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Children's Castles


Sand Castles

Some above average sand castles to emulate.




















Sandcastle -


Above average sandcastle -


Gingerbread Castle -














And an ice castle

Since 1989, a World Championship in Sand Sculpture has been held in Harrison Hot Springs ( Canada, BC), also known as "Harrisand". The competition has solo, double and team categories.

The world's tallest sandcastle was built on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina as part of the 2007 Sun Fun Festival. The structure was 49.55 feet (15.1 m) high. It took 10 days to construct, and used 300 truckloads of sand.




More at

Sand Castle Central. Tips and tricks for building better sand castles

World Championship Sand Sculpture.





Which of the following animals really wore chainmail or plate armour in the Middle Ages?


Amoured Mouse
Amoured Rat
Amoured Horse
Armoured Shrew (by Jeff de Boer)
Armoured Cat (as shown by glass painter Judson Portzer)
Armoured Fish
Amoured Squirrel
Amoured Dog
Hound in Chainmail
Armoured Hamster
Cat in chainmail

Quiz Answer




Bouncy Castles

What Parents need to Know .



Bouncy castles are structures made of a flexible outer membrane or fabric that is filled with gas, such as air or helium. The gas gives shape and strength to the structure.

Bouncy castles have been marketed with such names as Bounce house, Moon Bounce, Astrojump, Moonwalk, Jolly jump and Spacewalk. The terms Bouncy Castle or Inflatable Castle are used in Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and parts of Australia, and Jumping Castles in Arizona, Australia, Canada and South Africa. The term moonwalk has become a generic term for enclosed inflatable trampolines in the US..

Bouncy Castles are rented for functions, school and church festivals and village fetes. Although they are aimed at children, adult castles can be hired in the UK. Because of liability concerns, they are rarely rented to adults in the US.

The growth in popularity of Bouncy Castles has led to an inflatable rental industry which includes inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and games. Inflatables are ideal for portable amusements because they are easy to transport and store.

The first inflatable structure was designed in 1959 by John Scurlock in Shreveport, Louisiana who was experimenting with inflatable covers for tennis courts when he noticed his employees enjoyed jumping on the covers. He was a mechanical engineer and became a pioneer of inflatable domes, inflatable tents, inflatable signs. His greatest achievement was the invention of the safety air cushion that is used by fire and rescue departments to catch people jumping from buildings or heights.

The surfaces are typically composed of thick, strong PVC or vinyl and nylon, and the castle is inflated using an electric or petrol-powered blower. The principle is one of constant leakage, meaning small punctures are not a problem - a medium-size "bouncy castle" requires a fan with a mechanical output of about two horsepower (consuming around 2 kW electrical power, allowing for the efficiency of the motor).

UK and Australian bouncy castles have specifications calling for fully inflated walls on three sides with an open front and foam "crash mats" to catch children who may jump or fall out of the structure.

Cheaper inflatable structures are usually made of polyester rather than nylon PVC and do not use a blower, instead they are inflated with a pump similar to an airbed. They do not last as long and it is illegal in the UK and USA to hire these out.

Another type of home-use inflatable has evolved, with a blower pumping in air continuously. Pores in the seams and material allow air to escape as kids play, while the blower continues to inflate the unit. This category has emerged as a response to parents who wish to buy an inflatable for home use.

In 2005 the most severe standards in the construction of an inflatable amusement were adopted nationally in Australia, forming Federal Standard AS3533.4. This was a landmark safety standard bringing the toughest design/construction/operation standards to the inflatable industry of Australia. In 2006 the European Union (EU) followed and introduced similar Federal standards throughout Europe called EN14960:2006

A theatrical group named "The Strolling Theatricals" has started performing Shakespear's tragedies on bouncy castles at the Edinburgh Festival

Artwork on most inflatable structures is hand-painted. It is cheaper for an artist to paint inflatables than to buy a printing machine or pay for a professional printer to print the artwork for a small quantity of inflatables.

For those wishing to have inflatables professionally printed, rather than painted, two technologies exist. One is to use screenprinting and the other uses digital printing machines which can print onto nylon. Usually, if the printing method is used then white PVC must be used and a pattern or artwork printed onto this.

Digital printing allows photographic quality pictures, something which is either difficult or impossible with hand-painting. Hand-painting is more durable as the paints tend to last longer in water, rain, and handling than printouts. It is also better for "cartoon" style images, which is the norm on children's inflatables.

The record for "Longest marathon on a bouncy castle (team)" is 25 hr 25 min, set by Will Scogin, Patrick Taylor, Miller Wright, David Wilson, Forrest Haynes and Jimbo Wilhite (all from USA) at Northridge High School, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA, on 10–11 October 2008





the largest bouncy castle in the world

Brass Rubbings of Knights


Brass of John de Cobham, 1315-1408, Cobham, St Mary Magdalene. This brass was laid down in 1367 and is from a London workshop.


