CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The dawn of man’s cave: Man spends three years and $50,000 creating fantasy basement complete with sword rack, suits of armor and even a secret passage behind a bookcase

 

 

 

 

The dawn of man’s cave: Man spends three years and $50,000 creating fantasy basement complete with sword rack, suits of armor and even a secret passage behind a bookcase

 

 

 

My French Retreat: The foundation was built on top of the escape tunnels of the old original Chateau as early 1160 and now the sealed tunnel / dungeons below the house. There maybe a connection to the other garage across the street as the cement slab was built on top of a gravel pit to fill up another tunnel connecting to the house. It was common during the olden days. Also the proximity of the house from the church may suggest that it was a part of the original ancient village around the church.

 

Remnants of the Walled City transformed into houses. The round structure was the old tower gate in the section of the city named Montmarault

Granite threads from the basement leading to the first dungeon.

 

Caves and tunnels have always been a part of human life. We've grown more adept at shaping these underground shelters and passages over the millennia, and today we dig for hundreds of reasons. We excavate to find both literal and cultural treasures, digging mines and unearthing archaeological discoveries. We use caverns for stable storage, for entertainment, and for an effective shelter from natural and man-made disasters. And as the planet's surface becomes ever more crowded, and national borders are closed, tunnels provide habitat. Collected below are my dungeons in France

La tour de Montmarault - Montaigut en Combraille

The Montmarault gatehouse of the Montaigut castle  is remarkably similarly to the one (right photo)  at Whittington castle  which was built in the early 1220's.  The gate passageway to White Castle is heavily fortified.  First came a portcullis of unusual design.  Most portcullis are built into the gatehouse, but at White Castle it seems to have been added to the design as an afterthought.  This is strange for one appears to have existed at the earlier Grosmont castle, unless of course this is a later insertion.  An internal portcullis also existed within the vaulted gatechamber of the Constable gatehouse at Dover castle.  At White Castle a row of projecting quoins were added in front of the outer gate arch.  Normally these would have been within the first section of wall.  Further, if partially external, it would have been expected for the quoins to form an arch above the gateway so that the portcullis would have been hidden from view when raised.  At White Castle the quoins continued apparently to battlement level.  Here there must have been a projecting chamber from where the portcullis could have been operated.  This is a singular and unusual design in Wales and the Marches.

 

 

 

Home sweet home: While there is nothing fantasy-themed about the outside of his house, underneath  is perhaps the finest example of a man cave ever created

Home sweet home: While there is nothing fantasy-themed about the outside of his house, underneath is perhaps the finest example of a man cave ever created

There is even an alcove for Tyler's one-year-old boy - who he plans to introduce to the Elder Scrolls series once he is old enough to play.

 



Back in the 1100s-1200s, building skills were extremely limited. Stone castles were rudimentary - dark, cold, and damp.

Gothic architecture tried to solve some of these unpleasant problems, and created light, pleasant and airy buildings. Before the gothic, architecture was functional. Now, architecture became beautiful.

The gatehouse at Montaigut is a unique structure and contains several features which suggest that it is an early twin D-shaped entrance.  Like White Castle it has an impressive batter spreading a considerable distance down the scarp.  Unlike the Gwentian castle though, it has two or three long, unsighted loops, without oillets, in both its remaining lower floors.  It also has an external offset at floor level.  This is quite similar to the round towers at Chepstow castle which are now accepted as late-twelfth century.  The FitzWilliam gate at Dover, which replaced the north gate around 1227, also bears some comparison with White Castle gatehouse.  Both are rectangular structures with twin protruding towers set on sloping plinths.  However the FitzWilliam gate led to a covered postern which passed through the ditch and the next bank of the castle defences to an outer gate which is now mostly destroyed.  Internally the gatehouse had two windows on first floor level overlooking the bailey.  On the floor above at Dover were a set of twin loops in each tower, with a further loop set above the gate archway between them.  Both gates should also be compared with Criccieth castle gatehouse.  This gatehouse, which probably dates to before 1239, has three loops on its ground floor and none on the floor above.  These two early thirteenth century structures again suggest that the gatehouse at White Castle dates to the period 1229 to 1232 and this enhances the historical evidence found for this era, which has been divined from the study of both Skenfrith and Grosmont castles and the history of the Trilateral.
    At White Castle the upper floors of both gatehouse towers and the east (E) and west (W) towers are externally blind.  Presumably this was the received wisdom after the building of the towers at first Skenfrith and then Grosmont.  This tower (M) should also be compared with the twin towered Fitzwilliam gate built under Hubert Burgh's constableship and the older, but much rebuilt north gate, both at Dover.  As mentioned above, many of the rectangular Angevin towers of King Henry II at Dover, built in the period 1179 to 1189, appear to be of a similar design.  These much altered towers of the inner ward seem to have three ground floor embrasures and no openings in the upper storeys.  Again these features taken together at White Castle seem to point to this structure dating to the work of Hubert Burgh in the 1230's.
    The suggestion that the portcullis and drawbridge apartment, like the hoardings around the walls, were wooden offers interesting possibilities.  What is immediately apparent is the sheer height and inaccessibility of the machinery set on top of the gatehouse (G).  There could have been no comfortable constable's chamber set here to vet those entering the inner ward of White Castle.  The mechanism set in a probably wooden hoarding would also have been incredibly vulnerable to artillery fire.  We are therefore left with an early twin-towered gatehouse which is very lacking in respect to later Edwardian examples such as
St Briavels, Goodrich, Rhuddlan, Caernarvon or Harlech.  Indeed the gatehouse is virtually devoid of external features except for four crossbow loops in each tower, the battlements and hoardings.  As such this again suggests that the refurbishment of White Castle dates to the first half of the thirteenth century rather than to the second half as has been previously accepted.

