A quirky couple are living a real-life fairytale after turning their three -bed semi into – a medieval CASTLE.
Martin and Jayne Townley have painted their house to look like a grey stone fortress complete with battlements and archways over the windows.
They have banners and flags flying from the guttering, a giant shield hanging on the outside and a pillory in the garden.
Inside the house is like an old baronial hall with swords on the wall, gauntlets on the furniture and heavy purple drapes.
Martin and Jayne and their two kids eat off a banquet table with goblets and candlesticks to the sound of lute music in a dining room like the inside of a tower.
The couple only moved into the three-bed house in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset a year ago and started converting it immediately.
Their love of the medieval lifestyle comes from Martin’s hobby as a JOUSTER – he holds the UK amateur title.
Jayne, 48, a professional magician, said: ”We’ve tried to make it as authentic as possible.
“Rather than just having medieval-style ornaments and pictures on the wall, we’ve painted whole rooms so they actually feel medieval.
“I have so many ideas in my head, I never know what’s going to pop out next.”
Martin, 47, a former jockey, discovered jousting about three years ago.
“I’ve been riding horses all my life, but Jayne bought me a jousting experience for my birthday and I completely fell in love with it,” he said.
“I thought, ‘Why have I never discovered this before?’.”
His jousting championship shield has pride of place in their medieval-style dining room.
Jayne added: “I come across a lot of this stuff online or in charity shops.
“I don’t spend a lot of money on anything in particular – I find things and adapt them to fit the house.”
She said the usual reaction they get from visitors is ‘stunned silence’ – followed by ‘Wow’.
She added: “The neighbours really like it – they invite their friends round to come and have a look.”
Neighbour Graham Millichap, who lives two doors away, described the house as “incredible”.
“I think it’s absolutely lovely,” he said. “The artist has got real, real talent. It’s a mastery of perspective – I just think, ‘How does he do it?’.
“It’s absolutely brilliant – I wish I could afford to do it myself.”
Jayne said their 15-year-old twins, Evie and Max, are quite used to the unusual theme.
“My children are so used to it now they don’t really think about it,”
“They’re used to us doing things a bit different, because I’ve always done magic, and Martin does jousting.”
Despite having spent the last year working on their home’s makeover, Jayne says she has many more idea in her head.
The couple employed artist Martin D’Arcy to paint the house for them.
“You should see it at night, with all the lights shining on the fence – it transforms the whole garden into another world,” said Mr Townley.
Jayne added: “I wanted to have something that you could walk through and transition from reality into a non-reality.’
“I’ve got the creativity, but I’m not artistic so I can’t do it myself.
“Luckily Martin [D’Arcy] is so clever and super-talented.”
And Mr D’Arcy said he was “very, very lucky” to have customers such as Martin and Jayne to give him such an opportunity.
Jayne said they are considering holding ‘open day’ tours to raise money for Ataxia UK, on behalf of their son Max who struggles with mobility issues.