Castle in the Clouds
Route 171, 455 Old Mountain Road
Moultonborough, NH 03254
Open weekends and Memorial Day, May 10-June 1
Open daily, June 7-Oct 26
Welcome to Tom and Olive Plant’s extraordinary mountaintop estate, Lucknow, built in 1913-1914 high in the Ossipee Mountain Range. Known as Castle in the Clouds since its opening to the public in 1959, the house is an unusual example of Arts and Crafts architecture in New England, expressing that aesthetic movement’s philosophy of living in harmony with nature.
Designed by the architectural firm of J. Williams Beal & Sons of Boston, the house not only exhibits skilled hand craftsmanship in every aspect of its interior and exterior, but also features a number of technological innovations of the early 20th century, such as hydroelectric power, ammonia-brine cooled refrigeration, central-vacuum and intercom systems, and a water-fed fire suppression system.
Thomas Gustave Plant (1859-1941) made his fortune in the shoe manufacturing industry, retiring as a millionaire at age fifty-one, having sold his business to the United Shoe Machinery Company in 1910. Newly married in 1913, Plant then focused on the creation of his New Hampshire country estate. In addition to buying the property known as Ossipee Mountain Park, Plant accumulated land from the tops of seven mountains in the Ossipee Mountain range all the way to the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, eventually owning 6,300 acres.
After a series of failed investments, Plant attempted, from the mid-1920s through the era of the Great Depression, to sell the mountaintop estate. However, no buyer was found, and the Plants continued to live at Lucknow until Thomas’s death in 1941, at which time the property was sold.
Plant’s desire to maintain the integrity of his mountaintop estate property and the stewardship of the families who owned the property since his time have ensured that Lucknow survived in close to its original state and that its magnificent natural setting can be enjoyed by all today.
A visit to the estate includes seasonal access to the Castle Museum, the Carriage House Art Gallery, the Carriage House Café and Patio, ice cream stand, gift shop, 28 miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, as well as many beautiful scenic views and the waterfall "Fall of Song" which are open to the public. Kids, be sure to ask about the scavenger hunt!
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