Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 340+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 29000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at $9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99c
Then just $9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points

How to Build a Castle

How did our forbears raise their castles without modern machinery? This ambitious project is helping us find out


Deep in the heart of France, near a once-disused quarry in northern Burgundy, a team of craftspeople have taken on a remarkable challenge: they’re building a medieval castle from scratch and they’re using – as far as is possible to recreate – the equipment, materials and methods of the time.

Visit a medieval castle or cathedral and the same questions come to mind. How was it constructed? Where did the materials come from, which tools were used and how were such heavy loads were hoisted? The Guédelon castle project aims to answer these questions by giving the people working on it - quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, carpenter-joiners, blacksmiths, tile makers, carters and rope makers – the chance to develop their skills and test their theories. It’s a massive exercise in hands-on experimental archaeology.

The imaginary start date for the construction is set at 1228, two years into the reign of King Louis IX of France, the future Saint Louis. The builder of the castle is ‘Guilbert’, a fictional, low-ranking local lord who is the vassal of Jean de Toucy, an actual baron of the time. Having been granted ‘licence to crenellate’ – in other words, permission to build a fortified residence – Guilbert has set about building himself the small castle of Guédelon.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of BBC History Revealed Magazine - July 2018
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue
July 2018
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new BBC History Revealed Magazine subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 3.15 per issue
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.15 per issue
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.61 per issue

View Issues

About BBC History Revealed Magazine

In this month's issue… Everything you ever wanted to know about castles The complete story of the greatest emblem of the medieval age: how they evolved from simple forts into impregnable bastions, how they were built without modern machinery and how you could break into one. Plus: the Women's Liberation Movement; the peasant who became Japan's second great unifier; top 10 ancient board games; the football match that sparked a war; and a graphic guide to London Zoo's most famous residents.