Monday, February 08, 2010
Above: Robert and Linda Fidler stand in front of Honeycrock Castle [photo. Murray Sanders]
Honeycrock Castle, Salfords Surrey
Over the course of two years Robert Fidler a farmer from Surrey managed to secretly build a mock Tudor castle complete with ramparts and cannons. He reclaimed many pieces for the house including two chandeliers and a huge glass dome. "We found the dome smashed up in a reclamation yard; someone said it was from the old West Pier at Brighton so Rob went on a glass course just so he could learn how to repair it properly," said Linda Fidler.
Because Mr Fidler did not get planning permission for the structure it has been concealed behind a 40ft pile of straw and huge tarpaulins. He has recently unveiled the castle as he believes that because the building has been there for four years without any objections, it is no longer illegal.
However, this week, three years of heated legal squabbling concluded in the High Court with a judge's ruling in favour of the council. As things stand, the Fidlers must now return the plot to grassland within a year or the council will bring in the bulldozers. Although the Filders plan to take the case to the court of appeal and hope that they will have more luck there.