Aside from the impressive antebellum homes that fill the state, Mississippi is also home to several castles. Some are more recently constructed, while others have been around for hundreds of years. From enchanting wedding venues to residences of yesteryear, these 7 Mississippi castles will transport you straight into the pages of your favorite childhood fairy tale.
1. Pierce Castle, Decatur
Long before becoming one of the state’s most popular wedding venues, Pierce Castle was simply a dream of the property’s original owners, Grover and Margaret Pierce. After returning home from war in 1945, Grover and his wife moved to this very piece of property, turning it into a successful farm. While admiring the land and all that her husband had accomplished, Margaret mentioned that a castle would be the perfect addition. And, in 2008, Margaret’s dream became a reality with the completion of Pierce Castle.
2. Castle House, Morton
This Morton castle is actually the home of Donnie and Darlene Register, the owners of Castle House Antiques. Built in 1986, the Register’s home was pretty standard, that is, until 2003 when the couple installed a stunning 12’ American Victorian stained glass window. A second stained glass window was added the following year, giving the home an undeniable castle-like vibe.
3. Monkey Island Castle at the Jackson Zoo, Jackson
Lions and tigers and...a castle? For many locals, Jackson Zoo’s Monkey Island Castle is undoubtedly a part of some favorite childhood memories. Located in the center of the zoo, the fairy tale-like castle was originally used to house, you guessed it, monkeys. Eventually, the furry troupe was relocated, but to locals it will always be Monkey Island Castle.
4. Castle Sherman, Pass Christian
If the walls of this Pass Christian castle could talk, they would have some interesting stories to tell, and that’s putting it mildly. The home was constructed in 1921 by author, horticulturist, and agriculturist James M. Sherman. What’s more impressive than the fact that Sherman built the castle with the help of only one other man, is the fact that he was 67 at the time.
Following Sherman’s death, his daughter, Jessie Gundlach, moved into the castle and began making her own history. Jessie, along with her husband, allowed the newly-formed local Boy Scout troop to establish their headquarters within the castle. And the couple’s generosity didn’t end there. In the true spirit of southern hospitality, the Gundlachs' opened their doors to the many Korean men stationed at Keesler Air Force Base, earning Jessie the nickname “American Mom.” The Gundlachs' kindness didn’t go unnoticed as they were awarded the “Wings of the Air Force” as well as acknowledged by the Korean Boy Scouts for their contributions to the organization.
5. The Castle of Raymond, Raymond
The creation of William Dale McGee, this sprawling castle started off as a modest A-frame house. Almost 20 years after construction began, it evolved into the Castle of Raymond, complete with 18th century furnishings, an authentic replica of the Knights of the Round Table, and other unique architectural elements.
6. Liddon Castle, Corinth
In 1908, with the completion of his expansive home, Corinth banker and theater enthusiast Benjamin Franklin Liddon was able to add “accomplished architect” to his list of accolades. The eccentric businessman merged together several different architectural styles when constructing Liddon Castle, leading to a home considered the “most imposing and visually interesting in Northeast Mississippi.” The interior of the home was equally as elaborate with mosaic tile floors, 20’ beamed ceilings, and leaded glass windows.
7. Walter Place, Holly Springs
Although not technically a castle, this Holly Springs mansion is well-deserving of a spot on this list. The extravagant estate was constructed in 1830 for railroad baron Harvey Washington Walter. By combining Greek Revival and Gothic Revival styles, architect Spires Boling gave the home an undeniable castle-like feel, complete with quintessential octagonal turrets. During the Civil War, Walter Place served as a temporary residence for General Grant. The home saw its demise with the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, which took the lives of Walter and his three sons. Walter Place was eventually purchased, restored, and put on the market….for $15 million. Once word of the hefty price tag got out, the infamous mansion was dubbed “the most expensive home in Mississippi.”
Been to any of the places listed? Know of any other castles hiding in the state? Tell us in the comments section below.