Castles in Connecticut?

We headed out on a day trip today.  The older boys brought a word search of shark terms and a dot- to- dot shark in the car for the long ride to Gillette's castle.   The boys were excited to be visiting a real life castle.

We planned to meet up with my sister and nephews, tour the castle and hike on some of the trails.   We also brought our three books on Cd and the Magic Tree House chapter book we started the other day to fill in the remainder of the ride.  Ian and Alec each took a turn reading one cheaper and then Alec just continued to read the entire rest of the book out loud to us all!  
I had planned on starting a Medieval unit on castles and knights this month.  So far I've gotten to the point where I told the boys we'd be learning about castles and knights and that's about it.

I did ask them today to tell me everything they know about castles and knights.  I then explained that while we were headed to a castle today it was not around during medieval times and no knights or kings ever lived there.

But I figured there are some similarities to most castles and it would be neat to see one in person.

 I was right.

It was very neat.

The boys strike a Sherlock Holmes pose
We knew William Gillette built his castle as his home.  He was famous for portraying Sherlock Holmes on the stage (long before movies of Sherlock Holmes were ever made).   We found out many more things throughout the tour though.

William Gillette played Sherlock over 1,300 times and was the one to give him the watch cap and pipe.

He was a crafter and an inventor as shown by his house.  The 40 something door inside the castle are all made of intricate wood designs and no two are alike.

He had secret staircases and mirrors to watch the goings on of others and keep his movements secret.  He invented an indoor "sprinkler" system in case of fire using rain water run- off.

It was a real interesting, though pretty quick, walking tour through the house.

Once outside, after we had our lunch, we went hiking on a few of the trails through the property and ended up on the banks of the Connecticut river.

 It was a beautiful day to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and the beach looked like something out of a shipwrecked movie with lots of trees and vines overhanging the water.  The boys pretended it was a bat cave, a training area, and many other things.

It was a great day.

Linking Up With:

JENerally Informed
WW 9 Hostesses Collage May 2018


  1. Thats one impressive castle with a great back story. Looks like you guys had a great day! #ExplorerKids

  2. This looks awesome - we have literally just got back from a Medieval Festival at Herstmonseux Castle in East Sussex, UK. Sarah #ExplorerKids

  3. Gillette played Sherlock over 1,300 times! That's very impressive. What a wonderful day out! Glad you had a great time exploring and learning new things at the same time. x

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids Linky. x

    1. It was really neat and I had honestly never heard of William Gillette before this.


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