From Warwick to Fourmile

I’ve been a member of English Heritage for a very long time, and have used my membership to visit some fantastic historical sites around the country – particularly Yorkshire and Northumberland (wherein sit my favourite castles such as Norham, Warkworth, Ford, and (of course) Alnwick.

While it is not operated by English Heritage, I’ve also had many a visit to Warwick Castle in the Midlands, where my English Heritage membership has eased the pain of the entrance fee (which amounts to over £100 for a family of four) as well (although I tend to prefer its great rival, Kenilworth, just down the road, and which is an English Heritage site).

Anyway, I mention this because I recently paid a visit to Fourmile Castle in Second Life. The work of Ee Maculate (a name I just love, and which is now sitting as my second favourite SL avatar name after (the now departed) Slightly Offcourse), Fourmile Castle was apparently inspired by a visit to Warwick Castle by Dr. David Wood, the man behind Ee Maculate. Not that Fourmile is intended to be a direct representation of Warwick Castle (although there are some common points between the two). Rather, the visit to Warwick served to inspire Dr. Wood to start ian in-world project for 11-16 year-olds to show how castles tended to grow over time and become not only a strategic centre, but also a commercial one as well, sometimes growing to encompass an entire small town or large village within its walls.

Fourmile Castle

In this, Ee Macluate has succeeded very well. Starting from a single Mainland region, Fourmile Castle now covers a goodly acreage of both the neighbouring Maceday and Cavenaugh regions, with the castle walls encompassing houses and places of business, with more – in keeping with how things often were – beyond the walls. With Cavenaugh bordering the Sea of Fables (itself a place I recently forayed into by boat), the castle even boasts its own modest harbour.

Fourmile Castle

When you arrive at the castle, you do so at one of the main entranceways. Take heed of the signage when you do – there are no info notecards, but the signs provide a wealth of information – such as the castle being both open to the public and a residential area, with many of the houses in and around it available for private rent. The sign also advises you to be on the lookout for tiny Anywhere Doors, which can help teleport you more easily from one point of interest to another in the same location.

Fourmile

Where you go after arrival is up to you – there are footpaths to follow both inside the walls and outside, and there is much to see whether you keep to them or not. As with many a real castle, Fourmile appears to have grown organically over time, with new walls appearing, new walkways, houses, places of business….alleyways, stairs and so on being added over time to create quite a warren of places to tour on foot. Like Warwick, the castle boasts elements from a range of historical periods; the chapel features the tomb of a Cavalier alongside that of a Norman knight. Also like Warwick, Fourmile has its own watermill and sits on the bank of a river which forms a natural defensive point.

Fourmile

Most of the rental houses lie either just outside the castle grounds or within the outer curtain wall, but outside of the castle proper. Many are already rented, so visitors are asked to respect the privacy of those living in Fourmile. Unrented homes are signed as such, and the castle store includes information on rent. All homes are within their own parcels and parcel privacy can be enabled for tenants.

The castle itself is reached either over drawbridge or through double portcullis entranceways (which had me looking up for signs of murder holes as I passed through). Here you’ll find towers, a chapel, a throne room, dungeons, stables, stairs, secret rooms, tunnels – there really is a lot to discover. For the particularly hardy, there is a 3D maze (with the recommendation you tackle it in Mouselook), and there is also the castle store, as mentioned above.

Fourmile

All of the rental properties appear to offer reasonable space, with the houses outside the castle walls being models by Maxwell Graf, which give the castle surrounds a unique feel.

Also outside the walls are a couple of henges, complete with fires burning in their centres as well; whether for warmth or ritual is hard to tell! Whatever their purpose, they are not out-of-keeping with the castle as a whole, and add further points of interest to any visit.

Fourmile

If there is anything at all to be regretted about a visit to the castle, it is in the fact that it really does bring home one’s regret that Mainland regions don’t have the kind of covenants (or some form of estate control) to limit the placement of stonking great (and perennially ugly) skyboxes within spitting distance of the ground. It’s almost impossible to get a snapshot which encapsulates the size of the build without also ending up with someone else’s eyesore in the frame. Even a couple of the images here have been somewhat judiciously “edited” by means of tight control over draw distance…

Fourmile

This aside, the only minor problem I had during my visit was that some of the Anywhere Doors were non-responsive. Whether this was due to lag (a rolling restart was in operation across the grid at the time of my visit) or other reasons, I’ve no idea. Either way, it did little to spoil my enjoyment and appreciation for the castle and Ee’s work in bringing it together.