Engraved images of prominent people, who lived in the Middle Ages, were set into the floor or wall of their local parish church as a memorial or grave marker

Brass rubbing is the practice reproducing onto paper monumental brasses – commemorative brass plaques found in churches, usually originally on the floor, from between the 13th and 16th centuries. The concept of recording textures of things is more generally called making a rubbing.

Brass rubbings are created by laying a sheet of paper on top of a brass (actually called "latten" - an alloy of brass and nickel) and rubbing the paper with graphite, wax, or chalk, a process similar to rubbing a pencil over a piece of paper placed on top of a coin. Rubbings were most commonly made using the equivalent of what we would call "butcher's paper" (a 22-30 inch-wide roll of whitish paper) laid down over the brass and rubbed with "heelball", a waxy glob of black crayon once used to shine shoes.

Nowadays most brass-rubbers purchase special paper rolls of heavy-duty black velvety material, and the crayons are silver or gold (and other colours). After the early 1970s many church authorities decided that original brasses should not be rubbed since they were being worn away by the rubbing process, and the lack of care on the part of some individuals. Brass-rubbing centres had already appeared around the U.K. and now they became the prime source for rubbings. One now rubs a replica brass, not the original. Replicas are often not the same scale as the original.

Waxes for brass rubbing
Sir John Foljambe (died 1358) from St. John the Baptist Church, Tideswell (Derbyshire, UK)


More info at



Thomas Chaucer and his wife Maud Burghersh
(Ewelme Church, 1436).
Pebmarsh in Essex, England, and was one of the earliest engravings cast and is dated at 1323
Brass rubbing of John Hawley, fourteen times Mayor and builder of the first Dartmouth Castle from the chancel of St Saviour's Church, consecrated in 1372.


Family Names from Medieval Trades


In the Middle Ages most trades were inherited from father to son. When surnames came into use it made sense to identify people by their trade. So it is that the names of many trades became surnames. Here are a few of them.


Archer - One who shoots arrows

Armourer - one who takes care of the armoury

Arrowsmith - one who makes arrows

Baker - one who bakes

Bower - bow maker

Bowman - one who makes bows or crossbows

Brazer - one who care for the coal

Brewer - one who makes ale

Butler - one who attends to drink and bottles

Carpenter - one who builds furniture

Chamberlain - one who takes care of bedrooms and the wealth stored there

Chandler - one who makes candles

Constable - chief groom, stable companion

Cook, Cooke - one who cooks

Cooper - one who makes barrels

Digger - one who digs

Dyer - one who dyes clothes

Falconer - One who hunts with hawks

Farmer - one who farms

Fishman - one who takes care of the fish

Fletcher - one who makes arrows

Forester - one who guards the forest

Furrier - one who cares for fur

Gardener - one who tends to the garden

Glover - one who makes gloves

Green - one who plants and cares for vegetables

Hall - one who tends to the halls

Harker - one who calls out messages

Herald - one who calls out news, keeper of the records

Houseman - one who tends to the house

Hunter - one who hunts

Leech - Physician

Marshall - one who takes care of the stables

Mason - one who constructs edifices

Piper - one who plays the pipe

Planter - one who plants

Plumber - one who tends to the (lead) water pipes

Reed, Reid - basket maker

Shoemaker - one who makes shoes

Shoeman - one who tends to shoes

Singer - one who sings

Smith - an iron worker or Blacksmith
(as opposed to a goldsmith, silversmith, coppersmith or whitesmith (tin worker)

Spade - one who makes spades

Tanner - one who tans animal hides

Taylor, Tailor - one who sews or makes clothes

Weaver - one who weaves

Wright, playwright, shipwright, wheelwright - one who creates or makes things


A Cooper
A Falconer or Faulkner
A Smith
A Chandler

Castle Cakes


Some ideas for your cakes to celebrate special occasions:


Castle Birthday Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Fantasy Castle Cake
castle cake
Fantasy Castle Cake
Castle Birthday Cake
castle cake


Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Birthday Cake
castle cake
Castle Wedding Cake
castle cake


Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Birthday Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Castle Cake
castle cake
Fantasy Castle Cake
castle cake


Medieval Resources for Kids


Merlin's Castle. Designs for a paper castle plus Merlin, Fata Morgana, and others. Follow the simple instructions to create towers, walls, a gatehouse, and drawbridge and paper models of the combatants.

Kids On The Net. Kids On The Net.

Ghosts in the Castle!. From National Geographic. It features an interactive tour of a castle where you meet ghosts who tell you history and facts about castles. The site features a game called Rescue at the Castle.

Medieval Times Daily life and Medieval power structures.

Lego Castle and Town. Tour a Lego Castle room-by-room - and learn about the Middle Ages.




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