Tour a Real Castle in the Middle of the Texas Countryside
A few minutes from downtown Bellville and just an hour ride from Houston lies a medieval castle primed for exploring.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, Newman's Castle looks like it belongs on the set of Downton Abbey—not in Texas. But there it is! And this unique, one-of-a-kind property really goes all in. Outside you'll find a real moat complete with a hand-operated 3,000-pound drawbridge, while inside there's courtyard, great hall, and even a dungeon. For for $20 visitors can take an hour-long tour of the whole thing.
Surprisingly, Newman's Castle also serves as a private residence for owner Mike Newman. According to Houston Chronicle, Newman started building the castle in 1998 after a brief stint in Europe. Construction took eight years, and when it was complete, he decided to turn it into a local attraction. Today, much to his surprise, it draws visitors from all over Texas.
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"I had no idea when I was building it I would let other people come onto the property and tour it," Newman told the Chronicle. "It's not unusual for me to have people come all the way from Dallas. But it's turned into a great way to promote the bakery. It's worked out well."
A baker by trade, Newman has owned and operated Newman's Bakery in downtown Bellville for nearly 40 years. He told the paper that the castle helps attract new customers.
Aside from tours, the castle can be rented out for special events such as weddings, Quinceañeras and photo shoots. Just don't fool around too much, you don't want to end up in the dungeon!