Sunday, September 2, 2007

Contact Me

Someone said that they found no way to contact me on the blog. I hadn't really thought about it, but now that it appears to be necessary I should provide some means. Place a comment to this posting to contact me. All comments are moderated, so I'll see it. I'm sorry I can't provide an email address, but the last thing I need is some bot trolling the blogs looking for email addresses finding mine so I wind up with even more spam in my mailbox...


  1. Thanks for the site and the great collection of information and resources. My searches have paralleled yours. Searching for sites under other languages can be productive. I speak German, but not French, and so have tended to look at more German sites. A good one is

    For foreign language searches, one or two key words can produce results, so search with something like 'chateau' for French.

    As far as construction methods are concerned, I am looking at concrete tilt-up, AAC, ICF, or a combination of these.

    Another resource for concrete work is the range of dyes that are available that can simulate marble, slate, or inlays and mosaics.

    While I would like to use timber framing for open ceiling truss work, weight and speed might tip the balance to steel or aluminum trusses that are clad in wood. As with a number of architectural details, this could be done some time after the initial construction.

    Thanks again! - Mark

  2. Danke for the comments, Mark! Glad you stopped by, your ideas got my mind going and resulted in a new post. Best of luck with your castle construction dreams, post a link if you get it going!

  3. Every once in a while I check the castle building discussions to see what is being said. I ran across your comments in the Castle on the Web page which led me to your site. Thanks so much for your support to all of us who want to build our own castles just for long lasting fun and enjoyment.

  4. Glad you enjoyed the site, Roger. Best of luck pursuing your castlebuilding ideas, stop by anytime!

  5. I thought you might be interested in this very ambitious project in Colorado. It is called Medieval World. Their web site is as follows;

    Thanks for creating this blog (great information.)


  6. Thanks for the link Gary. That looks like a whopper of a project, sort of like the "Realms of Legend" project, this looks to be on a bit more of a human scale. Perhaps on the order of the Tennessee Ren Fair's Freeman Castle. I throw a post in the blog for it.

  7. I happened by your site when I was checking the stats on my castle blog and thought I'd get in touch. I like the info you've put up about arches. Check out some of my sites. I'm always on the look out for castle enthusiasts of all kinds- even folly builders ; )- as long as we're talking the same lingo. Check out my off. site and it will lead you to my other informative blog

  8. Hi there,

    Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the site! Good luck building up your castle site.

  9. Hello! I just stumbled upon your site while looking up the new American Castle, because I am using a supplier that also did work on that.
    I am a castle lover since childhood, while my dad built the homes we lived in as I grew up I would design castles! I've dragged my family to castles all over the world. I have an extensive collection of photographs I've taken and am now putting them to good use! After 7 years of planning and 16 months of building I am almost finished with my "dream castle"! While not a traditional castle as seen in the UK or in movies, it is heavily inspired by specific castles and fortified villages I have visited in Spain, Southern France, and Italy; Rocomador, Carcassonne, Cardona, Oropesa, Avignon, to name a few. The design and finish materials will have an "old world" feel, but the construction technology is very much state of the art. I am using EcoBlock ICFs for the walls, and AmDeck concrete forms for the floors and roof. It is a very over-engineered concrete home, built half below grade in solid rock, so hopefully it will last as long as some of my favorite castles! And yes, as I read in one of your posts, I am actually doing this myself (with a few helpers!) It is a family tradition in a way, I am the 3rd generation of owner-builders. I designed it from scratch, and am doing every stage of construction. Honestly, it is the hardest thing I have ever done, but it is also very rewarding.
    If you think this project might be of interest to yourself or your viewers, I have a blog of the construction at:
    I would also be happy to provide you with more pictures if you want!


  10. After looking at the various posts on your Blog, I though you might also be interested in this site:

    Although there is not a whole lot that is specifically "castle" related, they do offer a large variety of hardware which wouldn't be out of place in a castle environment (various wrought iron items, lion's head and other period items as well as old fashioned cut nails).

