Wetmore, Colorado: Bishop CastleOne man's massive-obsessive labor of medieval fantasy construction. May it never end.
Visitor Tips and News About Bishop Castle
Castle built by hand (only one man's hands actually). Free for all, though he does ask for donations (which we gladly gave). After climbing to the top of both spires we saw that Jim was heading out to do some more building so we followed, hoping to talk with this ambitious man. We wanted to tell him that his work was inspirational. It was clear that even though the government likes him now, he's scarred from years of fighting with them.
He was working on a tunnel that will go full circle around the castle. Can't wait to see how far along it is next summer when we drive through again!
And as for why he built a castle, we were told (by Jim) that all he originally wanted to do was build a little stone cottage for his family in the mountains, but rumors started circulating that someone was building a castle, so he'd be out working on his cottage and people would drive up and ask where the castle was and he'd say it didn't know, but to let him know when they found it. One day someone got out of their car and said this is it! This is the castle! and so he decided that the people wanted a castle so he'd build it for them. He is the only one who works on it and it's all he does all summer. During the winter he works (or owns I'm not sure) an iron company, doing welding and that sort of thing.
He's not super well off and pays for all of the rocks and mortar and iron himself...so do donate when you visit![Emily & Brian, 09/08/2008]
The drive there is beautiful. A winding road through the mountains. Plenty sightings of long horn sheep and other wildlife. The castle itself is a classic work of art topped with a fire breathing dragon. It makes you appreciate one man's love and dedication that went into this place. The stained glass windows are awesome. The trip there is very mind expanding and one with nature.[jessi, 09/07/2008]
This is an incredible structure. However, the builder, Jim Bishop was working and he went off on several screaming episodes against almost everything and was cursing loudly. I do not believe that this was appropriate behavior and we left at once.[Jim Ambuehl, 08/28/2008]
Castle building is said to be hard work, and can make the solo builder irritable at times. But it's your vacation, and perhaps best to move on to entertainment which suits you!
Jim Bishop, our favorite one-man castle builder, is hard at work, despite frosty Colorado temperatures. According to the official Bishop Castle web site (www.BishopCastle.org), Jim has entered a frenzied welding fugue state, finishing hand railings the length of the front buttress stairway, leading straight up from the courtyard.... [02/21/2001] Complete News Story
The all-night raves and concerts that neighbors of Bishop Castle say have plagued their remote Custer County homes are not living up to their raucous reputations.... [08/02/1998] Complete News Story