Welcome to the latest version of Castlefacts.

In 2009 I approached Philip Davis of basing a website around his core data which was available for download from his excellent website the gatehouse. He allowed me to use the data and also provided a lot of valuable input into understanding the data and how it should be presented. The website owes a lot to Philip's creative input.

The first site was written using a combination of Active Server Pages (asp), Vbscript and JavaScript with the data stored in a MySQL database using Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 to create the pages. I had recently purchased a digital camera so the idea was I would use the site as a check list of places to visit and photograph.

Early in 2012 I decided to rewrite Castlefacts. It had started to look a little tired and dated. I also wanted to address some of the design limitations on the original. I was finding myself spending too much time maintaining the content rather than adding new features and actually getting out and visiting sites. I had a licensing problem with upgrading Dreamweaver to the latest version without paying the full price for a new version, so I looked around for an alternative. Microsoft had made available their series of “express” products free for non-commercial use, so I decided to use Visual Studio tools and convert the database to SQL Express. Asp had moved on to ASP.net. The second version was designed using asp.net Web forms, C# and Javascript.

In 2015, I began to think about another rewrite. My wife had just purchase me a mobile phone so I could keep in touch when I was out and about. I tried to use my website on the phone so I could read about the site when I was visiting and found it impossible to navigate around my website, so I began to redo the site so you could use a mobile phone, tablet, or a Personal computer..

Over 450 people have contributed photos to this site, and many people have contacted me with ideas on how to develop it further, it’s all very much appreciated. I would especially like to thank Philip Davis for contributing pictures of over 400 sites, Matthew Emmott over 150 sites and Dave Barlow over 500 sites.

It’s been a fantastic journey, I have visited places I never even knew existed, met people I would never had met, understand a lot more about Castles and how to really “look” at a building than I did when I started. It’s been fun creating the website, if at times challenging. I hope you find the website interesting and please email me with any feedback

Andrew Herrett July 2016