S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Castle on Indefinite Hiatus

About a year and a half, we stopped by the Ozark Medieval Fortress for a visit. It had only opened a few months earlier, the first layers of stone already defining the fortress's walls. It was going to take 20 years to build, using only medieval techniques, as much as possible, and as much as permitted by health and safety laws. Modern works in shoddy medieval garb (the weakest part of the recreation as the focus was on building techniques) worked in modern steel-toed boots on the quietest building site I have ever been near.

It was fantastic, for its aspects of recreation archeology and the sheer enthusiasm of the modern workers for researching and deducing how thirteenth-century building techniques worked in practice. I took photos, and I vowed to return every few years, certain that the process of constructing this medieval fortress in northwest Arkansas would be far more engaging than visiting the finished product.

Now, the whole project looks in doubt. The site is closed for 2012 until a buyer can be found, someone who might want to invest in a modern medieval American castle. Much as I love the project, I don't have faith in this being a product likely to be strong on monetary returns. The workers will largely have gone on to other jobs too, I would expect; they need employment from somewhere, which will set the building back still further.

Know anyone looking to buy a medieval-style fortress in the US?
Tags: medievalia

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