Sandcastle replica of Hadrian’s Wall fort Housesteads wins castle visit for eight-year-old

By Culture24 Reporter | 30 August 2012
  • Archived article
A photo of a young boy building a sandcastle with a tiny yellow spade by the seaside
Daniel Toll is one of the country's finest sand artists
© English Heritage
An eight-year-old shingle craftsman has won a trip to a castle after building a sand replica of a Hadrian’s Wall fort on a Cornish beach.

Daniel Toll interrupted his holiday to create a model of Housesteads Roman Fort with his mum, aunt and younger sister in an hour-long mould inspired by the Roman soldiers once charged with guarding the wall.

A photo of an intricate wide sandcastle crafted in dark brown sand in the countryside
English Heritage has launched a national sandcastle competition
© English Heritage
He posted a photo of the work on a Facebook competition page run by English Heritage as part of a search for the country’s finest sandcastle sculptures. Judges were sufficiently impressed to grant him a free family ticket to a castle of his choice.

“I like to build sandcastles – we often build towns on the beach,” says Toll, who lives in the Devon town of Crediton.

“We found out about the competition when we were having lunch at Tintagel Castle and decided to enter.”

He reckons “everyone” should enter the competition, which invites the public to recreate one of England’s 98 castles run by English Heritage.

The overall winners will spend a night at Dover, Kenilworth or Pendennis Castle or a ghost tour for six people. The winning entry in the under-12s category will be rewarded with a party at one of the group’s larger castles.

A step-by-step guide to “sandcastle perfection” has been launched to help rookie tide-dodgers. And weather pessimists should be encouraged by one of its revelations – water is a key part of the classic sandcastle.

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