Tuesday 11 March 2008

Bishop's Castle by Self Styled Castle Builder Jim Bishop

Ever since 1969, Jim Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron castle on his property in the Colorado valley, now reaching over 160 feet in height and planned to reach 250 feet when complete. He has had a fair share of disagreements with Federal and State authorities and was engaged in a running battle with Washington officials over the rocks that he used, which came from the San Isabel National Forest that surrounds the castle property; Bishop felt that they were his for the taking. Similarly the Colorado state Chamber of Commerce refused to list Bishop Castle as an attraction in its official tourism guides.

Now, however. both the Federal officials and the Colorado Chamber recognize that Bishop's dementia concretia is marketable, and that he's transformed some heavy, unwanted rocks into pure tourism gold.

The really remarkable aspect to this building is that the builder seems to have either a natural affinity with the structural concerns of architecture namely proportion, scale and design concepts or he picked these skills up as he went along, his main source of income has been in the Ironwork industry and explains in the video that he has built this castle in his down time.

The castle features intricate wrought-iron bridges and walkways that cling to its towers. Bishop Castle is decorated with stained-glass windows along its front wall; a metallic dragon's neck and head jut from the apex of the castle's great hall. The dragon, made from recycled metal hospital trays, shoots fire from its gaping maw with the aid of a burner from a hot air balloon. The castle's fireplace vents through the dragon's nose, expelling smoke from the beast's nostrils.


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