Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Hearthstone Castle

A 19th century castle fit for a king, must be in Europe right? Wrong... Hearthstone Castle which was completed in 1899 sits nestled deep in the woods of Danbury, CT. This three story castle designed by Ernest G.W. Dietrich once boasted over 17 rooms complimented with imported Italian woodwork and 8 stone fireplaces. All the stone used to build this marvel was quarried entirely on site and transported by a small railway system. E Starr Sanford who was said to be a noted photographer at the time was the castles first owner, using it as a "summer cottage". Sanford and his wife spent only five years at Hearthstone before selling to new owners. Ownership of the castle changed hands over the years with its final residents being"The Jennings" moving out in 1987, the same year the castle was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Soon after changing hands to city ownership the castle took a turn for the worse, it sat and deteriorating through the 1990's and into the 2000's. In 2004 the roof of the castle had collapsed and the castle from that moment on was literally a shell of its former self... The inside is completely destroyed and just a pile of rubble with small traces of what it once was lying under old floor boards. As of 2017 all attempts to renovate this once proud castle have been abandoned and plans to demolish the site are underway.

Explorers beware this site is extremely deteriorated and dangerous. Going inside the castle is not recommended.

UPDATE 03/27/18: Reports that the castle is in the beginning phases of demolition, trees are marked to be removed. 

UPDATE: 07/15/20: A local radio station reports the grounds will be cleaned up. The castle still stands in its deteriorated state.

 Photo by Lewis Zurlo - 1995
 Photo by Lewis Zurlo - 1995


Photo courtesy of "Friends of Tarrywile Park"

Workers transporting stone on railway - 1896
Photo courtesy of "National Park Service"

Have you ever been to or heard of Hearthstone Castle?

Tell us your experience


  1. When was this video made? Is this what the castle looks like now?

  2. Sad... so much History... smh..

  3. The before pictures really show a stark contrast between how far this place has deteriorated since ownership changed hands.

  4. Just shows you what happens when government gets involved.....sad

  5. I went here about 3 years ago with some family and it was blocked off by a chain link fence which had been previously cut open. We explored as much as we could. It was in a dangerous state.. I have a ton of pictures if your intrested in adding them to the collection.

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