    Along with the hardware, they offer a large line of how to books - some are available on sites like Amazon, many of them are not though. Of particular interest would be the Classic Reprint lines (be sure to look at both the Gardening and Woodworking sections). These books are old 100-500 year old books which are reprinted with few if any changes. They cover a broad range of areas of interest from masonry and carpentry to black smithing. You also find a lot of information regarding cutting edge technology for the periods in which they were originally printed.

  11. I just started looking for property for my castle building dream. I am guessing you already have some experience in this. Do you know any specific questions I should ask the realtor prior to bidding on a piece of land? I have found eight acres I am interested in, but am not sure if they will allow a castle. Have you even contacted the city the land is located in, to ask them questions directly?
    Thanks so much for your Blog. You are an inspiration!

  12. Hi there,

    My reply got a little long winded to post here in the comments, so here's a post for you as an answer.

  13. Hi Jeff,

    From your site I was following a link for a castle in Missouri. It in turn led me to this:
    It lists 3 "castles" in the state.
    The first (stuart) is up for sale (down from 2 million to 850K..bargain.)
    If you google it you can find their realtor and picture site.
    Interesting place.

  14. I have been dreaming of building my own castle for as long as I can remember. No one else I have ever known has had those kinds of dreams. I had no idea that there were this many people these days who want the same thing! My passion has been renewed thanks to your blog.

    I am a Software Engineer and its my job to make all kinds of web pages every day. I would gladly work on a site with you for free to make all of this information a more accessible and comprehensive resource. It will surely benefit me when I can finally begin and hopefully grow the community as well.

  15. Hi Max,

    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad to hear from any fellow castle builders. That's a fantastic offer to join up on a website for castle builders, and I'd be happy to help you with any information I can possibly offer - and several of the castle builders I've mentioned here are great people and often will spare the time to help seriously interested parties.

    Unfortunately, there's a "but..." in there.

    Regarding a website for castle builders; there's a dearth of information about castle building out there. If you want to build a traditional castle, that can be off-putting to may folks because of the labor involved. More modern techniques use standard construction methods and materials, which folks find boring and uninteresting. To boot, many decorative items and materials that scream "castle" are expensive and unaffordable by would be castle-builders.

    So, as I have discovered, that really limits the pool regarding what can be really put on a website that will interest folks; and I can understand - why would I spend time browsing a website full of construction technology that may have nothing to do with how *I* want to build a castle, or apply to building codes where I live? Castles are individual statements and works of art. With so few castles being built, there really isn't much real world data on the various materials and methods to draw on.

    That said, I'd still be glad to see what you have in mind and do some digging on the web to add content where possible. More so, It'd be great to see you start a site that has to do with your castle dream, and watch it evolve from doodles on a sheet of paper to stone sitting on the Earth.

    Whatever you decide, I look forward to hearing from you; and best wishes on your castle dream!


  16. Hi there,

    Was checking out real estate listings in NY's Adirondack area and came across this. Very interesting if you want a castle that is shell built but you own finishing touches.

  17. still showing property and it's now reduced to $189,000. If keep watching at this rate will be free in a year or so!

  18. Wow when it rains it pours.
    Was on another site and this pops up. A member of the band Alabama is selling his "castle".
    Of course it's located in Alabama LOL.
    Here is the url:
    It's in Fort Payne and going for 3.9 million.

  19. Hi Janet,

    I surmise by the "$189,000" comment you mean the castle in the Adirondacks? I never heard from the agent, but good luck to them regarding the sale. It looks interesting, but a bit too far out of the way. You'd be stuck with it as a vacation home, retreat, or work at home site. One couldn't realistically commute from it to a more metropolitan area for a job.

    That Ft. Payne castle is pretty interesting. What a monster. I don't think it's someplace I'd want to live; but hey, if you've got an extra $3.9M in your pocket, go for it!

