An Englishman’s Home is his Illegal Castle in a Haystack

Tuesday, 26th February 2008 by

In this Google image of a farm just north of Gatwick Airport, England, we can see a large, but not particularly unusual looking stack of hay bales, covered in blue tarpaulins.

If however we look at the Microsoft Live Local Bird's Eye view of the same location, we can see that the hay bales have been removed to reveal... a Mock Tudor Castle!

So where did this mini-castle spring from?

It was actually built by local farmer Robert Fidler, who also hid it under the enormous haystack. He chose to reveal the building in August 2006 because as 4 years had passed with no objections to the structure, it would no longer require planning permission! His family had actually been living in the castle for the four year period - staring out the windows at the inside of hay bales.

However Reigate and Banstead Council claim that as nobody had ever actually seen the castle, then the four-year period was void - meaning that Mr Fidler now faces having his little castle torn down.

Read an interview and more background at

Thanks to mlc1us.