corvi (corivax) wrote,

Bull Run Castle, Outside

Off a two-lane highway near Bull Run, Virginia is Bull Run Castle. Set back from the road, but a gargoyle atop a pillar of bricks guards the entrance, with a green sign that reads in elaborate white printing Bull Run Castle and + Tours + Antiques +.
velvetknife and I went there today. The proprietor, John, is 73 years old and built the castle by himself ("This used to be a cornfield," he is fond of saying, but honestly, I am less city-slickerish than I look, and the grounds are far too hilly to grow corn.) one brick at a time. Some of the towers and walls are deep red brick, some of them a brownish brick, some flat gray concrete blocks, some curved blocks, so that the effect is like a huge lego castle, with different drum towers built of pieces from different sets, and the outthrust barbican not matching any walls, nor any walls eachother. There are gargoyles upon the crenels, and potted plants whose vines spill green and lush from the merlons. Some of the windows are stained-glass, some barbed, some open and curtained in white linen, some thin arrow-slits. (No bastions, though, amusing as that might have been. :p) Kudzu and telephone wires on the walls, unfinished gaping basement opening (wine cellar? dungeon?). It was great; I really have to take Bastian to see the Winchester House in recompense, I think.

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