Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing.
The Château de Guédelon is not a film set; it is not a restoration; it is not a hey-nonny-no-medieval theme-park. It is an exercise in archaeology in reverse: discovery by building up, not by digging down. By 2023, it will be a full-sized castle with battlements and a moat and six towers.
When The Independent last visited the site in 1999, there were already impressive beginnings to the towers and curtain walls. Eleven years later, the castle "ordered" by the fictitious Seigneur Guilbert in 1228 (actually 1997), has risen magnificently, and movingly, from the red clay and deep forests of north-west Burgundy.
Click here to read the article from The Independent