Although ancestors built the most famous ancient castles between the year 1000 to 1500, European-style castles are traceable to the 9th century. Therefore, the history of castles in the USA is more recent. However, you might be curious to know whats the oldest castle in America?
The oldest castle in the United States is Bacon’s Castle of 1665. This Jacobean brick house is located in Surry, VA, and was built by Arthur Allen. It is now a historic house museum, but it has a mysterious name and historical record, as you will soon learn in this article.
This article contains all the information about the oldest castles in the United States, their remarkable history, and current conditions.
Additionally, there is a compilation of the States where you can find medieval-style castles and top recommendations from castle lovers on the best ones to visit near New York. So, let’s dive right in.
The Bacon’s Castle of 1665
By research, the Bacon’s Castle of 1665 (also known as Allen’s Brick House or Arthur Allen House) is the oldest standing Castle in the United States.
It is voted one of the rarest Jacobean architectural Castle in most recent times.
The castle earned its name from Nathaniel Bacon, who was the proponent of Bacon’s 1676 rebellion. Rumour has it that Bacon and his followers camped in the castle and lived there during the uprising.
However, it is mere speculations because the historians revealed later that Bacon never stepped a foot in the castle. Thus, how the castle got named after a person who never visited it remains a mystery.
We are sure that Arthur Allen did live in the Bacon’s Castle with his family, and his son Arthur Allen II inherited it upon his demise.
The Bacon’s Castle is a beautiful tourist location; if you love castles, then it is a must-see. It is currently a museum, so that access will be no issue.
A Collection of Other Old Castles in the US
Castillo De San Macros
This castle was built between 1672 – 1695 in Spanish-owned Florida. It served as a prison keep by the British and later by the US to house prisoners in the 1800s.
It was practically impenetrable at the time and is as beautiful as ancient. The Castillo De San Macros is the second oldest castle in the US. You can also tour the castle with no hassle.
Bowman’s Castle of 1798 (Brownsville, PA.)
This castle is also known as the Nemacolin castle. It was named after the Bowman family who built and lived there.
Some visitors have rumoured that there’s a ghost roaming there, but you can never know for sure until you visit.
Wadsworth Atheneum (1842):
This castle was home to five buildings, all full of arts and artefacts. It initially operated as a cultural institution bearing works of arts and a library.
At the moment, it is a museum of art and a great place to tour.
The Smithsonian Castle of 1855 (Washington DC)
One of the best Norman-style castles of all time. It is made from red sandstone and currently operates as a visitor centre for the Smithsonian Institution.
Other old castles of the US include the Eastern State Penitentiary of 1829, the Lyndhurst castle of 1838, and the Wesleyan Hall of 1855.
Castles Moved from Europe to America
How about the idea of moving a whole castle from one location to another? I bet that’s intriguing!
Several dozens of centuries-old buildings appear to be moved brick by brick and imported into the US.
Typical examples are the two Spanish monasteries that Americans moved to the shores of the US.
The Santa Maria de Ovila was located initially in a small valley beside River Tagus in Central Spain and was moved to Miami Beach in the 12th century by notorious plutocrat William Randolph Hearst and Arthur Byne, his art dealer.
The Santa Maria de Ovila was located in a small valley beside River Tagus in Central Spain. History has it that Arthur Byne earned the trust of the Spanish government; that, coupled with his relationship with the king, he was able to sell and market the monastery to Hearst for $300 000 in total.
Byne hired over 100 local townspeople and paid them to dismantle the monastery (which he eventually transported 100 miles away).
To the government, he provided employment, and to the people, his actions had a cultural benefit, but Byne was simply getting richer.
The migration was said to have occurred in 1931.
Also, the Bernard de Clairvaux, located initially in Sacramento in Segovia, Spain, was migrated to Virginia, the USA, in the 20th century after Hearst had illegally purchased it.
In which state you can find the medieval-style castle?
You can find medieval-style castles in many locations in the USA.
Some of those locations are California, North Carolina, Rhodes Island, Texas, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Washington, Massachusetts, and New York.
Best Castles to visit near New York City
Are you in NY and wondering what castles can light up your flair for medieval structures? Do not worry; we have got you!
There are some fantastic castles right in the middle of New York! Here are some of the best castles you can visit without having to go too far away.
The Belvedere Castle: Located in New York, NY.
This is a Gothic structure placed in the middle of a park. It was designed in 1865. It now doubles as a Central Park Visitor centre and is open to members of the public.
The Bannerman Castle (1901): Located in Beacon, NY.
If you take the Metro-North Train north from Grand Central, you will spot the ruins of this castle just around the Hudson River.
It was used by Francis Bannerman IV as an arsenal and was partly destroyed in 1969 by a fire. The site is open for tours.
The Castle Gould: Located in Sands Point, NY.
This castle was built in 1904 for Howard Gould and his wife, Katherine Clemmons.
The castle was modelled after Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. However, history tells us that Gould’s wife did not like the long island mansion, so they converted it to a servant’s quarters.
Today, it is used for TV productions and wedding receptions, etc. You wouldn’t have to spend a dime to access the outer parts of this castle.
The Lyndhurst Castle (1838): Located in Tarrytown, NY.
This mansion is opposite the Hudson River and is regarded as the best Gothic Revival Architecture in New York. This castle serves as a museum today, and you could also host a wedding in one of its halls.
The Boldt Castle: Located in Alexandria, NY.
This castle was ones built for love. History has it that George C. Boldt built it for his wife, who unfortunately passed before builders completed the court.
It was abandoned for about 73 years until it was open for public access and tourism in 1977.
Other castles you can visit in New York are the Singer Castle, the Oheka Castle (1919) of the Famous Gold, and Castle Willams (1807) of the Governor’s Island, Highlands Castle of Upstate New York, Beardslee Castle, etc.
Are there any castles in Canada?
Don’t even think for once that Canada is castle-free. There are beautiful landmark castles scattered all around Canada.
Below are the Ten most famous castles in Canada:
1. The Dundurn Castle of 1835 – Hamilton Ontario.
2. Craigdarroch Castle of 1890 – Victoria, British Columbia
3. Hatley Park Castle of 1995 – Colwood, British Columbia
4. Place Viger Chateau Style Castle of 1898 – Quebec, Canada
5. Banff Springs Hotel of 1888– Alberta, Canada
6. Rideau Hall of 1868 – Ottawa Canada
7. Casa Loma of 1914 – Toronto, Canada
8. Castle Kilbride of 1877 – Ontario, Canada
9. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise of 1890 – Alberta, Canada.
10. Willistead Manor of 1906– Windsor, Canada.
Did you enjoy this article? Check out other articles on our website. We take you on a jolly ride through castles in medieval times.
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