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Medieval America - The two Castles of Searles (And the third that wasn 't)

I was doing some research in preparation for my trek around America and I ran into some confusion and some mixed facts when it comes to Searles Castle. So I decided it would be good for me to actually visit them and straighten the confusion out!

So let's take a look at the two Searles Castles and the third that isn't.

I also have a youtube video for these castles.

First let's take a quick look:

This is Searles Castle in Windham New Hampshire:

(You can see more pictures of this castle on my castle specific website right here: Pictures of Searles Castle Windham )

Searles Castle Windham NH

 

And this is Searles castle in Great Barrington Massachusetts ( It was originally named Kellogg Terrace) :

(You can see more pictures of this castle by visiting my castle specific website here: Pictures of Searles Castle in Great Barrington )

 

These two are easy. The third one ended up to be a confusing issue. And it revolves around the city of Methuen Massachusetts. You see, that's where Searles lived and he even did a lot of building there. Later in life he purchased his childhood home and upgraded it to a large estate which included several buildings But in 1930 much of it was torn down. Some of it still remains including some of the walls and the chapel which is now owned by The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.

 

 

 

So, with all this stone work where is the castle? Is it gone? I am not 100% sure it actually is gone. In 1957 the 74 room "Searles Castle" was sold to The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary. Here is a quote from the official Methuen History Website (http://www.methuenhistory.org/Sites/L_Streets.html):

In 1957 the 74 room " Searles castle" was sold to the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary for $160,000. The Presentation of Mary Academy and convent now occupies this site and the Searles Chapel is known as Our Lady of Sacred Heart. The St. Claire Residence, named for Mother Claire D'Assise, was built in 1958, the new Academy wing in 1962, and the new Provincial House in 1985.

A look at the area in Google Earth does show quite an extensive compound that clearly has 100 year old builds and more modern buildings. One thing that is very telling is that some of the buildings are connected by hallways. As Searles expanded buildings and added new buildings he built hallways to connect them.

I think a big part of the confusion comes in on whether or not any of the buildings within the Searles compound were technically a castle or at least referred to as a castle.

But.... one thing about Methuen that is for sure. There was another wealthy man called "Tenney" and he did build something they called a castle in Methuen. It was called Tenney Castle and regrettably it did burn down in the 1970's. today some of the foundation remains as a park. It was also known as Grey Court.

What remains of Tenney Castle. Also remainging (Below) is the Gatehouse for Tenney Castle. It is now the Methuen Historical Society.