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The Vikings practice at a castle in London

The Vikings have touched down in England and are preparing for their game against the Browns on Sunday at Twickenham Stadium.

On Thursday morning the Vikings took up practice at a location that didn't look like your typical NFL practice facility:

Wow, seems like the Vikings are taking this whole UK trip to heart -- I expect to see one of the players show up to the stadium in a Queen's Guard uniform on Sunday.

But hold up. Is that actually a castle castle or just, like, a really big house?

The building pictured is the Syon House, which according to its site, is "the spectacular London home of the Duke of Northumberland." However, there is no mention of it being a castle. The Duke of Northumberland's castle is actually the Alnwick Castle, located in northeast England.

Hold on, ask the vast majority of Americans what a castle looks like and they'll tell you it looks a whole lot like the structure in the aforementioned tweets. You see those weird turret things? Yup, I don't see those on many mansions -- even gaudy ones. Also, everyone knows that royal figures live in castles, not homes or mansions.

We need to investigate this a little more:

According to Merriam-Webster (American), a castle is:

  1. a large fortified building or set of buildings
    a) a massive or imposing house
  2. a retreat safe against intrusion or invasion

According to Oxford Dictionaries (UK), a castle is:

  1. A large building, typically of the medieval period, fortified against attack with thick walls and battlements, towers, and in many cases a moat.
  2. A magnificent and imposing old mansion.

OK, so Americans aren't completely wrong, the Syon House is definitely imposing and old -- it was built in the 16th century.

On top of the history and looking very cool in general, Syon House has been the film location for many movies, including The Avengers (not the Marvel one, the 1998 one with Uma Thurman) and Gosford Park.

I'm so relieved we can all rest easy now and have avoided this clash with our ally -- this was looking like another soccer vs. football conflict.

I hope everyone enjoys their hot dogs and fries (or chips) or even strawberries and cream at the game on Sunday.

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