Tangentially tied double feature today, first off is my video review of American Vampire by Scott Snyder and Stephen King and then the post looking into the history of Gillette Castle, as promised in the video.
Now for the historical goodness.
Atop the east bank of the Connecticut river in East Haddam, looms what appears to be the weathered stone ruins of a castle. But this castle isn’t in ruins at all, in fact it was designed that way by the stage actor William Hooker Gillette in 1914-1919. Gillette was made famous through his portals of Sherlock Holmes on stage and used his riches to build a stunning and unique castle a top the 7 Sisters hills. He even did most of the design and drafting for the construction of the castle himself.
The castle’s skeleton was made from a steel framework and then masons used thousands of field-stones from the area to created the craggy walls and give it that weathered, ancient feel. Inside of the castle is some spectacularly imaginative design and craftsmanship with thick wooden doors that have door knobs and locking mechanisms carved out of wood. It is mind blogging the amount of hours it must have taken a carpenter to loving craft the 47 intricate doors inside of the building. Everything about the design of this place is a feast for the eyes. From William Gillette’s desk chair on tracks to the twine woven walls it’s an experience to be had. I’m going to make another day trip out there this summer and try to get a proper video out of the visit, or at least take so many pictures of the inside that you’ll get a really good idea of what walking around inside of it might feel like. Until then, I found this cool walking tour video that Storm the Castle did of the Gillette Castle. Some of the things he mentions as questions I think I actually know the answers to, but I’ll fact check them first and add that information to the video I do.