   

THE DAWN OF MAN CAVE

 


Unique to this ancient house is the massive buttress walls covering its facade. Buttress walls are usually the side walls in the case of most fortification and salient points of castles.

A buttress is a thick stone wall that keeps a building's walls from falling down. If you build a building out of stone, and then put on a stone roof with a barrel vault, you have a problem: the roof is so heavy, and it presses down so much on the walls, that the walls get pushed outward and fall down.

To keep the walls from falling down, you can make them very thick and strong, with only little tiny windows. But then your building will be very dark (especially since there were no electric lights in  medieval Europe!).

What you see as sloping attachment to the house are really buttresses. There are four traditional buttress connected to the south side of the house. It is a specific form of buttressing most strongly associated with Gothic church architecture. The purpose of any buttress is to resist the lateral forces pushing a wall outwards (which may arise from stone vaulted ceilings or from wind-loading on roofs) by redirecting them to the ground. A traditional buttress resist lateral forces that are transmitted across an intervening space between the wall and the buttress.

Flying buttress systems have two key components - a massive vertical masonry block (the buttress) on the outside of the building and a segmental or quadrant arch bridging the gap between that buttress and the wall.

 

ENTRANCE TO THE COURTYARD FROM THE STREET ACTING AS THE OTHER TWO BUTTRESSES

 

Entrance to the future man cave. Original Granite steps, the walls here are 6 feet thick. This could be a part of the ancient wall of the old city.  

 

Going down to dungeon # 1

 

 

Entry door of the first dungeon from the outside

Hallway to Dungeon #1

Dungeon number one

Cobble stone of the basement and dungeons. Threads are original granite stones. I will keep it that way or maybe lined it with  flagstones.

 

 

Dungeon # 2

 

Dungeon # 2

 

Dungeon # 2

Staircase to utility room from Dungeon # 2

 

TRAP DOOR IN TOOLS  ROOM TO SPIRAL STAIRCASE TO Dungeon # 2 BELOW

 

 

Dungeon # 2

 

Above is the floor of the tools room

 

 

Unique to this ancient house is the massive buttress walls covering its facade. Buttress walls are usually the side walls in the case of most fortification and salient points of castles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dungeon # 2

 

 

 

 

Ancient Jewish ritual bath discovered under a home in Jerusalem: 2,000 year old miqwe still bears scars of Roman city siege

  • The bath, hewn out of rock, was found by a family renovating their home
  • It provides new insights into the Jewish community living there at the time
  • A miqwe was used under Jewish law to cleanse the body before holy days
  • Traces of fire in the bath may date back to first Jewish Roman war in 70AD

A rare 2,000 year old bath used for Jewish ritual bathing that may bare the scars of the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans has been discovered under the floorboards of a family home in the city.

The well-preserved miqwe – a ritual immersion bath used for cleansing before the Sabbath and holy days – helps to shed new light on the ancient community living in the area.

Archaeologists say the pool, which measured 11 feet (3.5m) long, 8 feet (2.4 metres) wide and almost 6 feet deep (1.8 metres), provides proof of the Jewish settlement in the 'Ein Kerem neighbourhood of Jerusalem during the first century AD.

