Trip Planner USA  /  Rhode Island  /  Newport  /  Historic Sites  /  Chateau-sur-Mer

Chateau-sur-Mer, Newport

Categories: Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.1/5 based on 260+ reviews on the web
Chateau-sur-Mer is the first of the grand Bellevue Avenue mansions of the Gilded Age in Newport, Rhode Island. Located at 424 Bellevue Avenue, it is now owned by the Preservation Society of Newport County, and is open to the public as a museum. Chateau-sur-Mer's grand scale and lavish parties ushered in the Gilded Age of Newport, as it was the most palatial residence in Newport until the Vanderbilt houses in the 1890s. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006.Description and historyChateau-sur-Mer was completed in 1852 as an Italianate villa for William Shepard Wetmore, a merchant in the China trade, who was born on January 26, 1801, in St. Albans, Vermont. The architect and builder was Seth C. Bradford; the structure is a landmark of Victorian architecture, furniture, wallpapers, ceramics and stenciling. Mr. Wetmore died on June 16, 1862, at Chateau-sur-Mer, leaving the bulk of his fortune to his son, George Peabody Wetmore. George later married Edith Keteltas in 1869. During the 1870s, the Wetmores departed on an extended trip to Europe, leaving architect Richard Morris Hunt to remodel and redecorate the house in the French Second Empire style. As a result, Chateau-sur-Mer displays most of the major design trends of the last half of the 19th century. The house is constructed of Fall River Granite. Hunt's alterations greatly expanded the house, adding a new three-story wing, a porte-cochere, and a projecting four-story tower with mansard roof. The carriage house was also enlarged, in a manner sympathetic to Bradford's original design. Hunt also designed the entrance gate of the estate, which are somewhat Greek Revival in style, but with posts modeled after Egyptian obelisks.
Plan to see Chateau-sur-Mer and other attractions that appeal to you using our Newport itinerary planner.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • This is the only mansion I didn't care for. Yes, it had many beautiful aspects and an interesting history. The lighting was very dim. Dark wood paneling throughout. This is a guided tour so you may ha...  read more »
  • We entered the drawing room to begin our tour. Within seconds our tour guide, Penny brought us back to mid 1800's. We were regaled with stories of the life and times of the family members and friends....  read more »
  • This house was built before it was fashionable to build a mansion in Newport. We enjoyed hearing the story of the family and were impressed by how much of the home's furnishings were still intact. It ...  read more »
  • Definitely worth seeing! Amazing woodwork throughout the home with a unique look compared with the other mansions in town. Very informative guided tour.
  • Beautiful old mansion. Concerts are in the tent outside. Acoustics are good. Out house is spectacular - many people commented it was better than their house bathrooms.
  • Beautiful house. Did not like the fact you to have a tour guide to see the house. Prefer the other mansions over this one.
  • Dark and it was boring for me. Waste so much time, tours with audio headsets are much better.
  • Nice to be at a mansion with a guided tour that is not via headphones.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h
Visit for 3​h