Nestled on a 184-acre estate, Gillette Castle is a true historical gem located only 20 minutes by car from The Riverwind Inn or a 33-minute excursion via the second oldest operating car ferry in New England, The Chester/Hadlyme Ferry. Bring lunch, chairs, a book, a camera phone and relax – or take a hike along a scenic trail.
Gillette Castle can be found atop the most southerly hill in a CT River Valley chain known as the Seven Sisters. William Hooker Gillette, noted actor, director, and playwright, built his 24-room medieval-style castle on the Seventh Sister within his magnificent and scenic 184-acre estate, replete with fine woodlands, trails, and scenic vistas.
The Castle is entirely made of stone from the property and was built in only five years by 20 local stone masons. “The woodwork within the castle is hand-hewn southern white oak” and of the 47 individual doors found within the structure, there are no two exactly alike, with each having “a handsome external latch intricately carved of wood.”
The estate and castle were purchased by the state of Connecticut in 1943. There are no fees for parking or visiting the grounds. A per person charge applies for castle tours and the gate at Gillette Castle State Park opens at 8 am, and closes at sunset, year-round.