A 2,000 year old miqwe bath has been discovered under a family living room in the 'Ein Kerem neighbourhood of Jerusalem. It has been hewn from the bare rock but had been carefully plastered, according to archaeologists. Tal Shimshoni, who discovered the bath beneath his living room, is shown above in the miqwe

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A 2,000 year old miqwe bath has been discovered under a family living room in the 'Ein Kerem neighbourhood of Jerusalem. It has been hewn from the bare rock but had been carefully plastered, according to archaeologists. Tal Shimshoni, who discovered the bath beneath his living room, is shown above in the miqwe

They also discovered pottery dating to the same period in the bath and traces of a fire that they believe may be evidence of the destruction that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem in first Jewish Roman War.

The miqwe itself is hewn into the rock and had been meticulously plastered.

THE RUINS WHERE JESUS GREW UP

Hewn into a hillside, a humble stone and mortar house in Nazareth has been identified by a scholar as the place where Jesus was raised.

It has been dated to the early 1st century by a British archaeologist who says an ancient text points to the building as being the home in Nazareth where Mary and Joseph brought up the son of God.

Professor Ken Dark says De Locis Sanctis, written in 670 by Irish monk Adomnan, described the house as located between two tombs and below a church.

The text was based on a pilgrimage to Nazareth made by the Frankish bishop Arculf and tells of a church ‘where once there was the house in which the Lord was nourished in his infancy’.

The house was cut into a limestone hillside and has a series of rooms and a stairway. One of the original doorways has survived, as has part of the original chalk floor.

It was discovered when a family living in a house above it discovered it when renovating their home three years ago.

Unsure what to do with it, they built a pair of wooden trap doors and hid the entrance under a rug but later called archaeolgoists to investigate.

Amit Re'em, archaeologist for the Jerusalem District at the Israel Antiquities Authority, said: 'Such instances of finding antiquities beneath a private home can happen only in Israel and Jerusalem in particular.

'Beyond the excitement and the unusual story of the discovery of the miqwe, its exposure is of archaeological importance.

'Ein Kerem is considered a place sacred to Christianity in light of its identification with 'a city of Judah' – the place where according to the New Testament, John the Baptist was born and where his pregnant mother Elisabeth met with Mary, mother of Jesus.

Despite these identifications, the archaeological remains in 'Ein Kerem and the surrounding area, which are related to the time when these events transpired (the Second Temple period), are few and fragmented.

'The discovery of the ritual bath reinforces the hypothesis there was a Jewish settlement from the time of the Second Temple located in the region of what is today 'Ein Kerem.'

New flooring leads to discovery of ancient bath in Jerusalem

A ladder leads down from the living room above into the ancient Jewish bath. It has remained hidden until the family in the home above did some renovation work and discovered the rock miqwe

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A ladder leads down from the living room above into the ancient Jewish bath. It has remained hidden until the family in the home above did some renovation work and discovered the rock miqwe

Tal Shimshoni and his family discovered the bath while renovating their home. Unsure what to do with it, they fitted a trapdoor and hid it beneath a rug for nearly three years before calling in archaeologists

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Tal Shimshoni and his family discovered the bath while renovating their home. Unsure what to do with it, they fitted a trapdoor and hid it beneath a rug for nearly three years before calling in archaeologists

The bath, shown above, was almost six feet deep, 11 feet long and eight feet wide. It would have been used as a ritual immersion bath to cleanse the body under Jewish law before the Sabbath and holy days

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The bath, shown above, was almost six feet deep, 11 feet long and eight feet wide. It would have been used as a ritual immersion bath to cleanse the body under Jewish law before the Sabbath and holy days

Fragments of pottery (shwon above) dating back 2,000 years were found in the miqwe bath.

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Fragments of pottery (shwon above) dating back 2,000 years were found in the miqwe bath.

Miqwes were used under Jewish law requiring the ritual purification and cleansing before holy days and the Sabbath.

They were also used for purification by women after childbirth and their period.

The water for a miqwe is also not supposed to be drawn by hand and they were often filled with water from a natural spring or river.

