Building a Castle in the Ozarks

A Frenchman is building a 13th century castle in the Arkansas Ozarks with local laborers and 13th century tools. The goal is tourism, of course.

But when it comes to the castle itself, Mr. Guyot makes no concessions to modernity—except for those mandated by federal workplace requirements. Workers, though dressed in medieval garb, must wear steel-toed boots and safety goggles.

The stones are quarried at the site; the timber is cut from local trees; every nail and tile is made on premises. Knotted ropes are manipulated to measure angles. Two-ton boulders are hoisted by a foot-cranked crane that resembles a giant wooden hamster wheel.

The site manager has had trouble hiring a basket weaver, but there’s a blacksmith on site, a rope maker, a potter, even a flock of sheep to provide wool for castle tapestries.

To cover the construction costs of nearly $1 million per year, the castle needs to draw 150,000 visitors per year. Since it’s only a one hour drive from Branson, Missouri, it might be a real possibility.

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