A castle in a haystack

Castle-behind-hay From: Daily Mail 27/01/08

Hiding a needle in a haystack is easy enough.

But Robert Fidler kept something much bigger concealed among the piles of straw down on his farm... a castle.

Over the course of two years, he managed to secretly – and unlawfully – build the imposing mock  Tudor structure in one of his fields, shielded behind a 40ft stack of hay bales covered by a huge tarpaulins.

Once it was finished, he and his family moved in and lived there for four years before finally revealing the development – complete with battlements and cannons – in August 2006.

Mr Fidler claims that because the building has been there for four years with no objections, it is no longer illegal.

But he is under siege from council planners, who say the castle at Honeycrock Farm, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey, will have to be knocked down

You've got to hand it to him for trying at least.  I very nearly emailed the Daily Mail to correct what I initially believed was a grammatical error in their article and a picture caption.  I remember being taught in primary school that the plural to cannon was the same as the singular: cannon - so one cannon, two cannon and so on.  Well, having started the email, I thought I'd better at least confirm my information and was gutted to see that although 'cannon' is correct for both the singular and plural, 'cannons' is also grammatically correct.  I absolutely refuse, however, to ever refer to cannon in the plural as 'cannons'.  I'm with Tennyson on this one. 

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them,

Volley'd and thunder'd';


  1. Yes, in answer to the question I've been asked repeatedly: I did 'create' the graphic in this post. The file size is a little bigger than I would have ideally liked so it takes a few seconds before it's fully downloaded, but you can't have everything I guess.


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