Caer Cynan is not copied from any specific castle, but is similar in design to early Norman castles, such as the Tower of London and Dover castle. The huge central stone keep of this make-believe castle was constructed in 1120 and the outer curtain wall was built some ten years later. The upper portion of the three-story keep is open to allow easy access to the interior. The castle entrance is on the second floor and is reached by a flight of stone steps. A 70 foot tower is located at each corner of the keep. A one-foot ruler is laid in the front on the photo to show the scale of the finished castle. This castle works well for 25mm (1 inch) figures.The bailey is reached by two gates, a fairly large front gate and a much smaller postern gate (not shown, at the back of the photo). The outer curtain wall has two towers guarding each gate, one tower at each corner, and one mural tower along each side of the bailey.
The castle can be created in one of two ways. It either can be mounted on a plywood base or left in separate pieces to be assembled during each use and taken down after. If the castle is to be mounted it is recommended that it be mounted on two separate pieces of plywood. Cut a ¾” piece of plywood the same size as the outer curtain. Cut a notch in each end of the plywood, one for the front gate and one for the postern gate. The second piece of plywood can be cut from either ¾” or thinner plywood. This piece should be somewhat larger than the first piece. A small piece of ¾” pine or a small piece of ¾” plywood can be attached to the second base about 2” from the front gate, thus creating a moat in front of the castle. A small set of steps can be placed on the back of the castle giving access to the postern gate. If the castle is mounted, the front gate can be fixed with a drawbridge.
If the castle is not to be mounted onto a base, the keep and its stairs should be glued together as a unit. Each gate with its flanking towers also are to be glued together as a unit. Glue both of the curtain sections at each side to the mural towers. Glue each curtain section beside the gate to a corner tower. As a result, each mural tower will have one curtain section glued to each side and each corner tower will have one curtain section glued to one side (caution: set the whole curtain up before gluing to be certain that the walls all fit correctly). Gluing the walls to the towers will help the walls stand better. An alternative is to cut the walls from thicker stock than shown in the plans, such as 1 ½” stock. The battlements are then cut ¾” thick, but the lower part of the wall is 1 ½” thick. This will allow the wall to stand on its own, without being attached to a tower.