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My Stone Castle

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The Start of Castle Life

“Castle,” is defined as “a large building, typically of the medieval period, fortified against attack with thick walls, battlements, towers, and maybe a moat.”

To me, a “Castle” is defined as “home.”

Located in a sleepy town in New England, the trek down the mile-long driveway transports you to Medieval Europe (sans servants and the addition of WIFI.) But, don’t be fooled by the extravagant exterior–this hidden architectural gem puts the “work” in work of art.

When my husband, Russ, and I were first introduced to the castle, years before we bought it, we were enamored by its scale, beauty, and history. Yet we were haunted. So haunted, we retreated time again, back to the comfort of home, to ponder taking on the project, again and again.

The Castle, a jewel of the town, rich with history and suffering years of neglect and pounding New England weather, was yearning to be saved. The heat hadn’t been turned on in years, pipes busted and dripping, vines and weeds, with reckless abandon, overtook everything in their path. Bare-boned remains of a gate-house fire loomed ominously along the drive, with rusty dumpsters strewn about, like rusted train cars.

Although it took many visits and much conversation to finalize our bold move, we couldn’t deny our love. It wasn’t lusty, egotistical love. Our connection to the castle signified committed love–cleaning out the wreckage of its past and seeing it for what it could be kind of love. The deeply committed kind of love that would compel us to turn this forgotten fortress into an enchanted oasis straight out of a storybook.

With a combined passion for real estate, interior design, nature, and food, and entertaining, Russ and I saw possibility. We also saw the time, investment, and hard work. So we packed our belongings and jumped in with all four feet.  And after agonizing months of round-the-clock carpenters, painters, stonemasons, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and landscapers, we managed to reclaim a crumbling 8,500 square foot castle.

What emerged is an amazing home–warm, colorful, romantic, authentic, alive with character and history. Discovering and transforming this property was and is more than just a project — it’s a calling. The creativity, excitement, and challenge showed me that even the most beautiful things can be forgotten, and, subsequently, resurrected.

This castle needed us, as much as we needed it. It needed tending, mending, and rejuvenation to give it life. And, in turn, this Castle at Cornwall, gave me life by offering a place to embrace, nurture, and share my passions.

So, join me on the discovery. What’s your passion? How are you cultivating it? Has an unexpected person, place, or passion revealed a new interest?

 

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