Bishop Castle

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For places known as Bishop's Castle, see Bishop's Castle (disambiguation).
The front of the castle with view of towers.
The front half of Bishop Castle from the south. The main tower is over 160 ft (49 m) tall.
The front half of Bishop Castle from the north. The main tower is over 160 ft (49 m) tall.

Bishop Castle started as a family construction project situated in the Wet Mountains of Southern Colorado in the San Isabel National Forest located North West of Rye, Colorado.[1] The castle is named after its constructor, Jim Bishop.[2]

The Castle is located in south central Colorado along a paved public road, State Highway 165, approximately 13 miles (21 km) southeast of the junction of State Highways 96 and 165. This road is part of the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway,[3] and Bishop Castle is shown on the official map.[4]

Construction of the castle began in 1969,[5] when Bishop began construction on a family cottage,[6] which he decided to surround with rocks. Several neighbors noted that the structure looked something like a castle. Bishop took this into consideration and soon began building his castle. He had bought the land when he was fifteen for a price of $450.[7] In 1996, he was challenged by the local and state government over unsanctioned road signs that pointed to the site. They settled the dispute by issuing official road signs.[8][9]


  1. ^ "Ripleys Believe it or not". Reading Eagle. July 11, 1983. Retrieved 12 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Ragan, Tom (June 9, 2002). "Builder prefers being king of what he sees/Castle is maverick's 33- year labor of love". The Gazette. Retrieved 12 January 2010. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Porter, Mary Jean (April 23, 2006). "Adobe to Steel': Byway exhibit focuses on history's foundation: buildings.". The Pueblo Chieftain. Retrieved 12 January 2010. (subscription required)
  4. ^ A congressionally designated National Scenic Byway
  5. ^ "From a life's labor, a castle rises, Jim Bishop started his 160-foot-high creation in 1969. He doesn't plan to ever stop building.". Philadelphia Inquirer. July 14, 2002. Retrieved 12 January 2010. (purchase required)
  6. ^ Owen, Rob (July 30, 2006). "The craziest castle in Colorado: Bishop's vision is a work in progress". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Commagreens, Dallas (July 13, 2009). "Jim Bishops Castle". Weekly World News. Retrieved 12 January 2010. [unreliable source?]
  8. ^ Searles, Denis M. (May 11, 1996). "A Man's Castle Under Siege by Bureaucrats". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 12 January 2010. (Abstract only, purchase required)
  9. ^ Searles, Denis M (April 28, 1996). "Castle Craftsman Withstands Long State Siege; Colorado: Jim Bishop draws 60,000 visitors a year to his creation in the mountains while fending off assaults by highway and tax officials". LA Times. Retrieved 12 January 2010. (purchase required)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°3′41.22″N 105°5′39.87″W / 38.0614500°N 105.0944083°W / 38.0614500; -105.0944083