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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
381 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This is a very interesting place to visit. I would say it is more of a piece of art, built from the imagination of a brilliant man over his lifetime. It was fun to walk around inside the castle and cl...  more »
  • This place is fantastic and definitely worth visiting. It has taken one man over fifty years to build this magnificent place. You are free to walk around this place yourself and go wherever you like, ...  more »
Google
  • Amazing! Scary! And absolutely crazy! We rode our motorcycles to bishop's castle. An amazing ride with beautiful backdrop scenery, and many S curves. But that's a different review. I would recommend this place to anyone who's visit Colorado or the Colorado springs/Denver area. It's a sight to see as this was built by one guy. There are stairs that goes up and just ends abruptly. Iron stairs that goes up to the top with warning signs that it could collapse. An iron dome on the top of the castle, just because. Stairs, handrails, and grips for you to climb to every part of the castle whether it's safe or not. My friend who visited a year ago noticed new additions to the castle. This meant that the castle is still growing. I would continue to visit the castle as I'm curious of what would be added next.
  • A real one of a kind kind of place. Test your fear (or lack thereof) of heights here on this one-man man-made castle! Plenty of things to explore and get great views from! Though far from conventional architecture, it is truly a work of art and is worth checking out! I would say great for the whole family with a little supervision :)

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