A castle is typically defined as a fortified royal dwelling. Nonetheless, we prefer to refer to all castle-like constructions as castles since any structure that resembles a castle is magnificent. However, Texas does, by definition, have a number of genuine castles.
While none of these castles in Texas were designed for royal use, many of them were built as fortified mansions and are similar to royal castles in other nations.
The Falkenstein Castle, for example, is based on Germany’s iconic Neuschwanstein Castle. Also, while Newman’s Castle seems like a medieval-style castle of them all, it was erected for tourism rather than historical purposes.
However, the majority of these beautiful castles in Texas are actually dwellings that look like castles. If you want to visit “actual” castles utilized by royals, you’ll have better success in other nations. Now let’s look at the fascinating castles in Texas.
1. Castles in Texas– 1892 Bishop’s Palace
On Galveston Island, Bishop’s Palace stands towering on a corner, luring people away from the beach for a moment. Inside, you may learn about the building’s illustrious past and what life was like more than a century ago.
This medieval Castle, formerly known as the Gresham House, was erected for Walter Gresham between 1887 and 1892. He and his wife Josephine were a lawyer and colonels who departed Virginia after the Civil War.
The Greshams and six of their seven children lived in a magnificent mansion with a total area of 17,420 square feet. It was only the best that made it into the house.
Keep in mind that Galveston was one of the wealthiest cities in Texas at the time, as well as the most important city in south Texas. As the wealthy strove to outbuild one other, impressive homes popped up all over the island.
Gresham also served as a prosecutor in Galveston and Brazoria counties. The Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railway was founded by him, and he was one of the initial founders. From 1886 to 1891, he was a member of the Texas Legislature.
Fireplaces from all over the world were brought in for the occasion. Silver is used to lining one of the fireplaces. The entry hall is adorned with Sienna marble columns. On the first level, the coffered ceilings reach a height of 14 feet. A 40-foot-tall octagonal wood stairway is encircled on five sides by stained glass.
The National Register of Historic Places includes Bishop’s Palace.
The archdiocese relocated to Houston, and the mansion was turned into a museum. It was later taken up by the Galveston Historical Foundation. The archdiocese sold the ancient Bishop’s Palace to the organization in 2013. The home receives approximately 65,000 visitors each year.
While the house is not as lavishly furnished as it was when the Greshams lived there, its distinctive architecture, stained glass windows, expensive woodwork, and stunning fixtures more than makeup for the interior’s lack of decoration.
So, for a few hours, get away from the beach and learn about the rich history of Bishop’s Palace, the island, and the lives of the individuals who resided in this wonderful Castle.
When it comes to Castles in Texas, this is a hidden gem. If you’re in Galveston, you should check it out.
You’ll get an audio device with your tour entrance ticket that will take you through the history of the house, the family who lived here, and a little bit about the house itself.
On the street, this house is very imposing, with dark paneling and a few furnishings inside, as well as original lighting. The house’s two levels are visible, as well as the gift shop in the basement.
2. Castles in Texas– Shelby County Courthouse Castle
The Shelby County Courthouse is the United States’ only remaining Irish castle-style courthouse. The county capital, designed by Irish architect John Joseph Emmett Gibson and completed in 1885, is a National Register Property. The turrets, towers, and a frame cupola were inspired by castles in Gibson’s native Ireland.
While the majority of the county’s work is conducted at a more contemporary courthouse, the old courthouse houses the Shelby County Veterans Office and is open to the public for visits.
The county was founded in 1836 and was originally named Tenaha; however, the name was changed in 1837 to honor American Revolutionary War hero Isaac Shelby.
According to June Rayfield Welch’s book “The Texas Courthouse Revisited,” the first session of court was held beneath an oak tree at the ancient county seat of Shelbyville.
Shelby County, as one of the Republic of Texas’ initial three counties, has a rich history, as illustrated by the Shelby County Museum, a three-building complex.
3. Castles in Texas– Falkenstein Castle: in the Texas Hill Country
Burnet is a town in the state of Texas. A lovely village in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. A land awash in bluebonnets and home to a diverse range of species, natural wonders, and castles, Falkenstein Castle, rises not far from this Texas hamlet. Terry and Kim Young’s home and public space. The history of the Castle is a Texas-sized fairy tale.
Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the fairytale castles’ inspiration, is located on a steep hilltop outside Füssen in southwest Bavaria. The construction of the estate, which was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, began in 1878 and lasted for the next 17 years.
Unfortunately, King Ludwig died in 1886 before the Castle could be completed. His strong love of architecture and art, on the other hand, has endured, and hundreds of tourists visit this idyllic setting every year. Terry and Kim Young, for example.
Accompanying them is Smythwick Castle & Lodge 20 miles east of Falkenstein Castle. Castle Avalon is located on the opposite side of the Hill Country, roughly an hour south of downtown Austin.
4. Castles in Texas– Red Museum Castle
In the center of Dallas, Texas, the Old Red Museum castle is a stunning historical wedding site. This eye-catching property, which dates back to the 1800s, was once the seat of government and community for Dallas County.
This structure now functions as a museum and for special events open to the public. The Romanesque architecture, four-story staircase, and plethora of beautifully restored original details will astound you and your guests. These things come together to create a wonderful setting for your most important day.
The original four-story staircase is reached via an enormous marble and stone foyer. For your meaningful wedding ceremony, this location offers two timeless sites. The Hatton W. Sumners Courtroom, which seats 120 people, has been lovingly restored to its former grandeur of 1892.
Large picture windows and high ceilings allow enough light to stream in, creating a magical atmosphere. The perfect setting for you and your partner to make solemn vows is a polished wooden platform.
On the fourth floor, you may learn about the building’s history and see exhibits. The Great Hall, on the other hand, is the real deal. The high ceiling is accentuated by beautiful chandeliers, and the area is further enhanced by huge windows and thick carpeting.
5. Castles in Texas– Austin County Jail Castle
The fortress-like Romanesque Revival design of Austin County Jail, completed in 1896, displays authority, power, and endurance. These qualities aimed to deter scofflaws and criminals from committing unlawful infringements and crimes throughout the region.
The imposing three-story structure, with a fourth-floor tower serving as a gallows, was located in Bellville, Austin County seat.
It appeared to accomplish the task throughout its service as a jail, with the exception of the occasional prisoner, which included the unlucky Gus Davis, who was hung for the murder of fellow citizen Herman Schlunz in 1901. The Austin County Jail Museum is now housed at this historic monument.
The museum’s exhibits cover the full history of Austin County, not just the exploits of its criminals.
The spectacular jail edifice, on the other hand, is a strong competitor for visitors’ attention. The construction is made of strong masonry in a deep rustic red hard-burned brick with contrasting limestone features, making it simple but dominating.
The gallows tower has a pyramid roof with a beautiful decoration atop it. In 1976, the structure was designated as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. In 1960, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The surrounding superb Second Empire-style courthouse, built-in 1888, did not fare as well. In 1960, it was destroyed by fire.
6. Castles in Texas – Newman’s Castle
Mike Newman, the owner of a bakery in the little hamlet of Bellville, lives in Newman’s Castle. Newman’s Bakery has long been a local institution, but Newman told a local television station that he “wanted to do more than manufacture donuts.” As a result, he built himself a massive castle, as any self-respecting eccentric Texan would.
After several years of construction—during which many people thought he’d lost his mind—Newman completed his gorgeous Texas castle in 2006 and welcomed visitors.
On guided tours, he now wears a crown to “let people know who’s king.”
The imposing mansion features a functional drawbridge and trebuchet, a gator-infested moat, a great hall, towers, courtyard, and training grounds, as well as a great hall, towers, courtyard, and training grounds. Visitors are taken on a tour of the entire Castle, where they are invited to touch and play with all of the oddities they come across.
7. Castles in Texas – Maverick Carter House
The Maverick-Carter House is one of few remaining structured in San Antonio. It is one of those castles in Texas from the 19th-century. The building was designed by Alfred Giles, the same architect who designed the Schreiner Mansion in Kerrville.
William H. Maverick, a real estate investor, had the Maverick Carter House erected for him. The Carter family bought the house in 1914 and has lived there ever since.
Among the office buildings and churches that line the same route in downtown Antonio, the majestic Castle stands out. The Carter family uses the house for special gatherings and parties on occasion.
8. Castles in Texas – Pemberton Castle
Attorney General John Woods Harris formerly owned a peaceful farm in Austin’s posh Pemberton Heights neighborhood. Pemberton Heights, currently renowned as one of America’s most affluent communities, is home to the Fisher-Gideon House, a castle completed in 1926.