The miqwe shows some signs of damage in a fire, possibly during the seige of Jerusalem by the Romans. They say the discovery reinforces evidence there was a Jewish settlement located in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period. The owner of the house is shown in the bath beneath his home

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The miqwe shows some signs of damage in a fire, possibly during the seige of Jerusalem by the Romans. They say the discovery reinforces evidence there was a Jewish settlement located in the Ein Kerem area of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period. The owner of the house is shown in the bath beneath his home

After discovering the miqwe during house rennovations, the owners did not know what to do with it and so covered it with a rug and some chairs for three years before calling in archaeologists

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After discovering the miqwe during house rennovations, the owners did not know what to do with it and so covered it with a rug and some chairs for three years before calling in archaeologists

Tal Shimshoni, who owns the house and discovered the miqwe, said: 'Initially, we were uncertain regarding the importance of the find revealed below our house and we hesitated contacting the Israel Antiquities Authority because of the consequences we believed would be involved in doing so.

'At the same time, we had a strong feeling that what was situated beneath the floor of our house is a find of historical value and our sense of civic and public duty clinched it for us.

'We felt that this find deserves to be seen and properly documented.'

The bath would once have been easily accessible in an ancient home 2,000 years ago but now can only be reached by climbing down a ladder into the dark room beneath the modern home where the owners now live

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The bath would once have been easily accessible in an ancient home 2,000 years ago but now can only be reached by climbing down a ladder into the dark room beneath the modern home where the owners now live

 

 

The ultimate man cave: Father spends three years and $50,000 creating fantasy basement complete with sword rack, suits of armor and even a secret passage behind a bookcase

  • Tyler Kirkham, 32, from Utah, began creating his basement in 2012 and has since spent $50,000 on the creation
  • Themed around fantasy video games, it contains a $100 medieval helmet, $250 Italian crossbow and potion lab
  • Also features $20,000 cinema system, $15,000 shower complete with waterfall, pool table, and $8,000 of masonry
  • Wife Jill helped design room and says it's 'awesome' - but admits it would have been nice to have a pool as well

Complete with its own sword rack, $20,000 cinema system for playing video games, and even a secret door hidden behind a book shelf - this basement can perhaps lay claim to being the most glorious man cave ever created.

The brainchild of 32-year-old father-of-one Tyler Kirkham, from Utah, the fantasy-themed room also includes a $15,000 bathroom with its own waterfall and ivy-covered rock face, a stained wooden floor costing $8,000, and is finished using $8,000-worth of stone and masonry.

Mr Kirkham, a comic book artist who has worked on Tomb Raider, Transformers, Amazing Spiderman, X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic 4, spent three years building the basement, despite wife Jill asking for a pool in the back yard.

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No expense spared: Tyler Kirkham, 32, from Utah, spent three years and $50,000 creating this fantasy-themed basement underneath his family home complete with $15,000 shower room and $20,000 cinema system

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No expense spared: Tyler Kirkham, 32, from Utah, spent three years and $50,000 creating this fantasy-themed basement underneath his family home complete with $15,000 shower room and $20,000 cinema system

Small touches: As well as the waterfall in the bathroom, and the $8,000-worth of stone used to finish the walls, Mr Kirkham also spent $100 on a medieval helmet and $250 on an Italian crossbow for his basement

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Small touches: As well as the waterfall in the bathroom, and the $8,000-worth of stone used to finish the walls, Mr Kirkham also spent $100 on a medieval helmet and $250 on an Italian crossbow for his basement

Nerd-vana: Themed around the Elder Scrolls series of video games it contains its own armor suits, weapon rack and potions lab - alongside the flat screen TVs, pool table, and kitchen

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Nerd-vana: Themed around the Elder Scrolls series of video games it contains its own armor suits, weapon rack and potions lab - alongside the flat screen TVs, pool table, and kitchen

Eye for detail: Mr Kirkham, an artist who currently works for DC Comics, used screenshots from the houses in the video game to make sure his real-life creation was as close to the fantasy as possible

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Eye for detail: Mr Kirkham, an artist who currently works for DC Comics, used screenshots from the houses in the video game to make sure his real-life creation was as close to the fantasy as possible

Themed around the Elder Scrolls series of video games, it features weapons, armor and details that will be familiar to anyone who played the last Sykrim installment - set in a land based on real-life vikings.

Just like the houses in the video game, it comes with its own alchemy station for brewing potions and poisons, and is equipped with a weapon rack and armor stands to store hard-won treasure after a quest.

Mr Kirkham spared no expense on the weapons inside, which include an Italian crossbow he bought for $250, and a medieval helmet which cost $100.

He said: It felt amazing to turn our dream vision of what we wanted the space to be into a reality. I wanted to do something fun with the basement and I love the fantasy world of these games.