Fourmile is very much worth a visit and a wander – and can be reached by teleport, road, air or water (the latter thanks to the Fourmile harbour in Cavenaugh, and arrival by air made possible by a neighbouring airstrip!).

Fourmile Castle

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10 thoughts on “From Warwick to Fourmile

  1. I’ve lived there for over one year. The rent is bogglingly low ($1L per prim per week), and Ee is a super landlord. The house in your second picture belongs to my SL pal and partner; mine was the more elaborately gardened one to the left of it. I made an extensive post about Fourmile recently but I don’t want to start being accused of hijacking, so you can point to it if you want to in a comment.

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    1. 🙂

      I’ll scuttle over to your blog shortly and have a peek and link :). The castle certainly looks an interesting place to live; I love the mix of Norman castle and the more Tudor-look houses. Mirrors rl beautifully.

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    2. Add a link to your article – great read!

      Couldn’t help but see you’ve also covered under the Sea of Fables, which was going to be my next exploratorive report. I shall rearrange things for now :).

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  2. Sea of Fables, hmm? Not far from the East River Community (we are north of the sea). Funny I never visited the place.

    Talking about favorite SL names, a favorite one of mine is Martini DiscoVolante. But one must understand Italian to fully appreciate the humor: “disco volante” = flying saucer.

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    1. Hmmm… north of the sea, hmm? I may well have to paddle over :).

      Love the name :). “Slightly Offcourse” will always do it for me tho. To have been the first to jump in with that – genius!

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      1. If you do, sail north toward Pippen and up the East River. The river branches out in Grizedale/Helvellyn, with the northern East River and southern Little East River.

        This is an outdated map of the community: http://www.flickr.com/photos/indigomertel/5574643586/in/pool-eastrivercommunity/ . Some of the more recent land acquisitions are missing from the map, as the community currently spreads over 16 regions. This is our Flickr stream: http://www.flickr.com/groups/eastrivercommunity/

        If you sail to the northern branch of the East River until you reach Kirkstone you can visit the SL Coast Guard HQ. We also have a nice airport in Munck and Brooks.

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        1. I tried to sail and fly over on Thursday. Given the the fact that RC channel rolling restarts were in progress, perhaps wasn’t the best time, either way, I kept hitting region crossing issues with the result that either my boat did a Mary Celeste in reverse (vanished, leaving the crew sailing aimlessly before going *glub*), or finding my plane in a perpetual tailspin, no matter which course I plotted. I finally gave up after bouncing from a Sargasso region boundary into Ravenglass and then crashing…

          I shall consult the stars, leave offerings to the Linden gods & try again on a day when there are no deployments in progress!

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  3. It sems we share the same pleasure on RL, I love and had the chance to tour GB a few times, and Warwick day was simply one that i’ll never forget!
    North Welsh castles are also pretty amazing to visit, didn’t had the luck to visit Scotland, but if you enjoy Castles makes sure you can visit Portugal as We have some lovely ones as well!

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  4. And about mainland, i found that more users are avoiding building sky boxes at less then 2000 meters, now that you dont need a flight assist to be there!
    I really can’t complain about the neighbours we have at Zindra, Sansara, Satori, Corsica and of course Blake Sea homes!
    Blake Sea one, being rented from an amazing landlord, founder of the United Sailors Sims, has the most harsh and yet the most obvious and understandable rules for any that wishes to enjoy free travels across regions!
    At Zindra, All the neighbours share the some interest of having a lovely view it’s sea, and all the building on my area fit pretty well on the scenario (Shelly beach region abd surrondings) and more important, all keep the regions open and don’t use orbs!
    On Satori, even if my nearest neighbour set ban lines, the fact that we live next to main road allows us to travel easly by bike or even by plane!
    In Corsica , most our neighbors don’t have ban lines nor orbs, so it makes it so easy to travel by any means!
    And of course, Sansara, having the luck of grabing a lil pieie next to Prok Neva regions and with an amzing neighbour that asked before buying the spot, what kind of bulding we wish to see next to ours, We really can’t complain about the spots where we live!
    Luckly more and more owners follow some great rules (see Lindal Kid, Prok Neva and many others), so mainland can also be a place of dreams and beauty.
    So We need to make a trip to that castle, just need to see where is that sea of fables, perhaps near one of our homes, lol (Its pretty amazing to go to a event and found that it was hosted near one of them, or a known club and see that we can get out and ride our bikes and be at one of our homes in pretty less then 40 sims!)

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