The Castle, which is located at 1415 Wooldridge Drive, used to be the Pemberton Heights neighborhood’s sales office. The Castle is undergoing restoration now that it is in private hands.
The Fisher-Gideon House has formerly belonged to a number of well-known Texans, in addition to its present owners. It’s also said to be haunted by certain well-known spirits.
You may only drive by the Castle from the Disney film “Blank Check!” in Austin. This is one of those castles in Texas, located at 1415 Wooldridge Drive in Pemberton Heights. The structure began as a cylindrical water tower in the 1890s. In the 1920s, it was transformed into a miniature castle.
It’s currently one of those private castles in Texas, and the owner is rumored to be filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
9. Castles in Texas – Trube Castle, 1890
This beautiful Castle was built in 1890 by J.C. and Verona Trube in the style of a Danish castle.
Because of its aesthetically creative design, it is a significant Galveston landmark that is sometimes regarded as the unique structure in a city of unusual buildings.
The 21-room Castle, totaling 7000 square feet, is a monument to architect Alfred Muller’s ability to mix gothic design and the “gay nineties” exuberance that typified Galveston’s Victorian-style Castle.
It belongs to one of those castles in Texas that is built with sturdy bricks and a Belgian cement finish. Trube, a prosperous businessman, married Veronica Durst, the daughter of early Texan Peter Durst.
The Castle has weathered numerous gulf storms. The construction is made of solid bricks with a Belgian cement finish. Members of the Trube family still own and live in the Castle.
10. Castles in Texas – Captain Charles Schreiner Mansion
The Capt. Charles Schreiner Mansion is located in Kerrville, Texas, in the United States. In 1975, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Kerr County, Texas.
In 1962, it was declared a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark is, joining some other magnificent castles in Texas.
The Hill Country Museum is currently housed in the mansion. Mrs. E. C. Parker received a Jefferson Davis Certificate of Meritorious Service for Preservation and Restoration in 1984 in recognition of her efforts in restoring the mansion into a museum.
Charles Schreiner, Sr., a Texas Ranger, and Confederate States Army soldier, was descended from French aristocracy. Gustav, his father, was born in an Alsatian castle.
In 1852, the Schreiners relocated to San Antonio. In Kerrville, Schreiner rose to prominence as a prosperous rancher, trader, and philanthropist. In 1879, Schreiner hired San Antonio architect Alfred Giles to create the mansion.
The original six-bedroom, two-story house was Kerr County’s first limestone structure. Schreiner had Giles build a more grandiose porch in 1895. The blended styles of Romanesque Revival and Chateauesque were the result of bringing a portion of the labor force from Germany and importing pink granite columns from Italy.
The Schreiner heirs ceded possession of the mansion to the Kerrville Masonic Lodge in 1927, which sold it to a private owner in 1972. The Hill Country Museum, run by Schreiner University, presently occupies the mansion.
11. Castles in Texas – Elisabet Ney Museum
Elisabet Ney, a German-born American sculptor, has her studio on this 2.5-acre property just north of downtown Austin. Waller Creek cuts through the property, with the studio building to the south and a pecan grove to the north.
The neoclassical-romantic edifice, formerly known as Formosa, was designed by Ney herself. The structure, which faced south and was extended in 1902, was reached by a crushed-stone carriage drive from East 44th Street.
A cedar post and chicken wire fence surrounded the property, which also included a huge vegetable garden, stable, and servants’ quarters. Austin’s Violet Crown Garden Club built a modest rock wall along the south perimeter of the property and did some landscaping in 1936.
Formosa, which opened four years after Ney’s death, was one of the state’s earliest fine art museums. Ney’s studio, which is now held by the City of Austin, displays more than 80 pieces of her art.
Between 2007 and 2012, a portion of the historic environment was restored to the Ney period, including the reinstatement of native vegetation south of Waller Creek and the rebuilding of the carriage route. Formosa was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and the nearby Hyde Park Historic District was listed in 1990.
Each of these Texas castles has its own distinct architectural and ancient charm. These Castles in Texas appeared during the Victorian era because it was fashionable to hold court in castle-like structures at the time.
Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require reservations in advance. Currently, some eateries only provide pickup. Hours and availability may have varied.