Gillette Castle is a Connecticut state park situated on 184 acres of land. The castle itself has 24 rooms and is reminiscent of a medieval castle.
Owned and designed by actor William Gillette, it took 5 years to complete. Started in1914 and completed in 1919. William Gillette was born in 1853 and died in 1937. During those years Gillette wrote two novels, acted, wrote plays and invented many trick stage props and lighting techniques. He is most known for his role as Sherlock Holmes.
Connecticut State Parks purchased the castle and surrounding land from Gillette’s estate in 1943.
There are hiking trails with Geocaches although on these days we did not do any caching. Also on the grounds are a vegetable cellar, Gillette’s Grand Central Railroad Station, and his goldfish pond.
Parking and picnicking at the castle are free. The grounds are well manicured and there are some spots with great scenery overlooking the Connecticut River. You can even see the Historic Chester Ferry going across the river.
There is a building with bathrooms, ticket sales (for inside the castle tours), memorabilia items and a movie that explains the complete history of William Gillette and his castle.
Next to that building is another building that sells food, drinks and ice cream. It has outdoor and inside seating. We ate outside but if you are allergic to yellow jacket bees I suggest you eat inside.
On our first visit, we arrived too late for the castle tours and the main building was closed so we walked the grounds. On our second visit, we arrived earlier and were able to watch the movie, view the memorabilia and tour the castle. The most notable thing for me was the designs of the doors. Each door in the castle had a different design. Absolutely amazing.
The castle is open 7 days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The hours are from 10 am to 5 pm. The last tickets to tour the inside of the castle are sold until 4:30 pm.
If you have ever been to Gillette Castle or have any questions about this article or if you have a cool castle story, leave them in the comment section below.
Gillette Castle State Park
67 River Rd
East Haddam, CT 06423
Date of Visit: May 30th & August 23rd, 2018