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Bishop Castle, Rye

4.4
Bishop Castle is an "elaborate and intricate" "one-man project" named after its constructor, Jim Bishop, that has become a roadside attraction in central Colorado.
The "castle" is located in south central Colorado on State Highway 165 in the Wet Mountains of Southern Colorado in the San Isabel National Forest, southwest of Pueblo, Colorado.
Bishop bought the land for the site for $450, and construction on what was originally intended to be a family project to build a cottage started in 1969 when he was fifteen. After Bishop surrounded the cottage with rocks, several neighbors noted that the structure looked something like a castle. Bishop took this into consideration and soon began building his castle.
According to Roadsideamerica, "for most" of the 40 years he has worked on the castle "Bishop was engaged in a running battle with Washington bureaucrats over the rocks that he used," which came from the National Forest surrounding his property. "Bishop felt that they were his for the taking, the government wanted to charge him per truckload." That dispute has been settled. 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.
The site has become a tourist attraction, and Roadsideamerica.com devoted a chapter to the castle and rated it “major fun” and describing it as, "one man's massive-obsessive labor of medieval fantasy construction". But it also issued a "parent's alert" warned potential visitors that Jim Bishop is “a tough-talking man with strong, extreme beliefs, and sometimes he expresses them bluntly and loudly. If you and your children want to avoid potentially offensive rants (involving politics and race), you may want to steer clear.”
For travelers who use our custom trip planner, Rye holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Bishop Castle and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Bishop Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
368 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • For a hand made structure made out of old junk, this place is pretty special. This guy has kept his ideals and has done everything to preserve his right to do what he believes. worth the trip to see, ...  more »
  • We visited here years ago and since we were in the area, drove a few miles out of our way to see it again. There was too much snow and mud to really tour it closely but there's been a lot added to it....  more »
  • Stopped based on reviews and it was very interesting to see but not safe in the winter time ice everywhere lucky we did not fall and hurt ourselves  more »
Google
  • This is a really cool place and would recommend people to go see it. Notes to take in though: it is private property and so government regulations are absent, you your the Castle at your own risk. The iron works, though beautiful, can be precarious... I would not take small children past the second floor.
  • This is one of our favorite places to visit when in Colorado. We have met Mr. Bishop several times. Though eccentric, he is pleasant to talk to and his work is amazing to experience. The gift shop has lots of interesting items, and is back up and running. We will be back!
  • This place is like haven. The surroundings were covered with snow enhancing the beauty of this place. Location on the peak adds to the amazing views. Beautifully built castle. Every step climbing up the castle gave more and more joy. The stained glass window creates rainbow of colors inside the castle. Views from the top is 2nd to none. We also bought souvenir from the Gift Shop. I would definitely recommend visiting here. Even the drive here has breathtaking views.
  • My family loved our trip here! The scenery is breathtaking and well worth the drive. The castle was so much fun to explore and plenty of hiking nearby. This will be a frequent stop for us when in Colorado!
  • Didn't think I'd enjoy it, but I really did. If you have time to go see it I highly recommend. If you're going on a cold day bring some warm clothes because it can get pretty windy, but other than that it was a pretty unique experience. Nothing else like it in the area!
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4.5
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