Posts Tagged ‘Castles’

Hey readers! As summer starts to wind down, Ash and I finally have some time to breathe, so I thought that I would share an amazing piece of architecture from Ash’s home State of New Hampshire with you. We have spent a lot of this summer traveling around our beloved New England and if you take a trip to New England any time soon, today’s Fantasy is one you shouldn’t miss!

Today’s Fantasy is Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, New Hampshire. When it was built in 1913-1914, the manse was originally named Lucknow, but people have been calling it Castle in the Clouds since it opened to the public in 1959. Castle in the Clouds is a great example of the Arts and Crafts style, which is all about craftsmanship and a departure from the gaudily ornate Victorian architecture that dominated the last quarter of the 19th century (for more on this read the post on the Gamble House). Castle in the Clouds (Lucknow) was built for Thomas and Olive Plant, who were newly married. Thomas Plant made a fortune from the sale of his shoe manufacturing company to the United Shoe Manufacturing Company and retired to plan a country estate. To accomplish this, he bought over 6,000 acres spanning from the Ossipee Mountains to Lake Winnipesaukee, including the land known as the Ossipee Mountain Park .  One of the amazing things about Castle in the Clouds is that Mr. Plant not only had this house built, but he also built a pretty extensive network of roads around the estate that allowed the Plants and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounded them; including a series of waterfalls that feed into near-by Shannon Pond.

In the 1930s, the Great Depression hit the Plants, who tried to cut their losses by selling Castle in the Clouds.  Despite their financial duress, they still wanted to be good stewards of the estate they created, so when no buyer was found, they continued to live there until 1941 when Mr. Plant died. Only then was Castle in the Clouds sold.  Since then, it has undergone relatively few changes and today it is run by the Castle Preservation Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining this treasure! They have a website, with great pictures and a virtual tour in case you can’t make it to New Hampshire anytime soon (the photos below are from the Castle in the Clouds website).

I think this shot best illustrates why it is called Castle in the Clouds…. but now I’ll have Les Miserables stuck in my head ALL day…..

An up close view that really emphasizes Arts and Crafts principles.

Can you beat this view? Or the Art Glass panels, for that matter?

What a lovely living room… it almost seems cozy despite its size

One of the many natural features that Plant planned the property around.

Well, that’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed your quick trip to Ash’s home state.

Have a great weekend


P.S.  A special thanks to my friend Peter who recently had a work project here and reminded me of how great Castle in the Clouds is. I think it made a great Fantasy.


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Happy Friday, Readers.

In today’s post, I’m going to get a bit ‘ye olde’ on you… True, it won’t really be medieval because, well, I’m keeping it in the US today, but since today’s fantasy is a ‘Castle’, it just feels right to say. So, mount your faithful steed, lower the visor on your helm and prepare yourself for a visit to Gillette Castle in Connecticut.

Gillette Castle originally called Seventh Sister (for the chain of hills the estate occupied) was built by eccentric American actor, William Gillette (probably best know for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes) in 1914.  He died with no heirs, so the State of Connecticut took over the property in 1943. It is now the Gillette Castle State Park, and after an $11 million restoration, it’s open to the public.

This first Photo is of the main facade of the castle. The photo comes to us from the website, “Popular wealth”.

The next photo is a different elevation.  The photo is from the Dupont Castles Website, which is a neat website for all those readers out there who couldn’t get enough of David Macaulay’s Castle as a kid (not just me and Ash, right?)

Below is an interior shot, also from Dupont Castles:

The final interior picture is the grand Arts and Crafts style staircase. This photo comes from the ctrivervalley website.

Hope you enjoyed getting medieval! If you’re in or around East Haddam, CT, make sure you stop by Gillette Castle State Park and check this treasure out.


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Some of you may not know this, but I am a Harry Potter superfan! I have read all of the books at least 10 times each, I’ve seen all of the movies and I am undefeated in Harry Potter Scene-It amongst my friends. So, it seems only fitting that, while I both celebrate the final Harry Potter movie and mourn the loss of new Harry Potter things to look forward to (until Ms. Rowling releases the encyclopedia), I should theme today’s Friday Fantasy according to another of my loves, besides Ash, Preservation and Rainbow Brite.

Obviously there isn’t actually a castle with moving staircases and rooms of requirement, but the Hogwarts we see in the movie (pictured below they way a 1st year would see it) that we all know and love was still based on a real castle. Alnwick Castle to be exact (please note there are a few other buildings used in the filming but I am narrowing it down to one for Friday Fantasy purposes) North West view of Alnwick pictured second below.

Alnwick Castle was first constructed in 1096 to guard against Scottish invasion. Through the years it has been expanded multiple times.  Today, it is the second largest inhabited castle in England,  and the Percy family (heirs to the title of Duke of Northumberland) have lived there since the 1300’s.

There are many great things about Alnwick castle other than its Harry Potter connection.  One of those things, in my opinion, is the gardens at Alnwick, and more importantly, their Tree House! It’s the largest in the world.

Alnwick has a good website that you can learn about the gardens and the history of this great castle, but if you can’t get to England you can always visit Hogwarts and enjoy a Butterbeer in Hogsmead in the US by visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando seen below.

Whichever one you get to, enjoy the Magic!


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