Our Dream Castle

(Scroll Down For Pictures)

Our goal is to build a castle of our own someday. We hope to chart the progress of that undertaking on this site as well as share our successes and failures. We estimate this project to take at least 20 years from design, to purchasing the property, to finishing the construction. Somewhere in there is raising the funds necessary to complete construction. We are working on a set of preliminary plans at the moment. Our castle design has changed many times and we expect it to change many times in the future.(Click here to see one of our preliminaries.) We are charting some progress with pictures. The newest ones are at the top of the page. So come back often to see updates.

We hope to incorporate the expertise of an architect and structural engineer before we finalize any design. If you would like to contribute to our Castle Dream, please click on the donate button at the right. We will be adding a donors program in the near future. We hope to include a small museum with our castle and we will have a plaque of some type that will include the names of all contributors to the castle construction. We have not finalized this program yet, but the contribution levels will go as follows:

We appreciate donations of any size. Our Donor categories are:

We have purchased 48.5 acres of land for our future castle. Below are some pictures. We have estimated a preliminary cost of the castle we hope to build as well as the cost of the land. If you would like to see our estimates, we have put them in a .pdf file. Feel free to download it here. Please remember that this is just a very preliminary estimate based on about a 4000sqft castle. Any of the numbers could be way off or really close, but we just wanted to get something down on paper.


26 August - Sappers have undermined the foundations of one of the King's granaries. As you can see the results were disasterous. Actually one of my log tobacco barns was termite eaten and had rotted to the point it was leaning precariously, and had to come down for safety reasons. It probably stood around 100 years. The smell of flue cured tobacco still embeded into the logs, there hasn't been any tobacco in there for 20 years or more. None of the logs were salvageable, so there might be one last bonfire as a tribute to a quickly (if not already gone) way of life. I don't smoke, but there's no better smell than that of cured tobacco in a old tobacco barn. I was fortunate enough to have worked in those as a child/teenager. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories.

2009


01 March - I have begun stacking stone for the turret. You would be suprised how quickly stone is used. It doesn't go very far. I've bought some materials to begin construction on the roof for our lookout tower.


This is a close-up view of the first stones we have placed.


Our brave knight watches intensely for invading marauders while we work on construction.


Here is a close up of the anchor bolts that will secure our turret's roof.


16 February - These are some of the tools we used for this project. We had to pump some water from the spring house into the blue barrel with the pump you see in the picture. There is also Quikrete, rebar, and some hand tools there.


We put the water pump and barrel on the gator to ride down to the spring house.


Here is the 24" hole I dug with the post hole diggers. Believe it or not, I only hit one rock on the way down.


Here is the post that will support the tower's roof. It is filled with concrete and rebar. There are three 1/2" anchor bolts for the steel plate that will be the base for the roof of our mini outlook turret. Notice the 2' level on the tailgate. We had to make sure the post was level.


Here's the finished post with the cardboard tube still in place and the steel plate attached to the top. When the concrete cures I'll begin stacking (this is a dry stack project; no mortar will be used) rocks and filling the inside with 'rubble'. All total to date this project has used 3 - 80lb quikrete sacks, 4 - 4' #4 rebars, 3 - 1/2" X 10" anchor bolts, and some wire to hold the rebar together for a total of about $35 and a few hours of work. I've still got to stack the stone and build the roof and sign that will be attached.


19 January - This is the beginnings of our entrance mini tower or lookout turret. It will include a sign for the name of our farm.


We have gathered stone for the project. The rebar in the center will be where our concrete column for the tower will be. The column will support our roof.


Another View of the stones to be used for our entrance tower to the farm. The tower will be about 8' to the roof peak. The inside diameter is 3'.


This construction project will take a couple of weekends to complete. It will be our first tower.

2008


A view from the highest point on the farm. This is our primary building site for our modern castle.


This is a closer view of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance.


Another View of the farm.


Numerous boulders are found on this property. These are several thousand pounds each. We hope to incorporate the abundant stones on the property to build our castle and curtain walls.


I could take thousands of pictures of stones and boulders for building. The material is plentious. We hope to build some small structures before get going fully on the castle.


Here's the Dan River that is just a few hundred feet away from our castle site.


Here are some fish rocks my dad found in the river. I'm not sure of the genus or species.


Thought I would include a picture of the Prince and his Loyal Knight.

2007

We will be adding more information soon, so please check back often and Happy Castle Building!!!

If you are currently planning to build a castle or are currently building a castle, please email us and we would like to include your progress in our website. We would like to see some pictures of your castle or look at you plans. We think that with the uncertainty of the current world, many people will be building more and more fortified structures in the coming years. We hope to help those considering such structures with their plans.











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