site search by freefind
Secrets Of The Castle
Secrets Of The Castle“Absolutely mesmerising and a joy
  to watch, an ambitious project to build
  a Mediaeval castle from the ground up
  is followed step by step in the don’t-
  miss BBC documentary series
  now available on DVD
Secrets Of
  The Castle

BRINGING MEDIAEVAL HISTORY TO LIFE, Secrets Of The Castle gets down to bare bones to tell a compelling story of how people in bygone times dressed, ate, fought, built homes and lived from day-to-day and, most fascinating of all, how they constructed their castles.

Britain has some of the finest mediaeval castles in the world dominating the landscape, but it was the Normans invading in 1066 that we have to thank for that. Historian Ruth Goodman joins archaeologists Tom Pinfold and Peter Ginn to turn back the clock to show how these wonderful buildings were constructed.

Secrets Of The Castle…
A mesmerising and
compulsive series
that’s as informative as it
is remarkable”
An amazing and ambitious 25-year project is taking place in the Burgundy Region of France, where the remains of Guedelon Castle are being used on which to build a Thirteenth Century castle using the same tools, techniques and materials available at the time to mediaeval artisans, whose hard work is responsible for some of the most beautiful buildings in the world.

Few records about real Thirteenth Century life exist but, using what is known, the castle is being pieced together in the most authentic way possible with the help of French specialists, including master mason Florian Renucci who has drawn some inspiration from the late 12th Century Basilica of St Mary Magdalene in Vezelay, from where King Richard the Lionheart set off on the Third Crusade.

The team, including site administrator Sarah Preston, is at pains to ensure everything, including clothes worn, is as accurate as possible as they recapture an era. A flour mill is reconstructed with the help of stonemason Philippe Delage and carpenter Sophie Wintzer.

Guedelon Castle was built during the reign of Louis IX and the interior walls would have been covered with render and a lime wash. Secrets Of The Castle reveals a colourful world of castle interiors as Ruth demonstrates how paint is mixed from natural sources and even manages to find some badger hair to make her own paintbrushes.

Learning ancient skills and crafts from the Guedelon masons including stonemasons Jean-Paul Masseron and Clement Guerard, blacksmith Martin Claudel, Dyer Karin Grunau and ropemaker Yvon Herouart the team is rewarded as over six months the castle gradually begins to take shape, during which time they experience the daily rigours of life, including the art of combat.

Secrets Of The Castle is an intriguing look at a world of talented builders and craftspeople who travelled the globe taking with them the creativity of the stonemasons, the magical metalwork of the blacksmiths and the sophisticated geometry of the carpenters. The series ends with the re-creation of a spectacular limestone window specially constructed for the castle chapel.

Building a castle is an incredible feat involving both skill and muscle. This tantalising vision of the past demonstrates the work that went into the construction of a castle and the harsh life of the builders who lived on site. A mesmerising and compulsive series that is as informative as it is remarkable.

Secrets Of The Castle
benefits from excellent narration by Paul McGann and the music of Matthew Winch, Andy Hamilton and UPPM. Executive Producer is David Upshal; Filmed and Directed by Stuart Elliott with Blythe Tinker and Giulia Clark.

* Secrets Of The Castle aired on BBC Two and is released on DVD in the UK as a two-disc set courtesy of RLJ Entertainment's Acorn Label on 26 January 2015. Running Time: 316 Minutes Approximately | Special Features: Behind The Build Featurette and Picture Gallery | Catalogue Number: AV3198 | RRP: £19.99.

"Secrets Of The Castle… A mesmerising and compulsive series that's as informative as it is remarkable" Maggie Woods

"Utterly fascinating" The Observer