Arkansas To Get Medieval Fortress, Eventually

Nancy Anderson
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Undergoing construction now -- and for the next two decades -- the Ozark Medieval Fortress, between Springfield, MO, and Little Rock, AR, will recreate as accurately as possible a walled city of the type typified by 13th century French construction. What’s interesting to note about this build is that, except for concessions made to OHSA and safety compliance, it’s being built entirely with period-appropriate construction techniques.

Most interestingly, that means no bureau-standardized measurement. Each master mason that will take charge of this project will likely employ his own measurement stick, made to the scale of a man. 13-knot ropes, a medieval proportioning tool, are employed to ensure things are the right shape, but the equal distances between knots are not predicated on any particular size. Such is the way things were built over the span of decades in the past, and the Ozark Medieval Fortress will be no exception.

Approximately three-dozen craftsman will work on the site, and the authenticity of their construction techniques are being overseen by Andrew Tallon, co-founder of the Vassar-Columbia Field School in Medieval Architecture. More information on the project is available in a Construction Equipment Guide article by Mary Reed.

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Mike Wrightly is mostly diesel fumes and duct tape; he grew up around heavy equipment, and holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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