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When a Castle is Not a Castle… William Gillette’s Fortress Design

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William Gillette’s castle in Connecticut is actually a replica of a German fortress from a movie William Gillette starred in.

When is a castle not a castle? When William Gillette built it. He was a famous actor who also played Sherlock Holmes. The “castle” design is actually a Norman fortress, Robert The Devil, part of a movie William Gillette starred in.

After purchasing 115 acres, first seen by William Gillette from the Connecticut River, he started construction on the castle in 1914. William also bought local field stone from area farmers who dug the stuff out of their fields. They probably thought Gillette crazy for wanting to pay for something they considered a nuisance. They probably would have paid him to take the field stone off of their hands. Little did they know the unique home ended up as a tourist attraction. So, William finished the castle in 1919 at the cost of $1 million, quite a sum for that day.

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