9 Most Beautiful Castles in New Hampshire

Updated On October 5, 2023
Fort Constitution

Discover the most majestic castles in New Hampshire with this guide.

Nestled in New England, New Hampshire might be small and meagerly populated compared to nearby New York and Pennsylvania.

However, for some castle enthusiasts, this only adds to the charm of exploring castle grounds.

Find out where the prettiest castles in NH are located and see which ones are going to be added to your travel bucket list.

Most Beautiful Castles in New Hampshire

Ice Castles

For one of the most fairytale-like castle experiences, be sure to visit New Hampshire in the winter season.

This is when the famous Ice Castles of NH come alive with frozen tunnels, slides, caverns, and archways.

There is even a polar pub and snow tubing for visitors at Arctic Alcove at the Ice Castles in North Woodstock, NH on Clark Farm Road.

Sleigh ride, anyone? 

Kimball Castle

Located in Gilford, New Hampshire is Kimball Castle.

This castle was the summer estate of Benjamin Ames Kimball.

He was a railroad magnate, serving as BostonMontreal Railroad president for a number of years.

Seated above Lake Winnipesaukee, the castle has long been abandoned and is considered derelict.

You can visit the lake and castle, the latter of which is constructed in medieval architecture using stone bricks. 

Kimball Castle was donated to the Alvord Wild Life Sanctuary of Bear Island in 1960 when Kimball died.

However, in 2018, the castle was purchased by the Starkey family, who want to turn Kimball Castle into a wedding and event venue.

Even while abandoned, the castle has maintained its structural integrity.

See one-of-a-kind stone arches and windows supporting walls that have been crenelated to look like teeth but with an interesting zigzag effect. 

This is not like any castle you typically see from the medieval or Renaissance periods.

In addition, you can stay at the castle by renting the Innkeeper’s Cottage on Airbnb. 

Searles Castle

Edward Searles was a famous inventor who constructed a number of castles in the New England area.

One of these is Searles Castle in New Hampshire, not to be confused with Searles Castle in Massachusetts, of which there are two with the same name in that state.

The New Hampshire Searles Castle is in Windham and anyone can visit it.

In fact, today Searles Castle, featuring English Tudor architecture, is available for special events. 

There are 175 acres on the property that are picturesque and full of enchanting gardens.

Searles Castle at Windham looks like a medieval castle in many ways with a series of round towers coupled with a towering three-story square walled tower.

Once inside, there is a courtyard that is well known for hosting weddings and dances.

The castle was also part of the collegiate system for 25 years as Castle College.

Hunt Castle

Another well-constructed castle in New Hampshire is Hunt Castle in Rindge.

This castle is regal in appearance with crenelated towers and a super-tall central tower.

Along the front facing are three large archways that reach three stories.

White-gray and dark-gray stone bricks were used to construct the castle.

The result is a striking contrast in colors that work well with the surrounding greenery of the hilltop. 

Hunt Castle is surrounded by 500 acres and a large in-ground swimming pool, as well as walking trails.

There is lake and beach access, as well as views of nearby Mt. Monadnock.

You will be amazed that this highly accurate Gothic castle with its secret stairways was built as late as 1995. 

Castle in the Clouds

In Moultonborough, New Hampshire, you can visit the Castle in the Clouds, which is just as magical as it sounds.

Formerly known as Lucknow, the Castle in the Clouds was built in 1913 by Thomas Plant, a shoe manufacturing expert.

Plant was even a friend of President Teddy Roosevelt.

However, this castle does not resemble medieval or Renaissance-style castles.

Lucknow is considered an Arts and Crafts Movement Craftsman-style mansion.

Therefore, every element is individualistic and more naturally or decoratively shaped. 

For example, the Castle in the Clouds features a tower with a roof that resembles an Asian-style sun hat, while the front gables are the Bavarian style with intricate filigree.

Stone walls make up the castle tower, while the front porch is more indicative of an American Ranch-style home.

Anyone can visit the Castle in the Clouds and the 135-acre estate that is surrounded by 5,500 protected land.

Take a self-guided tour of the castle and Carriage House, and go for a pony ride with Riding in the Clouds.

The castle is located in the Ossipee Mountains and offers a fabulous view and wildflower scenery.

