During our recent riverboat cruise along the Connecticut River, we spotted this stone “house” up on a hill. Seeing it from that distance, it appeared to us to be in disrepair. (I cropped this picture on the computer, so it seems closer than it was.)
One of the crew members on the boat explained that it’s Gillette’s Castle, built by William Gillette, the actor who portrayed Sherlock Holmes in the early 20th century. And we found out that it’s open for tours.
So once we completed our train/riverboat cruise trip, the castle was our next stop.
It’s an amazing place with quite a history. Building the house took five years, and it was completed in 1919. All the stone (and there’s quite a bit of it) was mined right in the area.
I’ve never been a huge Sherlock Holmes fan, but we discovered that William Gillette was the one to actually bring the character to life. The cap and curved pipe with which we’re so familiar were Gillette’s idea.
We learned a little about William Gillette during the tour. Apparently he was quite a character and loved playing pranks on his house guests.
There’s a breathtaking view of the Connecticut River from the grounds. Apparently people boating on the river are looking up at the Castle, and folks touring the Castle are looking down at the river.
I took this picture from inside the house through a little diamond-shaped window. I didn’t notice it during the tour, but those stones at the top of the window are shaped like animal hooves. Learning what we did about William Gillette’s attention to detail, he probably planned it that way.
Since no flash photography was allowed inside the Castle, we didn’t get many good pictures of the interior. I took this one of the library for Marshall; he’d love to have access to all those old books.
Cozy is not a word that comes to mind to describe this house. And we were told that William Gillette never referred to it as a Castle.
But there’s a word that fits.
Here’s a link to read more about Gillette’s Castle. If you’re ever in that area of Connecticut, it’s worth a visit. And I can’t take credit for “Sherlock’s Home”; that was the title of a booklet offered for sale in the gift shop.
Very interesting house although I’ve never heard of the actor. And interesting that he was the one to add the distinctive touches of the “deer hunter” hat and curved pipe to the portrayal of Holmes!
Very interesting! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!
Yes It was worth touring, very interesting. One of the highlights of the day.
Thank you for being our virtual tour guide. You make these places so accessible with your photography. Nice job!
I would love to visit that house in person but since I can’t I thank you for taking me along with you. I just love that diamond window!
Another interesting tour. You do find the neatest things to explore.
Very interesting. Isn’t it a bonus when you find places to explore that you didn’t know existed?
Sounding like such a fun trip! Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!
interesting structure to stumble on there. 🙂
How lucky! What a great discovery! I’m going to show it to David and I know he’s going to want to go see it. He’s a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. Thanks!
Very interesting house! It looks cold and uninviting from the outside; wish we could have seen more of the inside.
I love places like this! And I don’t have a husband who likes to “tour” and explore…so I need to find me a good tour buddy! Nothing like that old stone against a clear, blue sky!
you have captured it well….i have enjoyed the revisit!
… when these homebuilders had ideas, they sure acted on them … And from what I read, this was HIS house all the way .. maybe even to the point that nobody else would’ve loved it as much ….
I love cool, old places like this and I’ve always wanted to live in a neat stone house. What a fun adventure. I’ll be sure to check it out if I’m ever out east!
Thanks for the tour and scenery. We could work on that library to make it cozy. 🙂 Love the stone.
One good adventure leads to another!
Hi Dianna, that’s a very interesting place and the views are beautiful. I love that library and would love to see all the books! I don’t have that many books, but a library would be in my dream home. Your photos are great, thanks for the tour!
Who would have guessed the history of that house on the hill above the beautiful river. Thanks for sharing.
I grew up in Connecticut. I’ve toured the “Castle” many times. It’s one of my favorites. I could spend a whole day there. I live in PA, now, but when I visit family in Connecticut, I still like to go visit the castle.