Page 1 of 2

Your Castle Library

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 1:15 pm
by cnelson
No, not the library in your castle, but your inspiration books for building!

What are the best books in your Castle library? I'm thinking of either reference books or picture books.

Some of my most-used references are:

Life in a Medieval Castle
Frances & Joseph Gies (who have also authored similar volumes about medieval cities and villages)
Amazon: ... 8&v=glance
A bit dry, but somewhere between layman & scholarly. It's a pretty down-to-earth guide of what life was like for residents of a castle.

Castles: Their Construction and History
Sidney Toy
Amazon: ... ce&s=books
It's almost a history of the technical & strategic progress of medieval warfare more than a castle reference book--but that's what drove change in castle building. Excellent look at many different castles in many different regions and how and why they developed. (And the Amazon spotlight review mentions adding it to your Lego room--bonus points!)

The Sutton Companion to Castles
Stephen Friar
Amazon: ... ce&s=books
A comprehensive alphabetical index of castle-related terms. Some descriptions are a sentence or two long, some are pages. Indispensible if you're reading some of the more scholarly tomes like Tuchman's A Distant Mirror.

Other suggestions?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 2:06 pm
by wlister
To be honest, I don't have any Castle books in my Library. It seems odd seeing as I have a fairly vast library of some 400+ books, but none have any visual castle content. I have many fantasy fiction titles that inspire ideas, but none of those has any decent pictures. :(

I think I get most of my inspiration from many of the builders here at Classic-Castle, so I guess you could say Classic-Castle is my library. :)


PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 3:34 pm
by cnelson
Here are a couple of my favorite picture books:

Anatomy of a Castle
John Gibson
Amazon: ... 2?v=glance
Lots of pictures in color, and foldouts too!

Castles and Fortresses
Robin S. Oggins
Amazon: ... 8&v=glance
Drawings & photographs of famous castles. This book concentrates a little more on the manorial-residential aspects of castles than Anatomy of a Castle, but has better pictures IMO.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 4:01 pm
by Sir Terrance
I'm like Will, don't have any castle books, but I just look at pictures on the internet.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2004 5:30 pm
by Formendacil
Real life, Castle books?

Very few.

Stephen Biesty's Cross-Sections Castles (yes, I know its a little kid-like. Who cares?) and a couple of books on the Crusades.

And I have a stack of Tolkien books, but that's Fantasy, not Castle. I also have a few other Fantasy authors kicking around.

My inspiration for building is my brain (such as it is). :D

PostPosted: Sat Jul 17, 2004 5:49 am
by Legomaat
Some of my inspiration books for building are:

Castles, Their Construction and History / Sidney Toy,
- Somewhat technical, (but that is just why I like it). It gives you lots of information and, more important, dimensions about al kinds of details.

The Medieval Fortress / J. E. Kaufmann & H.W. Kaufmann.
- Maybe easier to read. Many pictures, also some with dimensions. Castles from countries all over the world. (Even a Dutch one).

Some Dutch titles, of course.

The Internet is also a great source of information. A useful one among many others can be:

And I try to get as many as possible pictures, paintings, drawings and specifications, floor plans etc.

Above all you have to have some imagination to translate all those information into a MOC, of course.

But that is quite another story (topic) 8)

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:06 am
by doc069
I am dredging up this old thread to see if there are some new sources kicking around that they use for inspiration.

I was searching Amazon, but with over 2000 hits, I figured I better look for some help first.

So how about it - any good sources you gals/guys have for inspiration other than the ones listed here? Books? Web sites?


PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:56 am
by Brickzone
Well, for me, the original source material has always been in walking distance, or at most 30 mins drive for a particularly interesting castle. Indeed there are ancient churches and cathedrals all over too, even up to 800 years old, or more if you include ruins.

However, I also have a number of "coffee table books" on Ireland and its history, castles and churches/abbeys/cathedrals. They are often sold cheap in the bargain books section as they are mass produced for tourists.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 3:24 pm
by boses
My favorite castle-fantasy books are the D&D monster manuals...I also frequent (all one word) the D&D books are loaded with authoritative text and images, and the latter carries pics to the first 6 Final Fantasy games, and more...Thanks...

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:10 pm
by Tedward
My favorite has always been Castle by David Macaulay which was turned into a PBS DVD. The companion work Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction was also made into a PBS DVD.

These two books/DVDs are fantastic for inspiration, details of construction and history.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:34 pm
by doc069
Tedward wrote:My favorite has always been Castle by David Macaulay which was turned into a PBS DVD. The companion work Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction was also made into a PBS DVD.

These two books/DVDs are fantastic for inspiration, details of construction and history.

I was just looking at these two books on Amazon, and was wondering if they worth getting. Thanks for the advise I think I will order them.


PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:19 pm
by Jacob C.
Castles: Their Construction and History
Sidney Toy

I own this book as well and I think it should be in every Castle nut's library.

Some other books I own and would recommend are:

-Castles from the Air by Giampiero Gianazza
(Probably the best and largest castle picture book I've ever seen)

-Crusader Castles by Hugh Kennedy
(The best book on Crusader Castles that I know of)

-The Osprey Fortress Series
(Short but concise books on specific castle & fortress types. I own about 13 or 14 of these books and they're great. The artwork is excellent. If you look around you can probably find them for cheap, like between $3-12 per book. I wouldn't pay more than $12 though!)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:48 am
by ottoatm
I don't have any either - I usually just wing it - or look at some medieval websites that have wonderful diagrams.

That said, I have seen a few castle books lying around in book stores, and THAT is some serious inspiration.

I've never bought one because they seem to be rather larger than the normal book more often than not, and sometimes a bit pricey.

Perhaps when I move back to the US I will invest though - I've seen some wonderful things come from inspired builders with these books!

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:09 am
by castlebuilder100
I guess I'm a little late on this but just in case anyone still wants to know any good castle books my favorite are
Casles: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Castles and Fortresses ... 411&sr=8-4 ... 673&sr=1-1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2008 12:26 pm
by Jansen
Go to your local book store and go to the children's section. Find the DK Eyewitness books. Just because they're in the kid's section, doesn't mean they're not good. They have several ones that have to do with castle: Viking, Castle, Knights, Medieval Life, and Arms and Armor (actually that goes from stone age to modern though). I have Viking and Castle, which are loaded with excellent pictures and descriptions. Hope this helps! :P