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing! You might want to see if the Dupont castle site is interested in posting that Ft. Payne castle, he has a link on his site for sending him info.


  20. Hello Jeff,

    Thought you might be interested in this product. I ran across the site while comparing ICF companies. The company, Shelter Works, makes a product called Faswall. They use wood chips that are mineral coated (to seal the wood and to neutralize the sugars that cause decay)and combine them with Portland cement to make their ICF.

    Looks to be simpler to work with than standard ICF using polystyrene or polypropylene.

    Their link:


  21. Thanks Gary, I'll make a post about this material. It looks interesting.

  22. Hi Jeff,

    I may have located a castle of interest for you on Coronado Stones website. It is located in the gallery under (Residential) then click on the Country Castle profile.
    Enjoyed your site


  23. Derrick,

    That's a pretty cool castle! It's already over at Dupont's site (, so I won't re-post it here - but thanks for pointing it out. It looks huge!

  24. Hi Jeff,

    I am looking for a site that use to be in your links section.

    It led to a medieval style stone house that I think is in North Carolina (not sure).

    It is a really cool looking design and is open for tours.

    I also think they offer some classes in different subjects.

    I have searched everywhere and everything looking for the site but cannot find it.

    If you remember the name of the site I would be most thankful.


  25. Hi David,

    I think I know the one you're talking about, but it's not in the Carolinas, it's in Ohio. It's called Stone Gate Manor and they do have classes about many subjects including those mentioned on the post I linked to. The other is Castle Anam Cara in NH, the owner can be available for various things, but he doesn't have classes per se. If these don't match what you're looking for, let me know and I'll start digging deeper.

    Hope this helps!


  26. I suppose it would've helped had I provided the link to the post:

  27. Thanks Jeff,

    It was Stone Gate Manor I was looking for.

    I'm not sure why I was thinking of North Carolina.

    I wish they had more pictures on their site. The interior looks really good.

  28. Glad I guessed right. Agreed, I really would like to see some pictures of that great hall. It looks very well done.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Hi Jeff, if you are "sketchabit" and have provided models on the Google SketchUp 3D Warehouse, I have a question - how were you able to bring the ivy from Thomas Luft's neat little program into SketchUp?

    I am an architect and I generated an ivy form based on a partial site model in obj format, but whenever it exports there are no textures. Poly count is one thing, but even if I get it in, I don't want it to be grey. ;)

    Thanks in advance for any help...

  30. Hi malarchi,

    Yes, I'm "Skechabit". It was a convoluted process, and not one that I would recommend. There's actually a plug-in available on the SCF* forums that is designed for Sketchup and does a fair job. There are other ways, such as using instancing, that can get the ivy effect without actually having to "grow" the ivy... If you want the process I used, you'll need to create the ivy with Ivy Generator, then import that to Blender, poly reduce it and then save it as a Collada file and import it to Sketchup. It has about a 20% success rate. Also, going that route means you lose the UVW mapping of the leaves, so the ivy you see on the previous renders I have are not mapped well. The most recent ivy render posting (mother in law) was done with instancing, but the hanging flowers in the flowerbox were done with Skechup ivy.

    *Visit and do a search for Sketchup Ivy. You'll need to register, but if you're serius about Sketchup this forum has scores of cannot-do-without plugins that are must-haves, and is a valuable resource for Sketchup how-to.

    Thansk for stopping in, hope this helps!

  31. Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely check them out! I was exporting as an obj to 3DSMax (didn't see textures) but I couldn't export to 3DS or DWG - the two formats of which I'm aware that SketchUp can import. Poly count was way too high, as you already found. I don't have Blender installed, although it is free... I may try it out but I'll look into the SketchUp plugins first... I've already had my SU hot-rodded for years. ;)

    Thanks again!

  32. Glad it helped a little. Check the thread out at the forums for SU ivy, it's not limited to just ivy. With a little creativity you can do some really neat stuff. There's some excellent Wisteria created by one of the members, for example. Also look for FBX converter from Autodesk and Meshlab. Both are free and can be used to convert 3D filed.

