What secret did a disgraced Catholic squire cipher in a triangular castle that became a protest
With regard to triangular structures (for example, the Egyptian pyramids), scientists put forward a variety of versions, seeing in them a special philosophy, and unique energy properties, and even the ability to heal. However, the British politician and staunch Catholic, Thomas Tresham, creating his small castle, pursued another goal – to demonstrate to the public the inviolability of his religious beliefs. His house is unique not only for its “trinity”, but also for its abundance of symbols and hints.
Served for faith
Sir Thomas Treshem was a wealthy squire and belonged to the high society. He was born in 1543, having inherited a huge fortune from his father, and in his youth led an unserious lifestyle, wasting money and arranging chic feasts. However, at the age of 37, Tresham abruptly changed his convictions and adopted the Catholic faith. This step tragically affected the fate of a rich squire. Thomas immediately lost his position at the royal court, many former titled friends stopped communicating with him.
All attempts by those around him to persuade him to go into the Protestant faith (pleasing to the queen) were in vain. For refusing to attend the Protestant Church of Tresham, like other Catholics of the Elizabethan era, they imposed a huge tax.
In the end, along with several other fellow believers, he was convicted for allegedly providing asylum to the famous Jesuit and Catholic martyr Edmund Campion, and sentenced to imprisonment.
He was released from prison only 12 (according to other sources – 15) years, after which he decided to prove to society that he was not broken and that his faith was the only correct one. He showed his beliefs in a very peculiar way: through architecture. A strange triangular house (in fact, a small castle), built by him in Northamptonshire, not far from Rushton, was supposed to embody the ideas of Catholicism. Most likely, he nursed this project during his many years of imprisonment.
Triangle with a hint
Following his love for allegories, which in principle was very characteristic of the culture of the Elizabethan period, Tresham himself designed his castle, filling it with all sorts of hints. He chose the triangular shape and the general trinity by chance. This symbolizes the trinity of the Holy Trinity (God as one), which the Protestants hated by him denied.
The house has only three walls, each of which is 33 feet long. Each of the walls, in turn, has a triangular window. Crowned walls of the gargoyle. And the castle has three floors and a triangular chimney.
On each of the three outer walls of the building you can see the text written in Latin (excerpts from the Vulgate – the Latin translation of the Holy Scriptures), and each of these three texts consists of 33 letters. These sayings can be translated into Russian as follows: “Let the earth open up and bring salvation …”, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” And “I contemplated your works, O Lord, and I was afraid.”
Above the door, under the emblem of Tresham, there is another inscription in Latin, as well as the number 5555. There are several versions regarding what these four fives can mean. According to one of them, if we subtract from this number the proposed year of the castle’s construction (1593), then we get the date of the Flood (according to one of the hypotheses, this is 3962 BC). However, the famous British art historian and architecture historian Nicholas Pevzner at one time put forward another version: they say, in fact, it’s not four fives at all, but four triples written in an unusual font.
There are other symbolic dates on the building, for example, 3898 (the call of Abraham) and 1580 (the year Tresham converted to Catholicism). And the numbers 1626 and 1641, according to one of the versions, could hint that if you subtract from them the year of the castle’s construction, you’ll get the age before which Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary lived in this world.
The castle itself is very beautiful. The idea of alternation in the construction of dark and light limestone is interesting.