Guedelon, “a castle in the making”, was conceived by Michel Guyot, who first had the idea of building a castle using medieval building techniques, following an archaeological study at Saint-Fargeau Castle. A 50-strong team of builders is supported by members of the public who join the professionals, for short periods, throughout the building season. The teams work with the hand tools of the 13th century and rock found in the nearby quarry. Carpenters work the oak felled by the woodcutters. Squirrel cages are medieval cranes and do the heavy lifting of stones and wood materials. The blacksmith makes and repairs the tools used by the workers. The rope maker, basket maker, dyer, carter and their horses, tile makers and others support the work of the stone masons. All the work is being performed in the open where we could walk among them. We were able to tour the castle, being amazed at the extent of the work that has been accomplished and impressed by the size of the undertaking.
Do check out the Guedelon website, which begins with an instructive explanatory video.