Knights, turrets, life-size lion statues, secret passageways…this stone castle looks like something straight out of “Game of Thrones.” But, believe it or not, the upstate mansion is not medieval at all; it was built just 30 years ago.
Located in Bolton Landing, New York, up in the Adirondacks and overlooking Lake George, Highlands Castle was conceived by John Lavender, a man who (for some unknown reason) told his then-three-year-old son that he’d build him a castle. A decade later, he did just that, and he’s now listed the one-of-a-kind home for $12.8 million.
Highland Castle was constructed using more than 800 tons of stone with inspiration from castles around the world. It’s approached by a 2,000-foot-long driveway that culminates at a massive stone wall with iron gates and two astute lion statues. As Curbed reported back in 2013 “Lavender…spent years painstakingly constructing this castle on Lake George, drawing up the plans himself, collecting castle-y items such as suits of armor and stained-glass windows, and putting 800 tons of stones in place, one at a time.”
The inside is just as magnificent as the exterior thanks to stained glass doors, owner-commissioned woodworking, and period-style details at every turn. Flooring throughout the home is solid oak, travertine stone, or natural flagstone. The custom-made, gothic-arched doors are all solid oak, as are the trim work and cabinets.
The great hall is the heart of the home. It features two balconies, 25-foot-high beamed ceilings, and a grand fireplace flanked by two life-size, hand-carved wooden knights. The space also offers 21 floor-to-ceiling windows with 180-degree views of Lake George and the Adirondacks.
There are two wings on the second floor. The first is the master bedroom, which comes complete with an en-suite bath, a two-story tower sitting area, a window seat, and a balcony overlooking the great room below. The other is the guest wing that’s made up of a large bedroom and en-suite bath with hammered copper tub. Interestingly, these are the only two bedrooms in the main house.
A hidden stairway leads down to the lower level where a spacious entertainment room is accessed through a bookshelf/secret passageway. This level also has a covered terrace and leads to a patio on an even lower level.
The carriage house works perfectly as a guest house, as it offers two bedrooms, a full bathroom, and living area. There’s also a two-bedroom gate house, a garage, and boat storage.
Surprisingly, after completing Highlands Castle, Lavender and his wife rented the property out for weddings and events, with prices starting near $1,000/night. It first hit the market in 2013 for $14.8 million, according to Curbed. Do you think the faux-historic castle is going to have a better shot at selling now that it’s had a $2 million price reduction?
Still undecided? Visit the official website of Highlands Castle here, and take a virtual tour in this video:
Photos via Sotheby’s International Realty
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