Thursday, June 28, 2012

Build a Cardboard Castle

 This is a great rainy day summer project, if you have already collected some toilet paper and paper towel rolls and various small cardboard boxes.  Most of the cardboard is thin enough for a child to cut.  I dismantled all the boxes and turned them inside out to hide the labels, but I think a colorful castle would be nice, too.  See the little round tower on the corner?  That is called a bartizan.  We cut slits in a toilet paper roll to stick it onto the wall.  The skinny white tower to the left is a garderobe....a latrine.  It hangs over the outside wall and empties into the moat, or in this case, into the lake.  The tall towers have merlons, (square blocks which defenders could hide behind,) and crenels, the spaces in between, for shooting at the enemy.

 My son wanted me to work with him.  It was fun to collaborate.  And it was fun to see what he remembered from our last trip to the Chateau de Chillon.  He remembered that people of the middle ages used the water of Lac Leman right outside the castle both for sewage and drinking water...ugh.

 Look at this delightful watermill he made.  It is fun to see what the shapes of the cardboard will suggest.  The watermill is made from some dividers from a box containing jam jars.

 He used my ink brush to add details.

 And he remembered about the shingled catwalks, which are called allures.  Of course, a castle needs defenses, like the cannon you can see above.

 Here are some inspirations for you, pictures from the Chateau de Chillon.

 Look at the sundial on the side of this building.  Do you see those curved supports under the roof?  These projections are called machiolations.  Defenders could drop missiles on attackers from there.

 Can you see the narrow windows, through which defenders could shoot arrows on attackers?  They are called arrow loops, or meurtrieres, which means "murderers" in French.

 We think of castles as being made of exposed stone, like this, but

 this castle had stucco spread over the stones, as shown in the picture above.

 This wooden gallery on top of a wall is the allure.  It is fun to walk in an allure and look down into the courtyards on each side.  Inner courtyards are called baileys, or wards.

This tower on the right is called the keep, or donjon.  It was the last refuge of the castle owners and was very difficult to penetrate.  What kind of castle features are you going to build?


Lisa said...

A lovely castle indeed! I love it! What a beautiful place to visit.

happy summer

Lisa said...

What a lovely castle! I love it! It is indeed fit for a King, or Queen! What a beautiful place to visit.
happy summer

Beth said...

Dear Lisa,

Thanks! The Chateau de Chillon is quite a fairy tale castle....and I love what my son did. Beth

Twisted Cinderella said...

This is such a creative idea! It would be a big hit at my house!

suzanne said...

Dear Beth

Thank you for visiting recently..I see you are quite settled in your new piece of heaven. Lucky you~

What a fantastic I shall try fit in this holiday

Warm regards

Beth said...

Have a fun holiday, Suzanne! I hope you get to make one with your children Twisted Cinderella. Beth

Julie Cornelius-Huang said...

What a wonderful idea!! We are going to begin collecting the materials for our own castle. I especially appreciated the terminology which you included in this post, as well as the photos from your trip.
Thank you!

Kat said...

Ive made cardboard castles before, but this is amazing!!!

Unknown said...

Beautiful castle and nice post. Thanks. Beatriz musikgarten (