Sure, when it comes to castles, Texas reps a lot less than say Germany, Scotland or Spain, but we do have some castle-inspired structures. Ranging from private residences to to renovated jails, there are several castle-inspired structures you can see here in and around the Greater Houston Area.
1892 Bishop’s Palace
Known both as the Bishop’s Palace and as the Walter Gresham House or Gresham’s Castle, the Victorian stunner sitting at 1402 Broadway in Galveston was built for attorney, railroad magnate and Civil War Veteran Colonel Walter Gresham, who relocated to Galveston from Virginia with his wife following the war, according to Galveston.com. Designed by famed Galveston architect Nicholas J. Clayton between 1887 and 1893, the home is one of the island’s last surviving structures from its great era of mansion building. Constructed of steel and stone, the three-story structure survived the Great Storm of 1900 almost unscathed. The Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston bought the house in 1923, and for many years it served as the seat of the local bishop (hence the name Bishop’s Palace), according to the Texas State Historical Association. The Galveston Historical Foundation bought the mansion in 2013.
Considered one of the country’s finest examples of Victorian architecture, Bishop’s Palace is listed by the U. S. Department of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark.
The Bishop’s Palace is available for public tours daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1402 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, (409) 762-2475; galvestonhistory.org
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Are you clutching your pearls? Well, go run, put them on, and start clutching. This is the J. C. Trube House, which was designed by architect Alfred Muller. J. C. Trube was a rich Galvestonian merchant who was originally from Denmark. You know, the country which is always listed as the happiest country to live in. Why are the Danes so happy? I don’t know. Anyway, look at the sidewalk. J. C. was such a “baller,” the sidewalk is made up of black and white marble. You read that? BLACK AND WHITE MARBLE. I mean, c’mon. Outstanding. The house is like a Victorian pleasure palace. It’s GOOD. #jctrubehouse #galveston #galvestontexas #galvestonhistoricalfoundation #oldhouselove #archi_ologie #architektur #thisplacematters #historicpreservation #alfredmuller #architect #daneshavemorefun
Known both as Trube Castle and the Trube House, the iconic abode at 1627 Sealy Avenue in Galveston was designed by Alfred Muller and built in 1890 for John Clement Trube. Originally from Denmar, Trube was active in local merchandising and real estate, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Built in a modified–Gothic Revival style, the thirty-room home boasts a mansard roof, twelve gables and a false chimney, which contains a stained-glass window, among other notable features.
Trube Castle remains a private residence.
1627 Sealy Avenue, Galveston
Historic Austin County Jail Museum
Austin County contracted in 1896 with Pauly Jail Building Co. of St. Louis to erect this castle-jail structure at a cost of $19,970, according to the state historical marker. Built in a Romanesque Revival style, the structure boasts crenelated parapets, bartizans, and stone window arches, all of which coordinated with the county’s 1886 courthouse, which later burned down. The gallows, used only in 1901, have been removed, according to the state historical marker.
The Austin County Jail Museum is open for tours each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
36 South Bell Street, Bellville, (979) 877-8814; austincounty.com
Inspired by his travels to Europe, Mike Newman built a castle in the woods in Bellville.
The castle is surrounded by a moat and accessed via a 3,000-pound-drawbridge, complete with a working portcullis. Five turrets distinguish the stately manor.
Newman’s Castle is available for public tours six days a week. Reservations are required.
504 E Main St, Bellville, (979) 865-9804; newmanscastle.com