can check that out right here.

When I create a webpage like this for something that someone sent me I usually do a little research so I can understand better what I have and how I can best transmit that to my web visitors. Maybe I can add a little something to it.

Well… for Barnard castle one of the first things I did was crank up google maps. And of course the castle is there.

I started looking around the castle and the various little towns nearby and what did I find? I felt like I was dropped directly into middle earth! Yes. It is because of the wonderful names of things in just a few square kilometers around it.

I got to share some of my discoveries with you.

There is a bakery called “The Moody Baker” and an Inn called The “Ancient Unicorn Inn”

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A restaurant called “Fryer Tuck Restaurant” A patisserie called “Bramble Pie”.
How about the Taj Mahal Takeaway, the Three Horseshoes and the Coach and Horses Inn.And while I have a head of steam going here lets take a look at some of the areas and roads.

There is:

Evenwood, Butterknowle, Wackerfield and Dickens Road!
Huderthwaite, Romaldkirk, Langleydale and Mickleton!
Churchill Road, Eggleston, Thringarth and Bowbank!

With a yarn mouse a deerbolt and a White Swan  all along the Deepdale Beck!

All of this makes me think of Tolkien and the wonderfully rich language he created and used in his writing. He was a philologist wasn’t he? And it is easy to see his inspiration. There are just so many wonderful names, words, and places in the United Kingdom. These words are just a joy to read and say! And I believe this is one of the most important things about Tolkiens work – the simple joy of language.

Well… let me end off this whole thing with a take out restaurant near the castle called “Jennifers”.

Aww…. Jennifer! Seems to me you let everybody down. “Jennifers” is just too plain and modern. You should get on the same sheet of music as everybody else. How about you rename the place to “Lady Jennifers” That might work.

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“Undermining” – Another Medieval Idiom

Ok Ok! I promise I won’t hit you with too many idioms but this one I can’t resist.  It is one of my favorites. It is “Undermining”. Did you ever wonder where that term came from?

It came from the sieging of castles. Yup. When an attacking force is sieging a castle one of the things that they would do was to dig a tunnel or mine underneath it. (They would dig a mine under it). Now here is where the real brilliance of the term comes into play.

We often think that they would dig a secret tunnel under a castle so they could sneak into the castle. But that really isn’t the case. The real point of these tunnels was to get under a wall or under a corner of the castle then collapse the mine. Therefore collapsing the wall or the corner of the castle wall. You see? So, digging the mine would cause the castle to collapse under it’s own weight.  Kind of brilliant.

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How did they do it without having the tunnel collapse on them as they were digging it? Well, they would build wooden supports just like we picture in a regular mine. And when they were ready they would evacuate the mine and light it on fire.

And just like any good arms race our castle residents had a way to combat this undermining. How do you think they did it? With a moat! Yup. The moat around a castle was the perfect defense for this because the attacking army couldn’t dig a mine. It would simply flood before they could get close to underneath the castle.

 

Having some fun with a secret project

This is a fairly ambitious project and it is going to be an important part of my youtube channel. ANd I am having a whole lot of fun with it.  It is a Wizard’s Lair video studio that I am building in my house. We have most of the major work done and now we are working on the furnishings.  Here are a few pics of the progress.

 

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Dreams of a knightly life

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About a year ago the Higgins Armory Museum (In Worcester Massachusetts) closed its doors for good.  What a shame.  They had such a beautiful collection of weapons and armor. I wrote about my trip there on my website here. I also have pictures: http://medieval.stormthecastle.com/higgins-armory-of-weapons-and-armor.htm

Well, a company in London was assigned to auction off the assets. And I got on their mailing list. Once they got everything sorted and figured out they put together an auction and sent me an auction list complete with pictures, estimated prices and the days of the auction.

Of course lots and lots of things caught my eye. There was so much good stuff going up for auction. But two things caught my eye in particular. Stained Glass Windows. (They are both in this post).

And I thought to myself “Some people live an enchanted life, unlike the most of us”.

This is what I mean.

stained-glass-higgins-2There are people out there that would say. “Hmmmm…. I love these two stained glass windows going up for auction at a famous London Auction House. Let’s fly out to London for a few days, go to the auction, bid on those windows, spend a few of days experiencing Great Britain then come back – stained glass windows in hand.”

Some people have that capability in their lives. There is a flexibility that comes with having money. It isn’t just about buying things. It is more about being able to do and experience what is right in your life.

