Wetmore, Colorado: Bishop Castle

One man's massive-obsessive labor of medieval fantasy construction. May it never end.

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Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle, the one-man project of obsessive builder Jim Bishop, is no stranger to controversy. Its latest drama involves the claims of David Merrill, who says he now owns the castle with the blessings of Jim. Jim's wife, Phoebe, says that Jim was duped into signing papers that he hadn't read (Jim has been sick).

Merrill says he intends to keep the Castle open as a free attraction, but he also says that he has changed its name to the unwieldy "Castle Church for the Redemption of the Office," and that he plans to bring in laborers to finish its construction, a radical change from the one-man-castle-builder ethos of Jim Bishop.

[RoadsideAmerica.com Team, 06/08/2015]

Update: As of Oct. 2015, the Bishop family says that it has retaken the Castle and ousted Merrill. Its successful weapon was the legal system, not a battering ram or a trebucet .

Bishop Castle.

Bishop Castle

This place is fantastic -- the tower is over 160 ft tall. At the very top one person can stand on a 1 ft. deep by 2 ft. wide iron step and feel the structure sway in the wind. Definitely an adrenaline rush that'll have your legs shaking a bit!

[Ryan Haag, 05/26/2014]

Bishop Castle.

Bishop Castle

We look for the back roads to travel and we weren't disappointed. Taking Hwy 165 off I-25, we drove winding roads amid towering cliffs and trees, with several wildlife sightings.

Bishop's Castle appeared suddenly as we rounded a curve and the joy of discovery excited all three generations in our car. We would have spent more time there had the weather been better, but the cold wind and snow were not conducive to climbing the narrow, steep steps and wandering around the open grill work at the top. I will certainly return when it is warmer!

Suggest potty stop at a modern convenience station prior to arrival.

Jim Bishop is frequently working at the site. Although many taunt him by asking inflammatory questions, he responds gently to kind words. Wish him a happy day and drop a few dollars in the donation box to help the castle grow.

[Gypsy at Heart, 01/18/2010]
Bishop Castle

Yes, he [Jim Bishop] was verbally loud that weekend. Perhaps this hint will help...: Don't get him or his assistant started with any political banter.

This castle is well worth the trip. I can't wait to return and see what he has done next. He was busy in the moat area, setting large boulders onto iron grids.

Please donate more than a buck or 2 to him too. He works in Pueblo for his regular job. He does [Bishop Castle] for the people.

You rawk Jim!

[Carol, 09/24/2008]

Bishop Castle.

Bishop Castle - Tunnel Project

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]

Bishop Castle

12705 CO-165, Wetmore, CO
I-25, turn west at highway 165 going northeast through Colorado City and Rye approximately 27 miles to Bishop Castle. In San Isabel National Forest near Lake Isabel.
Daylight hours. (Call to verify)
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

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