Madame Sherri’s Castle Ruins

West Chesterfield, New Hampshire is home to Madame Sherri’s Castle Ruins, which could as well be the home to a witch.

Compare these grounds to the Witch’s Castle in Portland, Oregon for reference.

Simply a wall or two, Madame Sherri’s Castle Ruins is in Madame Sherri Forest.

The castle was owned by Antoinette “Madame Sherri” Bramare, who started building the home after her husband died in 1931. 

Madame Sherri was an eccentric who hosted lavish parties in the castle.

To accommodate partygoers, she had installed a bar, tables with red tablecloths for seating, and furs across one entire room floor.

Given the name Madame, it is most likely that she was a respectable woman who either spoke French or, which is more feasible, she was an artist or fortune-teller.

Her friends and proteges paid her way in the castle, until after Prohibition when she went broke.

Madame Sherri was forced to move out of her castle, which ended up burning down three years later.

Today you can visit the ruins of the castle, as these are maintained by the Forest Society.

Castle Anam Cara

Castle Anam Cara is in Barrington, New Hampshire, and is one of the newer castles in the state.

The castle looks like a Celtic castle from the medieval ages.

Yet it was constructed in the 1990s.

In addition, the castle is privately owned and not open to the public or left derelict.

In fact, one of the owners of Castle Anam Cara works professionally as a medieval entertainer for Renaissance Faires.

They are clearly dedicated to the role of running a castle during medieval times. 

Fort Constitution  

Fort Constitution is also known as where Paul Revere made his infamous ride alerting locals of a seizure of the fort.

Some might even say that Fort Constitution does not qualify as a castle.

However, there are massive stone walls built for fortifying defense, as well as a lighthouse and courtyard.

It is located in New Castle, New Hampshire, which may also be why Fort Constitution is considered a castle by several sources.

The Yankee Castle

The Yankee Castle is located in Greenfield, NH, and is not quite a castle either.

However, there is a siege trebuchet that is exactly what you would have seen outside of a castle in any medieval village.

Giant catapults that are constructed and in use are part of the excitement that also includes the Yankee Castle.

This is all a part of The Yankee Farmer, which is a farm and nursery. 

When visitors arrive at The Yankee Farmer, they might see a flying refrigerator headed straight for the Yankee Castle.

The castle itself is a scaled-down version of an actual castle, sort of what you might find at Disneyland.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How many castles are there in New Hampshire?

Between castles made of ice and castles that are smaller than expected, New Hampshire is home to fewer than 10 castles.

You can visit most of these castles, but some are privately owned as residences or for events.

Only one, Madame Sherri’s Castle, is a ruin and left derelict without livable accommodation.

Compare this to nearby Massachusetts, also in New England, which is home to about 30 castles.

While New England is famous for having many castles in the US, New Hampshire holds its own despite its small population and land size.

Can I stay overnight in the Ice Castles in New Hampshire?

No, unfortunately, the Ice Castles in New Hampshire are not the same thing as the Ice Hotel in Sweden.

However, you can visit the Ice Castles at night when they are lit up with LED lighting for a light show.

By the way, Ice Castles are a chain that has other locations in the US.

You can visit Ice Castles in NH, as well as Minnesota, New York, Utah, and Wisconsin at Lake Geneva.

Do I have to pay to visit the Castle in the Clouds?

Surprisingly, you do not have to pay to walk around Castle in the Clouds in New Hampshire.

The castle is part of the Clouds Conservation Area, and expenses are covered by that association.

However, you can only visit the Castle in the Clouds during the day.

Overnight accommodation is not allowed, so plan accordingly.

Note there are several B&Bs and hotels offering stays near Moultonborough, NH, where Castle in the Clouds is located.

Why do New England and New Hampshire have so many castles?

There are so many castles in New Hampshire and New England because, in the 1700 and 1800s, colonists and royals alike moved into the area.

This was a time of establishing roots in a newfound territory, and many British, including Quakers, were making their way.

It appears that they were looking to start their own royal bloodline or showcase their own family pride by constructing castles.

After all, what other style of housing is more regal and majestic than a castle?

Other than the English influence, it is difficult to discern why these castles are mostly medieval in style.

You could say that homeowners simply like that style of architecture.

Also, the open landscape of New Hampshire–and the name of the state–may have given way to more British leanings.

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