Just finished my fortress yesterday to a planned state (I think more ideas will follow) and wanted to share it.
I started it late 2013. I'm not playing Minecraft 24/7 and also have been into other games.
Everything is completely hand made in solo survival mode. No cheating or using any commands to add something or make things easier. The only thing I did (and my girlfriend considers as cheating) was copy/pasting my fortress at one point from one seed to another, because of a world changing update, so I could benefit from the changes. Lucky me the new landscape looks much better. My fortress is now situated on an "island" that is separated from the rest of the continent by a river. In the last seed I had extreme hills + just in front of my entrance. Now there is a bay left of my entrance from where I can start my expeditions by boat. And five villages are located in the near surroundings from which I connected four of them via railway.
By the way: I'm using Sphax PureBDCraft 128x resource pack
So this is what you will see when you arrive at the front door. A small bridge leads over the river that leads into the mentioned bay, that would be on the right side of this picture.
Uninvited guests can be "removed" by a trap door (technically a horizontal jeb-door) and a flow of lava from above.
This is the view from the inside. The part in this picture shows what has been the first state of my fortress. It contains my farmlands with my animal ranch and my agriculture. A gravel alley sided by birches leads from the main entrance to the former rear wall on the right, which is now a divider to another part of my fortress.
I chose to let the inside of the second floor of my wall open an use fences for it looks more friendly and not like a prison.
I turned a bit to the right on the tower I'm standing on. Just below me is the alchemists building with a small netherwarts plantage. Everything related to redstone, wizardry, potions etc. is stored and produced there. In the upper left there is the blacksmith. Everything with stone, wood, iron, glas etc. is crafted an stored there. I think this makes 80% of my resources. Next to it is the entrance to my mine. These three buildings were also part of the first state and yes, they were on the outside so you had to watch out going there.
The pyramid with the beacon wasn't planned there but when I was able to summon and beat the wither I wanted to place the beacon nearest to the center of the fortress. In fact this postion differs only by two blocks.
In the back you see serpentines leading up an artifical hill. More in the next pic.
On this hill you find my villa and a church. I'm not religious but I thought a church belongs to a medieval fortress. In front of the church are two fountains leading into a waterfall. If you don't want to walk all the way on the serpentines you can use this as a "lift".
On the right side of the picture you see the middle rear tower of this fortress. The upper platform is the highest spot of this fortress besides the tips of the church but you can't reach them. Trying to take a screenshot from this platform without watching your step leads to certain death (found out by myself this morning).
The artifical hill is hollow and contains a secret entrance to my fortress. I used a jeb door for it so it is invisible from the outside.
Perhaps I will build an indoor rollercoaster some day.
I turned to the right further now. This large area of my fortress contains a horse ranch with it's own house, open stables with a connected paddock and a riding hall. On the roof you see redstone and light sensors with self-made inverters so the light will turn on at night. Using inverted sensors directly would cause the light to stay on the whole day except one minute or so. I didn't like it.
The area on the right side of the ranchhouse is used to grow trees and gain wood when neccessary.
Hidden by the roof of the hall is a side entrance to the fortress.
By the way: This entrance, the main entrance and the doorway in the divider are closed by double iron doors and have a half block air above them (using half slabs of stone bricks) so you can ride through them.
This is the view from the rear tower behind my villa. With it's garden and the rear of the church. You might notice that the villa is inspired by the Minecraft Construction Book.
These are the outskirts of my fortress between the bay and the front part. You may have guessed by now that I'm a horseman in RL. Below is a riding arena with jumping- and dressage arenas, spectator stands and the referee huts.
In the upper left corner is a small harbor. Pity that the ship won't sail.
Last but not least this is an overview of the whole thing on nine large scale maps.
This fortress is almost a safe place. Due to some tiny dark spots and my dislike for illuminating the roofs, there are some spots where mobs can spawn but that happens seldom.
I like the design, its simple and the layout makes it easy to understand. As far as construction this is pretty good, I however have a hard time paying attention long enough to finish. This is a great start to your castle, I can see lots of room for improvement and upgrades. Keep up the good work.
Nice and simple one, looks good though! What texture pack is that? Makes it seem more 'cartoon' like if you understand what I mean.
Yes, it's meant to be. It is "Sphax PureBDCraft 128x". I like this more colorful cartoonish look. He also has a pack called "GrungeBDCraft". It stays true to the cartoon style but gives it a realistic touch. But this isn't updated to 1.8.3 yet.