Castles of NYSCastles originated in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. They were built by the nobility as fortified residences to control the area surrounding them. The castle was also a symbol of power. Their purpose was both offensive and defensive. In the 15th and 16th centuries, castles were not the residences they once used to be due to the invention of gun powder in the 14th century and the improved canon fire that came later, which could break the castle walls, therefore the original castle was being replaced by artillery forts. Then in the 18th century, mock castles were being built. In the Americas, some true castles were being built by the Spanish and French colonies.
In New York State, there are many structures called castles. The usage of the word castle has changed over time and most of the structures we call castles are not true castles for they were not built for defensive purposes. But, these structures were designed with the true castles in mind and each has its own story. New York State is home to many of these magnificent structures. The following is just a sample of the "castles" and does not include the several private residences that are not open to the public.
Adirondacks and North Country:
Boldt Castle - Around 1900. Inspired by the castles of Germany's Rhine Valley ...more
Singer Castle - 1905. Architect Ernest Flagg designed the Castle after inspiration from Sir Walter Scott's novel about Woodstock Castle (1832) in Scotland ...more
New York State Military Museum - 1889. Armory architecture. Located in Saratoga Springs ...more
Bannerman Castle - 1901. Simulated Scottish castle. The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. is dedicated to the preservation of Bannerman Castle as an educational, cultural, and heritage tourism resource in the Hudson Valley ...more
Castle Rock - 1881. The estate of former Illinois Central Railroad president William H. Osborn in Garrison, New York, United States. The Osborn family has owned and lived in it since it was built by J. Morgan Slade in 1881 as a summer residence, although the original acreage has been subdivided considerably since then. Most of the remaining land is now open to the public for hiking.The house property remains private. Cat Rock - 1919. In process of restoration, also privatley owned. ...more
Emma Willard School - 1910. Three of the first structures were of Tudor Gothic style. Current home of the nation's oldest secondary school for girls, and carries on the tradition of leadership in women's education begun in 1814 by its founder, Emma Hart Willard ...more
Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library - 1905. "The architectural character of this building, which mixes clear, box-like, Beaux-Arts massing with complex Gothic decorative detail, provides the dominant formal theme for the west side of the campus." At Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY ...more
Lyndhurst - 1838. Gothic Revival. Tours, hiking and biking
Mount Saint Alphonsus - Around 1908 Seminary school.
Olana - 1870's -1891. "FredericChurch spent the next two years working with Vaux designing and building a home that would be, as he called it 'Persian, adapted to the Occident' " ...more
Ward Manor Gatehouse - 1918. Jacobean/Elizabethan structure
"In 1963 Bard purchased the Ward Manor property, significantly expanding its campus and dormitory capacity. Originally known as Gate Lodge, it was designed by Francis Hoppin and built in 1918 as the gatehouse to the Louis Hamersley mansion, later called Ward Manor. The gatehouse now houses the vocal arts program."
Wing's Castle - located in Millbrook NY. Ajoins the Millbrook Winery property. Tours available. ...more
Hempstead House and Castle Gould - The design of Castle Gould (1904) was based on Kilkenny Castle in Ireland. Hempstead House, designed in the style of a Tudor manor house, was completed in 1912 ...more
La Falaise - 1923. The architecture is French eclectic. The design is based on a 13th century Norman manor house ...more
Westbury House - or Castle - 1906. Charles II-style mansion ...more
Beardslee Castle - 1860. Replica of an Irish Castle, located in Little Falls, NY. Creative cuisine, wedding receptions, banquets, special events. 123 Old State Road, Little Falls, NY 13365
New York City:
Belvedere Castle - late 1800?s. Contains exhibit rooms and an observation deck. Reopened the structure on May 1, 1983, as the Henry Luce Nature Observatory. http://www.centralpark.com/guide/attractions/belvedere-castle.html
Castle Williams - Designed and erected between 1807 and 1811. Protect New York City from naval attacks. Located on the northwest point of Governors Island ...more
The Cloisters - Reconstructed in the 1930s from several other buildings. A branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe ...more
Fonthill Castle - 1852. A Gothic Revival style building consisting of a cluster of six octagonal towers at varying heights. Part of the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx.
Glen Island Castle - 1879. German Rhineland. No longer in use. Located in Glen Island, New Rochelle. ...more
Iona Castle - Originally was built in Germany, and then was disassembled and shipped to New York in the 1920s
Leland Castle - 19th century. Also known as Castle View. Gothic revival style. Currently houses the administrative offices of the College of New Rochelle and the college's Castle Art Gallery ...more
Reid Hall - 1892. Renaissance Revival style. An historic academic building located on the campus of Manhattanville College at Purchase, New York. Reid Hall was at one time a potential site for the United Nations ...more
Wards Castle - 1870's. Rye Brook, NY. Second Empire, Gothic Revival ...more (Port Chester, Westchester County, NY)
Whitby Castle - 1852. Contains stones from the original Whitby Abbey in England and thus the family chose "WHITBY" as the title of the estate. In 1965, the City of Rye purchased the property to be renamed Rye Golf Club as it is known today ...more