I am off for the summer, and will have plenty of free-time for mapping and other activities. As a result, I'll be able to devote an adequate amount of time, energy, and resources into producing a quality map (something I don't think I've been able to do yet). Out of all the ideas I came up with, the most rewarding and appealing was to do a castle. Though I've done a couple things somewhat close to a castle, this map has a different goal. Most prominently, this map will focus on being accurate, having mathematical dimensions, and being realistic.
In terms of actual execution, I'd like to mention a couple things.
--> I am in no way a rush to complete this project: a tentative completion date would be the 15th of July. To reach this goal, without floundering like I've done with just about everything else, I'll update every other day, with exception for my upcoming camping trip. I can't promise each update will be extensive, but it should give everyone a chance to participate and advise my progress.
*If I can, I'll post the update in the morning of DAY A, and then take a look at the comments and suggestions from everyone here that evening, and take the next day to work on it. Then repeating the process until completion. This should give everyone the opportunity to participate and coach me*
--> This, as are all my maps, is a hand-drawn one. It will consist of multiple floors (though I don't know yet how many) and will be as extensive as I can make it. Just brainstorming a list of things that might be part of a castle, it looks like I could fill out a couple floors. I plan to use a micron pen, rather than a sharpie, this time, since I've heard they're really good. Also, I will be looking for special paper (hopefully old-looking) when I go to the crafts store tomorrow.
--> Lastly, I'd like to make the castle as practical as possible, but not by modeling it off a real one. I have some knowledge already about how exactly a castle works, and a few of the details I've read about will certainly make it into my project, but those who have links, knowledge, or anything else could help me by sharing it! Castles were basically fortresses, designed for defense in every possible way, and I mean to capture that same feeling in my project.
*To start off, I want to think of every possible thing that could go into a castle. In previous projects, I've used up all the room or enclosed it just to realize I forgot the library or the basement! If anyone has things they'd like to see, or think would be in, a castle, it'd be great if you could list em off!*
Wish me luck on this project, I have a feeling this is going to be a long-haul! :P
I have started to compile a list of what I think needs to be part of this project. There's the obvious (moat, walls, keep, etc...) and then there's the more detailed. To be honest, I learned quite a bit when I took a look online as to what a castle might include. I've looked at a few dozen websites on the matter, and I've provided links to the best ones below.
What I think I need to include in my project (so far): Moat, Guardhouse, Drawbridge, Training Grounds (+ courtyard), Kitchen, Dungeons, Great Hall, Armory, Well, Stables, Chapel, Workshops, Machicoulis, Portcullis, Arrow Slits and Murder Holes, Spire, Outer Walls and Inner Walls, *Tournament Grounds?*, Storage, Residences (for nobles?), Cleaning staff quarters, Library, study (and I might do a sorcerer's study as well), King's Quarters, Balcony, Siege Workshops.
What Is A Castle
SO, I also bought some brown(ish) paper today from the art store, as well as a artist's pen, so I'll have the media to do this on. The paper is light enough to draw on, but avoids the white-as-a-ghost look. Sadly, the art store didn't seem to have paper that looked old without words already on it. The first step for the project will be drawing the border, and I think the border of one of the maps linked above is similar to what I'm going for - simple lines, with fancy designs located at the corners.
I will work on the border tomorrow, and update everyone as I go!
I'd like to give my last list some order. There will be three floors to the keep: Cellar, Ground-Level, and 2nd Floor.
Cellar: Dungeons, Storage, Armory, Basements of Guardhouses and Towers, and Servant's Quarters
Ground-Level: Guardhouse, Kitchen, Great Hall, Well, Bathrooms, Stables, Chapel, Workshops, Tower Bases, Residences, Siege Workshops
2nd-Floor: Library, Bathrooms, King's Quarters, Balcony, Study, Towers, (?Magic Quarters?)
Outdoors: Walls, Machicoulis, Draw-Bridge, Moat, Tournament Grounds, Courtyards, Training Grounds
Lastly, towers might continue going up to four stories (including basement). Remember each story has a ceiling 20-feet high: that adds a lot of total height.
I don't know what aesthetic you are going for but it might be worth comparing overall regional styles/building philosophy too. German castles were different to English castles which were different to French (and Scottish - they share some similar features due to the auld alliance). If you search for images of them you will notice a pattern emerging. I have always been a fan of german hill castles myself.
Also what they are built of (if I remember right, a lot of castles in Lithuania were made of brick because it was easier to acquire). Location (there will be more defensive concessions made for the sake of comfort if the regional castle environment is relatively stable compared to one on a frontier or border), and function (residence vs. fort, minor noble vs royal seat of power). Arguably if it is not a residence then it isn't a castle - the definition is actually rather murky.
And one other suggestion - it is worth considering the history of your castle. Was it built/expanded in phases or has it been built all in one go? As the features for each phase are going to be different. Part of it might also have been destroyed in the past during a previous siege or maybe just a fire.
Yeah, I've yet to focus on the castle in the project!
This is a fictional castle, and though it does not have a real location, I'd like to take on classic English architecture because of it's aesthetically pleasing symmetry.
I was thinking the project would depict the castle in the early 14th century. Earlier castles were normally of the Motte and Bailey type or just towers. While a bigger castle means I'll have more opportunity to provide a full defense run-down, it will have some ties to the motte-and-bailey style. This is a direct result of how it was constructed: I'm glad you brought that up!
1308: First construction of a noble's residence begins. After two months of work, the residence is completed. It is little more than a mansion made out of lumber and stone.
1310: The residence is inherited by the noble's only son (upon the death of his father), who expands it, upgrading the wooden walls into those of stone. Seeking to improve the beauty of the estate, the son orders a stream to be placed around the castle.
1317: With conflict approaching, the noble's son once more expands the keep, adding in walls, a stone bridge (not a draw-bridge), and deepening the stream into a moat.
1320-1327: A village grows up around the keep, providing it with food, resources, and soldiers.
1328: An enemy force destroys the village, but pardons the noble family and the keep.
1329-1335: The village is rebuilt, and a wall is implemented to defend against additional attacks. The noble's son orders the building of another moat (which is to be connected to the first) to protect the village. Thus, a castle is formed.
Any problems anyone noticed? I plan to begin working on this tonight.
I think you have already established a lot. There's a stream nearby for example that has been redirected or channeled at some point. If there was no village right around it initially, then the castle was probable built near one or two or more, or perhaps between them. Probably as an effort to establish a zone of control - maybe over a border territory or road or whatever. And people have migrated to it since as it is the (new) centre of power, forming a new village.
Is the castle on a rise or hill? Is the village below? Or is the terrain relatively flat with the village buildings close huddled up around it? (the latter would mean the castle will eventually become integrated into the defenses of the village if it grows into a larger walled market town, while the former would mean it would always be slightly divorced from it)
I was thinking it would be on the same level as the village, and would eventually become another layer of defense. However, the village would not be within the original moat, which was designed to protect the keep. Perhaps a outer moat (connected, maybe, with the first) could wrap around the village.
If the castle were to be in a time of peace, the village should be a bustling and diverse trade community, since it is on the edge of this kingdom and protects a roadway.