Because Now He Can Proudly Say: "I Live in a Castle!"

Haven’t you always wanted to live in a castle? I know I have. I spent many-a-day dreaming about what it would be like to live in my very own castle, not realizing at the time how unrealistic that dream was. However, it turns out my dream wasn’t as unrealistic as I thought. Now you can own your very own Tiny Castle House (for a mere fraction of the cost of a “real” castle).

A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by nobility. While scholars of course debate the scope of the word, they usually consider it to mean the private fortified residence of a lord or noble. This is distinct from a palace, which is not fortified; from a fortress, which was not always a residence for nobility; and from a fortified settlement, which was a public defense (although there are great similarities among each of these types of construction). A European innovation, castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries when the Carolingian Empire fell and its territory was divided among lords and princes. These nobles built castles to control the area surrounding them and served as both offensive and defensive structures, although these structures also served as centers of administration and symbols of power. Many castles were originally built from earth and timber, but had their defenses later replaced by stone. While early castles exploited natural defenses, they typically lacked the traditional features such as towers and arrowslits. Not all elements of castle architecture were military in nature and devices such as moats helped evolve the structures into symbols of power. Some grand castles had long winding approaches intended to impress guests and dominate the landscape.

This Tiny Castle House, while far removed from the castles of the Middle Ages in Europe, is still quite impressive in its own right. Interestingly enough, the Tiny Castle House started its life as a large, old-style clunky satellite dish from the early hey-day of satellite television (you know, the ones that provided 500 channels of… nothing?). It sat in Thomas Elpel’s back yard for at least 15 years before the idea finally hit him, when his 11 year-old son, Edwin, requested some kind of playhouse or fort. Thomas also had a large pile of cinder blocks in his yard, with which he knew he could logically build walls. Once the walls were erected, Thomas then had the idea to add “teeth” around the top, like the merlons on a castle… which is how the project became known as the “Tiny Castle House”. The square cinder block building with a satellite domed roof started taking shape and took on a life of its own, with turrets added for emphasis.

While Thomas’s son will be grown up in just a few short years, his Tiny Castle House will remain and the idea is for it to double as a small guest house. It was with this in mind when Thomas added insulation and a wood stove to his design plan. Perhaps the greatest part about this whole project, aside from building a tiny home that looks like a castle, is that Thomas was able to utilize as many recycled materials as possible, starting with the lumber for the framework. While some criticize Thomas’s Tiny Castle House because they feel its “territorial appropriation” undercuts the tiny house movement’s revolutionary aims, others believe it fits in quite appropriately. Tiny home or not, this is a beautiful Castle House that is as eco-friendly as it is simple and small. And, after all, no one in the small house movement ever said a tiny house had to look a certain way. So what do you think? Would you live in this beautiful Tiny Castle House, or is it just too much?


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