This is how a knight lives. He masters the times that he lives in. He experiences a life full of wonderful experiences. He sees a goal and goes and gets it -Slaying any dragons that need slaying.

 

Saving a Castle

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In the grand scheme and time line of countries and castles America isn’t that old. There are castles in Europe and Asia that laugh when we talk about things on a scale of a few decades or maybe a century.  Yet, a hundred and fifteen years can be considered a long time – long enough for a castle to have a full life, wane then fall into disrepair. And this is what happened to a small castle in New Hampshire called Kimball castle. 

It to

ok two years for the president of the Concord and Montreal Railroad to build and it was completed in 1899. And it stayed in the Kimball family until 1960 when the last remaining heir died leaving it to a charitable foundation with the intent of it becoming a nature preserve. The preserve never happened and time slowly, but predicatably, took it’s toll on the building.

Today

I did some research on the castle and what I can tell is that it is currently for sale and the asking price is $799,000.00.  But I haven’t actually talked to anyone about that. It may have changed.

Anyhoo, wouldn’t this be a wonderful project? To take this actual old castle and breathe life back into it? You know it and the stone walls surrounding it was all actually buillt by 100 Italian stone masons! Kind of cool.

It is only about 150 miles from where I live and I have given some thought to this being a big thing in my life but to be honest it is too small! Yup, too small for me. After all the Big castles I have visited in the world I just can’t see myself in this one. It is quaint and cozy but just too cramped!

Okay! Interested in learning more about the castle and the movement to save it? Check out the fa

cebook page about it right here: Save Kimball Castle  You can join the group and to learn more about this undertaking to save the castle contact Darnell through the group. Here is a picture that she sent me:

You can see more pictures of the castle and learn more about it on my website right here:

Medieval Castles and Kimball Castle

India, Castles and the Blurring of time

I spent some time in India last month and a whole lot of things struck me. One of which is the blending of the castles and architectural structures. What do  I mean by this? Well, time and people are a fluid thing. They meld, mold and change over time. It is an interesting thing. And we live in a snapshot of time. So it is difficult to really get a look at this changing. But, big stone castles and structures are a clue about this and can tell us a lot about this changing.

And in India it is very evident in the castles. Let’s take a look at the Red Fort in Delhi.
The outside is very european in flavor and feel. The walls, the towers etc. The overall cut of it minus the arched doorway of course.

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Let’s move a little deeper into the actual structure and we see the Indian influence begin to take over.

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And the deeper we get the more Indian in flavor, color and shape it becomes.

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So, that is my thought on the malleability of time and how things change. Things are not locked in to one way, they change, are influenced by each other and change over time. And we are still in the middle of this beautiful river of it.

Want to see more of India? I have more stuff about the castles on my website here:

The Castles of India

Winnekenni Castle – Castles and Yachts

This blogpost is about Winnekenni Castle, but visiting this castle did evoke a feeling in me. I call the feeling Castles and Yachts or why nobody builds castles anymore.

If you were a follower of my other blog, or are a fan of my website you know I am a fanatic about castles. Love  them in all their iterations. Well, I have hit a lot of them here in New England and today I managed to get to another onewinnikenni-castle-1

It is Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill Massachusetts.

It was about a two hour drive for me and being a Sunday the drive was nice. I have been wanting to get to it for the past couple of weeks and finally went. It was worth the drive. They were having a little event, which was nice. It was like a 50’s doo-wop thing with 50’s music and a whole lot of nice classic cars.  Everything free too.

She’s a wonderful little Castle. I would guess around 60 feet by 35 feet. But that’s just a guess. And just like all these old castles she has a history including burnings.  It is being kept by a foundation now but it was originally built and owned by a physician, (Dr. James R. Nichols). He was inspired to build it after a trip to England.  They started construction in 1873 and it was completed in 1875.

The building can be rented out for events like weddings. And you can learn more about it on their website here: Winnikenni Castle

I will be adding more pics and info about this on my website here, but give me a day: Medieval castles

Now, about Castles and Yachts.

I was just kind of lamenting about the fact that nobody builds castles anymore. They are fading further into the past, and as each day goes the remaining ones get a day older and a day closer to their eventual razing.  Nowadays the super powerful build yachts. Interesting though that while the castles provided stone as protection now the yachts actually have anti-aircraft defenses.   The need for security is still there its just from a different type of attack.