Hundreds of castles existed during the middle ages and no two of them were exactly alike. Few were rectangular in shape and even fewer had a single gate and drawbridge. Most castles were of complex shape with a series of walls and gates which were built and rebuilt over many years. The challenge of the modern castle builder is to approach this complexity on a miniature scale, in a short period of time, and with a few, relatively simple building techniques.
This handbook covers the history of castle construction, with models presented along the way to represent specific periods in that history. The emphasis in this book is on British castle history because that history has a very specific starting date: 1066, when Duke William invaded England and brought with him the Norman concept of castle construction. There is also a relatively clear ending date: 1307, when Edward I died, leaving Beaumaris, the most elegant of the Edwardian castles, unfinished, never to be completed.
The object of this handbook is to supply the builder with techniques for the construction of model castles which represent specific periods in the history of castles as well as to approach the splendor of a medieval fortress. Several complete castle plans are presented in this handbook, including cut-out card-stock sheets for Blarney castle, which can be assembled directly from the cut-outs in a short period of time. The castle builder may choose to follow one or more of the plans presented in this book, and build a castle as designed or with some personal modification. Alternatively, the builder may want to design his or her own, unique castle, using the many pages describing castle components as guidelines. In the latter case, it is recommended that the builder read all of the sections before commencing construction.