  33. Hi Jeff, just stumbled upon your blog and am pleased to find out that I'm not the only person on the planet who dreams of building a castle.
    We've already taken a few steps in the right direction my moving to Normandy in France where we have bought a stone house built in 1667. Although we have the land here to build the dream, unfortunately we don't have the funds so it will remain a dream.
    We have however built a pizza oven in a castle style that I thought you might appreciate.
    Merry Christmas, Andy.

    1. Thanks very much for stopping by and sharing your creation, Andy. Very cool. I posted it on the blog, perhaps aspiring castle dreamers who can't get into a castle of their own can learn from your project and with a little imagination and elbow grease, build a little castle in their own back yard. France, eh? Surely there are cheap castles in abundance there, no? Just kidding. Merry Christmas.

  34. Hey Jeff, Great Blog. You probably already know about this one, but there is a site that catalogs castles in the US:

    Right now I build stone walls as a side job (I am in CT where it is common). I have been getting better and better at it so I have been thinking of building structures.
    Lately I have been enamored with the Power House at the Boldt Castle complex in New York.

    It is small enough to contemplate building. It has towers that are big enough to have real rooms in them. It has a central square which has lots of windows for lighting. The capping of the towers with pointed roofing helps give the impression of a thinner, lighter design without making the towers unlivable. And of course the arch bridge entrance just takes it to another level.
    This could be built on land. A large coy pond could be used to justify the bridge entrance (every house needs a water feature).
    This was originally built to house the steam generator for the "real" castle on the property:) It all can be seen here:

    1. Hi Dennis, glad to hear you like the site! CT, eh? You're next door to us. We have a stone wall bordering our property, I have planned to use the restoration of that wall as a learning project to be applied to something more grand. There are lots of neat small-ish castle type buildings floating around on the interet, the Dupont Castle site has many of them. I contribute castles to the site whenever I find them, and the operator of the site is a nice guy.

      I know what you mean by being enamored of a certain structure, it happens to me all too often! Then I see something else that makes me think, "Wouldn't it be cool if...!". So much to create, so little time and money, right?

      I like your pond idea, but keep an eye on craigslist real estate listings, that's where we found our property that has a stream on it. Currently there are two other parcels for sale that have even better streams and flat areas to build on, begging for a castle and bridge.

      Like to see a photo of your work, care to share one for the site?

  35. Hi, I was spending some time Googling for like minded people today and I found your blog and I thought you'd be interested in checking out my project

    1. Hi there,

      Don't know why this comment didn't show up in my inbox for moderation, I always try to say hi to posters. Sorry for the delay. I had a look at your website, it's a grand plan you've got going on there! I like your choices of recycled/architectural salvage. It'll give your creation a nice old-fashioned look. I'll swing by the blog once in a while to see your progress. Thanks for stopping in!

  36. Been a while since I've contributed anything your way but I found an article in todays english newspaper that I thought you might appreciate.
    I've also built a dry stone bridge with my friends in our valley here in Normandy. Check out my blog at

    1. Hi Andy,

      I've got that tin-plate castle here as Solomon's Castle. It was a while ago that I came across it and at the time he was trying to sell it. It looks like he's decided to stay and try to make a few dollars by offering tours of the place. Very unique, I never would have though to use the materials he has for the exterior.

      Your foot bridge looks great! How long did it take you to do? And I see that it's a dry stone bridge. That's impressive and takes a bit of skill to pull off. Nice!

  37. Hi Jeff. I was curious to know about your experience with Fran Beauregard as a castle designer. I am considering hiring him for my own project and I would appreciate hearing about your experience. Thanks.

  38. Hi i've been a fan of your blog for a long time. I too dream of building a castle house someday. I was wondering if you had any updates? I wish you the best in building your dream and i cant wait to see it. :)

    Thank you, Robert.