South of London, a man’s home may be his castle, but his castle can’t be his home. A farmer built his own mock-Tudor castle, complete with turrets, and didn’t bother getting any of those pesky building permits. His solution? Keep the home hidden behind the hay. A front wall of hay bales kept the castle from prying eyes for four long years, until neighbors became suspicious, and clued in authorities to storm the castle, which was also rumored to have a cannon.
The farmer and his family were hoping to keep the structure concealed for four years; after that time, according to planning laws, a building constructed without permission may stay up if no objections have been submitted. Hiding the castle so no one could see it doesn’t count, said one official.
The authorities want the castle demolished, along with the other structures built by the industrious farmer: a conservatory, bridge, patio, and a race course. A February hearing will settle the matter. Until then, one has to wonder, how did the farmer have time to grow anything?