Iowa September 07, 2016
Entering This Hidden Iowa Castle Will Make You Feel Like You’re In A Fairy Tale
When you think of Iowa, spectacular castles don’t necessarily spring to mind. So, you’ll be surprised that there’s a hidden castle right here in the state, and it’s actually a museum that’s open for events, tours and more. The house and gardens are not only grand and beautiful, they’re interesting. The house was inspired by the King’s House, a fifteenth-century manor in England, and it contains collections of art and literature, among other things. So make sure to visit Salisbury House and gardens in Des Moines for a fascinating and unique Iowa adventure.
The Salisbury House & Gardens is a historic museum. The house was built from 1923 to 1928 by Iowa native, Carl Weeks. It contains collections of art, literature and other treasures.
This 42-room estate is surrounded by nine acres of spectacular gardens and woodlands.
The house contains a fine art collection and a repository of more than 3,000 rare and first edition books, from literary greats like James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and many others.
There are also signed books and documents by Abraham Lincoln, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Charles Dickens, Queen Elizabeth I, Joseph Smith, D.H. Lawrence and more.
This common room is anything but common. It was once used to entertain guests and family, and now it’s used for hosting private dinners and wedding receptions.
Many architectural details in the house were salvaged from historical European structures. This limestone fireplace is from an English boys' school dating back to 1550. It has Tudor Rose detailing and a Gothic Tudor arch.
Can you imagine sleeping in this beautiful bedroom? And this is just a guest room!
The grounds of this magnificent house are a great place to admire the fall colors.
The beams in the Great Hall accentuate the grand 65-foot ceiling. This ceiling was actually acquired from the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, England. William Shakespeare himself stayed at the White Hart Inn during the summer of 1603, and some say that he performed under these very beams.
This stained glass window above the south door of the house was salvaged from a place in England and is constructed from 16 individual panels.
The Salisbury House is open for tours Tuesday-Friday. Self guided visits are from 12:00-4:00 pm, and there’s a guided tour at 1:30 pm. This fascinating and beautiful house is definitely worth a visit.
Address: 4025 Tonawanda Dr., Des Moines, IA.
Phone: (515) 274-1777
Have you visited the Salisbury House? What did you think? For more hidden Iowa castles, check out These 8 Castles Hiding Here In Iowa.