10 Things You Didn’t Know About Berkeley Springs Castle
Berkeley Springs Castle was built between 1885 and the early 1890s by a prominent merchant, Samuel Taylor Suit, as a promised wedding gift to his new bride, Rosa Pelham. This iconic 19th century structure is beautiful and well maintained. A day of sightseeing around this establishment will make you feel like you are in paradise and enjoy a breath of fresh air that will make you forget about your problems in life. This article is a guide to ten things you didn’t know about Berkeley Springs Castle in West Virginia.
1. The designer of the castle
The architect behind this magnificent building was Alfred. B. Mullet, renowned throughout Washington, DC, for his stunning designs of buildings such as the U.S. State Department Building, the Old San Francisco Mint, the Old New York Post Office, and the of the US Treasury. There are reports that the idea for the castle design came when he was dining at the Berkeley Spring Hotel, and he began sketching the castle design on a tablecloth or hotel menu. The laying of the building’s foundation began in 1885 after the plan was completed. The design resembles the largely Anglo-Norman architectural style used in the late 1800s.
2. Berkeley Springs Castle sits beautifully on the hill
Although Berkeley Springs Castle is a two-story building, it was built on the hill. You can see it in many directions from the road as you drive. You can also see it from Berkeley Springs, 276 Cacapon Road and WV 25411.
3. Construction work process
Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War during the construction of this castle, over 100 German masons were hired to work on the original design of Berkeley Springs Castle until they were completed in 1891. The building was made using locally hand-cut sandstone transported to the construction site using horses and carts.
4. The location of the castle
Berkeley Springs Castle is located in West Virginia. It is one of the man-made attractions where one can enjoy the drive in the city while admiring its beautiful layout. The architect made sure the completion piece was breathtaking. A beautiful park and excellent hotels surround it.
5. Berkeley Spring was built for love
When Colonel Samuel Taylor met Rosa Pelham at one of the Berkeley Springs hotels, she mentioned that her dream was to live in a castle before she died. The Colonel promised to build her one if she agreed to marry him. According to DestiMap, she accepted and they got married. To fulfill his promise to his wife, the Colonel hired architect Snowden to begin work on this fantastic castle that has become West Virginia’s attraction.
6. The castle has changed hands several times
After Rosa, who had owned the castle for a long time, began to have money problems and could no longer keep her debt ratio to a minimum, she began selling large portions of the land around the castle. The castle had to be sold in 1913 at a public auction, forcing Rosa to retire and move to a small house where she started raising chickens before moving to Idaho. According to TheClio, the first new owner after Rosa was George Cunningham, who was a local businessman. Cunningham’s original plan was to turn the castle into a hotel. He did not carry out this plan, but instead transformed the castle to provide dances, shops, balls and a retreat center for the artist. In the 1930s the castle was acquired by Ward Kesecker and used as a site for antiques and hobby fairs. He also used the castle as a boys’ camp. The longest stint was Walter Bird which lasted from 1954 to 2002. During his ownership, Walter transformed the castle into a tourist center. In 2002, Berkeley Springs Castle became the new home of Andrew Gosline, who came from Florida to visit and acquired it. He owned the castle until his death in 2014. The castle was relisted in 2018 before being purchased in 2020. In June 2020, it was acquired by a non-profit organization called VDARE Foundation for 1 .4 million dollars.
7. Berkeley Springs Castle Has Remarkable Records
West Virginia Castle has a rich history that includes many notable records. According to Berkeley Springs.com, this castle has been an attraction for tourists since it was built for over 120 years now. When Walter Bird acquired it in 1954, he told many historical tales to people who visited the castles in groups and individually. The rich history of the castle has caused the National Register of Historic Places to list it as an historic site.
8. It took about six years for the castle to be completed
When construction began, it took German masons and architects Snowden Ashford six years to update Alfred B. Mullet’s design on the 9,300 square foot lot. The construction work ended in 1891. After which Rosa moved in with her three children.
9. The castle has been a tourist attraction in the region
The site of the castle is enough to attract tourists to West Virginia. Many people visit the place to escape the miserable summer weather of their region. The clear, fresh mountain air is perfect for relaxation. The hot mineral springs are remarkable and unforgettable. Visitors were entertained with lavish parties, top bands and a tour guide inside the castle for many years before it became private.
10. The castle is believed to have ghosts
Berkeley Spring Castle is believed to be one of the castles with ghost experiences. According to West Virginia Executive, visitors to the castle, as well as castle employees, have reported encounters with four different spirits. Most of them say that these spirits make loud noises when you go upstairs. Sometimes they rearrange the furniture in the rooms. Some visitors have described seeing unexplained pictures on the walls, mirrors, and other mysterious images in the castle. Berkeley Springs Castle represents a combination of wilderness and sophistication, which most Americans believe is a twin beauty, showcasing natural resources and reflecting American culture. If you like unique attractions, this castle is the place to take a roadside trip to look. You will create beautiful memories of this fairy tale place.