Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Michelle Travel , ,

At the end of July, Dan & I attended a Mini Cooper meetup in Salida, CO – mentioned here briefly. Each day afforded a number of events. On the first day we chose to visit Bishop Castle.

The Drive to the Castle

The drive began with all interested parties meeting at a local grade school (closed for summer) and using its parking lot to line up. Then we headed out en masse.

Minis in the Mountains

The Arkansas River was our constant companion for a big chunk of the one and half hour drive.

Minis in the Mountains

Minis in the Mountains

Minis in the Mountains

We passed through the town of Silver Cliffe, then had lunch there on our way back. Isn’t this a beautiful vista? I found myself constantly amazed by these wide, high valleys ringed by mountains.

Bishop Castle

Since visiting Bishop Castle, I have struggled with how best to describe it. Vision or monstrosity? I’ll let you decide.

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

The dragon head gives the place a wonderful sense of whimsy.

This huge chair sat in front:

Bishop Castle

Dan said he felt like Edith Ann – one of Lily Tomlin’s Laugh-in characters. (That’s going back some! Now you know how old we are.)

Regardless of how anyone judges Bishop Castle, it is fascinating. First off, the builder, Jim Bishop has been in conflict with the authorities through much of the 40 years he has been building. This sign was my first clue:

Bishop Castle

My husband decided to start by going up these stairs. (My knees were like: “Don’t even think about it, bitch!”)

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

With that, I went off to look at the 1st floor while Dan continued his exploration up top.

Bishop Castle

My exploration was pretty short-lived. The bottom floor was in the disarray one might expect if with a castle being only partially done. The state of the building site certainly did not meet OSHA requirements. While there was nothing to suggest the structure was unsound, I began to have doubts about the wisdom of being in or on the castle. I went outside to find Dan. It wasn’t long before he met me on the ground having suffered the same doubts. But he did get some wonderful photos!

The Second Floor

Aren’t these stained glass windows fabulous?

Bishop Castle stained glass

Spiral staircase

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Top Floor Tier

There was a 3rd floor tier. Dan did not avail himself, but others did.

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

A Last Look

Bishop Castle

Bishop Castle

There was a souvenir shop on site. It helps to support the castle project. I found three engraved stones, which I plan to wire wrap, and these anklets.

Bishop Castle

I don’t normally buy jewelry since I make jewelry, but I don’t do this type of bead work. And these were only five dollars a piece. Aren’t they pretty?

There was one bit of information that I didn’t find out until after our visit that marred my view of the castle. Jim Bishop made an appearance while we there (I didn’t see him), and one of our members tried to visit with him. She wished she hadn’t. The brief conversation was littered with hateful racist comments toward Native Americans. Ugh! Apparently, his bigotry is no secret. If I had known, I would never have done business with his souvenir shop.

Nonetheless, I was glad we visited. It was entirely unique.

My Bijou Life

As a side note, I’d like to bring Bluprint’s current sale to your attention as it is an exceptionally good one. I couldn’t resist signing up myself. Due to the ridiculously low price, it was time to satisfy my curiosity.

Get 30 Days Of Bluprint For Just $1 at mybluprint.com 8/1-8/31/19.

47 Comments

  1. I hate finding out people are like that when you see something to visit that is really unique – I have never heard of this place and we have seen a lot of Colorado – but I’m glad now I haven’t!! glad you joined up on Bluprint – and now that you are into yarn keep watch on those kits for sale even if you don’t like the pattern sometimes the yarn is a real steal. Are you getting the 15% off to subscribers on total cost of items you buy?

    1. I know what you mean. I have to ask myself how someone with so much hate could create something as extraordinary as this? It’s baffling. As for Bluprints, I need to go and do a thorough looking over. I hope I have that discount!

  2. Michelle – I have to say that, after looking at the first picture, I thought monstrosity. But the more pictures you showed, the more I began to admire its workmanship – that is, until you started to imply that it might be a little rickety! I hope Mr. Bishop has good insurance – someone falling from the third tier and getting injured will bring a lawsuit. Unfortunate that he spoke to your member in such a fashion – perhaps not surprising given his apparent run-ins with the government! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

    1. Monstrosity was my first impression as well. But, you’re right definitely some beautiful aspects. I’d like to see what it would look like finished, but Jim Bishop is elderly and in ill health, so this may be as done as it’s going to get.

  3. Hello, the castle is really a unique place. I hope all the visitors stay safe! The views and photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your visit. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead.

  4. Wow–that is crazy! Fun but so weird. I have to say I do like odd things that make road trips more interesting, though. It’s pretty hilarious. 🙂
    #littlecottagelinkparty

    1. Bishop Castle is definitely unique! There’s a whole bunch of these Mini group meetups. Next year we are planning to attend one in Victoria, British Columbia. I had no idea there was this whole Mini culture before we purchased ours. Just an added bonus.

  5. A quaint looking but fasciati ng structure. Thanks for sharing Bishop’s Castle
    Have a nice week

    Much❤🕊❤love

  6. Gosh. I WAS going to say that I enjoy seeing quirky whimsical “talents” on display, and since we do roadtrips in Colorado sometimes,bI thought I’d put this place on my ‘to visit someday” list. Until I read the last part… that he is a vile racist…I wouldn’t even think free was worth the price, so I am very glad you included that info. Before that it reminded me a bit of seeing the Watts Tower and Salvation Mountain both in California. And Cadillac Ranch. There’s a lot of crazy stuff out there! …… that was a great place for a road rally though.

    1. I was really disappointed that the same brain who built the castle was full racial hatred. I don’t get how those two things can be entertained in the same mind. Anyway, I know what you mean about quirky sights – I’ve seen the Cadillac Ranch too. Fun stuff.

    1. This castle is definitely unique and odd! And the countryside in the area is just gorgeous. Well worth the time if you can get past the builder’s ugly views.

  7. Quite a unique construction. Must have taken a lot of money and work, not to mention fighting the government. Sorry to hear he was such a negative person. To me the free form of his structure would indicate a freer personality. – Margy

    1. I know what you mean, Margy. I was surprised that this wonderfully imaginative structure came from the same brain that holds those racist views. Life can be very strange.

  8. Oh my that is quite an interesting place Michelle. I wouldn’t know how to describe it. Maybe the person who made it was thinking of the game of thrones?

  9. I think I read about this place. A testament to individual ingenuity and creativity, but likely a building code nightmare!! Thanks for sharing… really interesting post.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: