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Llanstephen Castle

This very small castle roughly approximates the type of stone structure built in the 12th century to replace some of the primitive wooden motte and bailey castles of the previous century. Castles of this type were often small with only one ward whose stone wall replaced the earlier palisade. The keeps of these castles were usually square and built into the walls of the bailey.

Llanstephen CastleThe original Llanstephan Castle was built of wood in 1112. The wooden castle was burned by Welsh raiders in 1137, rebuilt by the Normans in 1138, and recaptured by the Welsh in 1145, who held it until 1158. The wooden keep and palisade were replaced by stone sometime between 1158 and 1189. Outer wards were added in later years. The castle presented in these plans represents only the early, small inner ward. The castle size can be increased by adding outer walls and towers similar to those in the plans. The small size of this castle also makes it ideal for use as an outpost, say for defending a Brettonian border against orcs and goblins.

Llanstephan is designed to be cut from standard widths of ¾” pine of fir. The only tools required for this construction are a hand saw, coping saw, and drill. Individual pieces to be cut according to these plans are identified by a letter followed by a number in parentheses indicating the number of each type of piece to be cut. The plans are designed for 25 mm figures. If 22 mm figures (1/72 scale) are used, place all walks 1/8” higher, toward the top of the battlements.

The curtains (A and B) are to be cut from standard 8” stock in 3 ¾” sections. The shorter, 5” curtains (B) must be cut from the same stock. The walks (C and D) are cut from ¾” stock and glued to the back of each curtain section. Small finishing nails may be used to make the walks more secure.

The towers are cut from standard 2” stock (E). Four sections are glued together to form each tower. A core, cut from ¾” stock (F) is glued into the center of each tower with its base flush with the base of the tower. Two of the towers are to be combined to create the castle gate, with a small block glued between them. A drawbridge or doors can be added to the gate (not shown).

The keep is cut from 8” and 4” stock (H and I). A door is cut in only one of the two side walls. Walks (J and K) are cut from ¾” stock and glued (nailed for better attachment) to the interior of the keep 1 3/8” below the top of the battlements (for 25 mm figures). The floor (L) is also glued inside the keep even with the bottom of the door (2 ¾” from the bottom of the keep). The steps (M-W) are then glued to the side of the keep, starting below the door and extending around to the left end of the keep. The steps are all glued flush with the bottom of the keep. Begin by gluing step Q flush with the left edge of the keep side containing the door. The remaining steps are then glued along one side and one end of the keep. The two smallest steps (V and W) are a little narrower than the others. These may be glued to the back curtain section rather than to the keep. The two largest steps (M) will be approximately centered below the door with their tops flush with the bottom of the door. The small connector (X) between the steps and the walk should be glued to the side of the keep flush with the top of the M steps.

The curtain walls can either be glued to the keep, towers, and gate; and the entire castle glued to a plywood base; or the curtain walls, keep, tower and gate can be left separate for storage and assembled when used. This castle is so small, however, that I have found it very easy to store all in one piece.

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