The ultimate $50,000 man cave inspired by Elder Scrolls

 

Tucked away: The basement features a bespoke gaming system for Mr Kirkham and his brother, an alcove for his one-year-old son Indie, and a bookcase which swings back to reveal a hidden passage

Hubble bubble, toil and trouble: True to the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim computer game, Mr Kirkham's basement also contains an alchemy lab along with a set of potion and poison bottles (pictured)

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Hubble bubble, toil and trouble: True to the Elder Scrolls: Skyrim computer game, Mr Kirkham's basement also contains an alchemy lab along with a set of potion and poison bottles (pictured)

Ready for battle: A sword rack is just one of the fantasy-themed elements to the basement, which also includes practice dummies covered in suits of armor (pictured left)

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Ready for battle: A sword rack is just one of the fantasy-themed elements to the basement, which also includes practice dummies covered in suits of armor (pictured left)

'When you're in there it just has a very unique feel, it's completely different from the rest of the house.'

Tyler's wife Jill, 32, a real estate agent, even helped with the design. She said: 'With all the money we've put into finishing the basement, maybe we could have divvied it up and put in a pool in the backyard.

'But I never wish we had a plain basement - who wouldn't want one like this, it's amazing.'

The basement has been a huge hit with Tyler's friends and neighbours too. He added: 'Pretty much everyone's reaction has been the same, whether they know what the game is or not - wide eyes, mouth open, with a shocked look on their faces. They always ask: 'How did you guys think of this?''

Finishing touches: Cladding the walls in masonry and stone with lantern-style lights cost Mr Kirkham around $8,000, while the $15,000 bathroom ended up being so expensive he had to stop building for months until he could afford to fit it

Treasure trove: While to the untrained eye the basement appeared to have a medieval theme, in fact it is filled with references to the last Elder Scrolls game, called Skyrim (pictured, a helmet from the fantasy world beside a pendant bearing the game's dragon symbol)

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Treasure trove: While to the untrained eye the basement appeared to have a medieval theme, in fact it is filled with references to the last Elder Scrolls game, called Skyrim (pictured, a helmet from the fantasy world beside a pendant bearing the game's dragon symbol)

No done yet: While the basement features items and decor from the last Elder Scrolls game (pictured), Mr Kirkham says he plans to add a wine cellar or children's play area based on the newest installment in the franchise, which comes out today

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No done yet: While the basement features items and decor from the last Elder Scrolls game (pictured), Mr Kirkham says he plans to add a wine cellar or children's play area based on the newest installment in the franchise, which comes out today

One of the basement's biggest admirers is Tyler's brother, Tristan. The pair love to play the game together with friends.

Tristan said: 'I think Tyler did a great job, he's always had a knack for interior design. When Tyler first told me about the basement, I was very excited, because we both love the game and I knew he'd do a great job of it.

'When I entered the basement for the first time I was completely floored.'

He began construction on the family space and theatre in February 2012 and uses screenshots from the games to ensure maximum accuracy. Financial constraints meant that Tyler had to wait until the summer of 2014 to add the bathroom.

The basement features a wealth of other nerdy details from the game, including coin purses sourced from Italy and homemade scrolls customised to look ancient and tattered.

Hanging out: Mr Kirkham says that one of the biggest fans of the basement is his brother Tristan (right) who often comes round to play video games on the room's $20,000 cinema system

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Hanging out: Mr Kirkham says that one of the biggest fans of the basement is his brother Tristan (right) who often comes round to play video games on the room's $20,000 cinema systemQuality man time: Mr Kirkham and brother Tristan play the last Elder Scrolls video game together in the basement, ahead of the latest release, which came out today

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Quality man time: Mr Kirkham and brother Tristan play the last Elder Scrolls video game together in the basement, ahead of the latest release, which came out today 

And Tyler has plans to expand his creation further. He's considering a wine cellar or children's play area inspired by the latest instalment in the series, the multiplayer online game Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

He said: 'I'm really looking forward to playing Elder Scrolls Online on my XBox and PS4 - the idea of playing with friends against people who might be a state away, or even a continent away, is amazing to me.

'I might be fighting a guy who is in Europe, or who is in China, or we could be teaming up to fight orcs or goblins or trolls.'

Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and Mac.

Day at the office: During the day Mr Kirham works as a comic book artist and his work has featured in Tomb Raider, Transformers, Amazing Spiderman, X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic 4

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Day at the office: During the day Mr Kirham works as a comic book artist and his work has featured in Tomb Raider, Transformers, Amazing Spiderman, X-Men, and Ultimate Fantastic 4

 

 

 

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