For a fairly small state, we sure have our fill of castles…
there is New Castle, Castle in the Clouds, Searle’s Castle, Kimball’s Castle, Wentworth Castle, Anam Cara Castle, Beauvais Castle, J.B. Hunt Castle, and Hale’s Castle just to name the most well-known….
- NEW CASTLE -
New Castle is a town, not a building, but as it’s probably the most recognized ‘castle’ in New Hampshire, so it is included here. Fort William and Mary was fortified here in 1623, and it was the site of one of the first ‘acts’ of the American Revolution. Originally the “Hotel Wentworth, New Castle’s “Castle of a Resort,” Wentworth By The Sea, is located here–the location of the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth which ended the Russo-Japanese War.
- CASTLE IN THE CLOUDS -
Location: Moultonborough NH
Notes: Originally called “Lucknow,” this castle was built in 1913-1914 by Thomas Gustave Plant and his wife Olive. The architecture is an unusual example of Arts and Crafts architecture, and was designed by J. Williams Beal & Sons of Boston, architects. Born in Bath, Maine, in 1859, Thomas Gustav Plant worked his way from being an ice cutter on the Kennebec River to a shoe industry mogul. The castle is made of five-sided granite blocks quarried from the mountainside where it was built. It took an estimated 1,000 workers, including stone cutters from Italy, about three years to complete the 16-room castle. Plant’s best friend and frequent visitor was Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States). An octagonal bedroom with bath was set aside for him. The castle’s Funding, bad investments Plant made in foreign markets (Russian War bonds) and the Depression consumed his fortune and left him penniless at his death in 1941. He died a pauper in Laconia General Hospital. J. Paul Sticht, former chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco, purchased the property in 1991. Taking advantage of the castle’s pristine water source, he began marketing Castle Springs bottled water. In 2003 the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, a non-profit organization, purchased the 5,500 acre Castle in the Clouds property. The castle is managed and operated by the Castle Preservation Society, a non-profit subsidiary of LRCT. The castle is open for tours and events [see their web site].
Official Web site:
For more history and photographs:
WEBCAMS & PANORAMIC VIEWS, Castle in the Clouds
- SEARLE’S CASTLE -
Location: Windham NH
Completed in 1915, it was built by Edward Francis Searles in the style of Stanton Harcourt Manor in Oxon County, England. It has 20 rooms, and the estimated cost was $1,250,000. Mr. Searles employed the finest masons and woodworkers, and imported marble and artifacts from Europe to furnish it. He was born 4 July 1841 in Methuen MA, son of Jesse Gould & Sarah (Littlefield) Searles. At age 13 he worked in a cotton mill to support his widowed mother and his brother. He followed several careers including teaching piano and organ, and interior decorating. He married 8 Nov 1887 in New York City to Mary Frances (Sherwood) Hopkins, widow of Mark Hopkins, who had been part-owner in the Southern Pacific Railroad, and who had died leaving his widow 21 million dollars. At his death, Searles willed the castle to his secretary, Arthur T. Walker. After a series of owners, the Sisters of Mercy acquired the castle in 1952. Beginning in 1991 the interior of the castle was refurbished.
Official Web site: -
Biography of Edward Francis Searles | Biography #2:
- KIMBALL CASTLE aka THE BROADS -
Location: Gilford NH
Built in 1897 to replicate an ancient European castle located on the Rhine River in Germany. The castle sits atop Locke’s Hill. It was constructed by 19th century businessman Benjamin Ames Kimball. “The Broads” is a beautiful scenic estate area where Benjamin Kimball made a special railroad to from Laconia for his own personal use. There is also the Kimball Wildlife Forest nearby. Benjamin Ames Kimball, son of Benjamin & Ruth (Ames) Kimball, was b. 22 Aug 1833 in Boscawen, Merrimack Co NH. He m. 19 Jan 1861 to Myra Tilton Elliott, dau of Ira & Rhoda (Ames) Elliott. He graduated from Chandler Scientific School at Dartmouth NH in 1854. He was a successful mechanic, manufacturer and businessman. He resided mainly in the Concord NH area.
- WENTWORTH CASTLE -
Location: Jackson NH
In 1891 General Marshall C. Wentworth and wife Georgia built this 5,385 square foot, three store stone castle with the help of New York architect, William Bates. Reportedly Gen. Wentworth (son of William Henry Harrison & Mary Wentworth) was a direct descendant of Sir Thomas Wentworth, first Earl of Stafford and prime minister to King Charles I. The castle has 6 bedrooms, 7 fireplaces, and the stones were taken from Wildcat River. It was renovated in 1959 by the Countess Mara deBninska, who restored it to its original status. The current property is bordered on three sides by the White Mountain National Forest.
History of Jackson NH [mentions the Wentworths]
- ANAM CARA CASTLE -
Location: Barrington, New Hampshire
Possibly the youngest castle in New Hampshire, it was built in 1996 by David O’Connor and Loretta Salazar, a recreation of a 10th/11th century castle keep.
AND more photographs:
- BEAUVAIS CASTLE aka LITTLE RED DOLLHOUSE CASTLE -
Location: 141 Union Street Manchester, New Hampshire
This is a faux castle front built over a structure. This business has been open for several years, selling dolls, doll houses, and Christmas decorations during the holiday season. They are in the process of selling their inventory, as part of a “retirement sale.” [update: possibly this is sold by now. Web site no longer operative].
- HUNT CASTLE -
Reportedly a faux front on a regular structure; owned by John Bankson Hunt, a NH State Representative [more on this Hunt family will be published in a future post]
-John B. Hunt’s web site (archived version)-
Originally reported at: http://www.dupontcastle.com/castles/nh_unk3.htm -
- HALE’S CASTLE -
Location: Sleeper’s Island, Lake Winnipesaukee NH
On the Lake Winnipesaukee Graystone Castle of Hale estate fame; Reportedly in 1960′s B&B “Castlewood.” If anyone knows more about this castle, please post
OTHER CASTLE LINKS:
Castles of the United States -