Gillette Castle: One of New England’s Hidden Treasures

IMG_1496For those of you who live in New England, love exploring, hiking, and being outdoors I recommended a day trip to Gillette Castle.

Gillette Castle is one of Connecticut’s hidden treasures. Built in the early 1900’s, it took roughly five years before the construction was complete. Standing in the middle of nearly 200 acres, overlooking the river, the now famous stone structure is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. It is such an awesome spot if you are a photographer looking for some inspiration, or you are just looking to get away from city, traffic, and day to day drab routine.

Purchased by Connecticut in the 1940s, this striking structure with its brilliant design is superior to other state castles. Once you see it, you’ll understand why. Gillette Castle is perfect for families, and history enthusiasts. Visitors can drive up, or take the ferry. The ferry allows passengers to get an outstanding view of the entire castle from below. The view from outside is indescribable. Once inside the castle you are welcomed to a self-guided tour, and if you have any questions staff members will be there to answer. Anyone passing through Connecticut with some free time should stop to see this breathtaking landmark. A trip to the castle can also serve as an out of the box first date.

Interestingly Gillette Castle is not exactly a home built for a king. Legend has it, this castle was built as a retirement home for the world famous playwright better known as William Hooker Gillette. Have you heard of Sherlock Holmes? If not check out the Netflix series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, yup he is the actor who plays Doctor Strange. Not a Marvel fan, no worries Martin Freeman also stars as Sherlock Holmes’ side kick; he is probably most recognizable for his role as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. Anyway, if you do decide to check out Sherlock Holmes on Netflix it is important to know that the script definitely strays from the original, but manages to keep a handle on the work of art William developed over one hundred years ago.

In the late 1800s William excelled on stage and behind the scenes. His innovation, and creativity added something special to the theater. William became very well known for his fine craftsmanship; he was even awarded for developing a new, and better way to simulate the sound of galloping horses.

After years of working in theater, as an actor writer and designer, William was asked to convert Sherlock Holmes into a play. William did just that, he wrote the play, and he played the role of Sherlock Holmes. Since his portrayal of the quirky, egotistical, out of sorts detective prodigy, dozens of other actors have taken on the role, and the pipe.

The success of Sherlock Holmes brought William so much fame, fortune and the means to make a legendary dream home. It has been said that when William began the construction of Gillette Castle, he decided to have it built in a way that would make Holmes proud. It has intrinsic designs, a mysterious structure and theatrical appearance, but whether or not it’s a home fit for Holmes, I guess we will never know; it will ironically remain an unsolved mystery.

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3 Comments

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  1. Very interesting thank you Charla and will add into my Blogger Daily this evening.. thanks for following my blog and look forward to more of your posts in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A very interesting post about the history of this castle. My son loves Sherlock Holmes and has read all the books. I am going to give this to him to read as he will enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

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