10 Incredible Texas Castles…Knight in Shining Armor Optional
Texas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of castles. Yet, there are many amazing castles here in Texas. Some not that far from San Angelo. Here are some amazing castles you can find in the "Kingdom of Texas"Photo: Justin Wright via www.lifeofjustin.com
1. Falkenstein Castle is just two and a half hours away from San Angelo in Burnet, Texas. This incredible castle was built by Terry Young for his wife. It was inspired by a visit to Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. The castle does not replicate much of the castle that inspired it, but it does look like it could come from the German countryside. This amazing structure sits on 114 acres in the beautiful hill country just north of Austin.
2. Newman's Castle This is a truly remarkable architectural treasure. It is just 5 hours from San Angelo. This incredible castle has a moat and a drawbridge that weighs over 3000 pounds. This castle has a chapel, five round corner turrents, a courtyard and an amazing view of its kingdom. There is also a bakery and the good will not disappoint. The castle was built by Mike Newman who broke ground on this incredible castle in 1998. Mike told Texas Live Magazine in 2012 that in the beginning "People thought I was crazy." He says now people leave with "restored faith that they can do anything".
3. The Castle at Rockwall I admit it, when I think "rockwalls" in Texas my mind immediately goes to the Wall High School offensive line. There is another Rockwall, just east of Dallas, and there you can find The Castle at Rockwall. Many a Texas bride has married their "knight in shining armor" here at this castle. This over 8,000 square foot castle estate is nestled on a 10-acre estate with perfectly maintained landscaping.
4. The Maverick-Carter House This castle is truly an historic landmark. Built in 1893, on the banks of the San Antonio River, before the river was moved by the son of Samuel Maverick, an original signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. It was designed by architect Alfred Giles, the home was purchased by Aline Carter and her husband in 1914 and they added tyhe chapel and rooftop observatory. The Maverick-Carter House is just a short three hour drive from San Angelo.
5. The Parsons Castle Situated on beautiful Lake Whitney, only about three hours' drive from San Angelo, this incredible castle inspires tropical royalty. With the beautiful palm trees and amazing landscaping, this traditional castle. The castle opened in 2018, this castle took over a decade to design and build. Each of it's five stories has a balcony that would make Romeo and Juliet jealous. It has an amazing 3,000 square foot ballroom and a moat and drawbridge. The views of Lake Whitney are truly spectacular.
6. Texas Pythian Home This incredible castle has a history of caring for those in need. Originally opened in 1909 by the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal order that was established during the Civil War. Their motto was: "Friendship, Clarity and Benevolence" The order built this castle on 164 acres of land donated to care for the widows and orphans of other Pythian members. Today, this castle is commonly known as the "Castle on the Hill" and it is operated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. This castle is still providing sanctuary to a whole new generation of children. This castle is just over 3 hours' drive from San Angelo west of Ft. Worth in Weatherford.
7. The Old Red Museum Castle In the heart of Dallas, about 3 and a half hour's drive from San Angelo, the Old Red Museum is truly a Texas landmark. Built in 1892, the building served as a working courthouse. It's 90 foot lighted red tower was an iconic part of the old Dallas skyline. This building features more than 100 stained glass windows and retains much of the original architectural features created with the building 130 years ago.
8.The Whiting Castle on Lake Worth This is the first castle on our list that is thought to be haunted. This structure has been abandoned and left to decay for awhile. It covers 6,500 square feet and has had many names like, The Lake Worth Castle, The Castle of Heron Bay and Inverness Castle. The castle is privately owned and hard to really see up close these days. It is just a little over a 3 hour drive from San Angelo. According to property records, the land was first owned by Ulrich Cannon in the 1860's. Legend tells that the owner and builder of the original structure found his beloved floating dead in the lake. Word is the groom was undeterred and married the dead woman's sister just a moth later. Since that time, a woman in a long white dress h as been spotted fleeing the house only to disappear at the edge of the lake. It sound like a job for "Ghost Hunters" or "Ghost Adventures".
9. Elisabet Ney Museum Today, this incredible castles is an art museum. This cream colored edifice known as Formosa was purchased by sculptor, Elisabet Ney, in 1892. While working at Formosa, Ney rendered famous sculptures of some of Texas' mmost famous men including Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston. She also completed portraits of many influential Europeans of the time. After her death in 1907, Ney's friends worked together to preserve her workspace and turned Formosa into a museum and used it to house their creation, the Texas Fine Arts Association. Tours are still available to this day.
10. Shelby County Courthouse This is the only Irish Style castle in the United States. Built in 1885, this building is famous for its 12 red brick towers. The two million bricks for this structure were made by hand by the architect J.J.E Gibson. The building has some interesting features. There are fireplaces in the bathrooms. The judges chair has an escape hatch. There's a door in the front hallway that can only be opened from the inside. Fortunately, air conditioning was added to the building in renovations in 2000. A long drive from San Angelo, it is just off I-20 if you are planning a trip to Louisiana or points east.
If you're looking for storybooks and tales of days gone by, you can't go wrong with the rich history of these Texas castles. Finding a knight in shining armor might be a bit difficult. A knight in a large Stetson might be a bit easier.