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Moultonborough’s famed Castle in the Clouds is one of the area’s top attractions.

Now operated as a historical museum, the estate was owned by Thomas Gustave Plant, who made his fortune in the shoe manufacturing industry, retiring as a millionaire at the age of 51 in 1910, after selling his business to the United Shoe Machinery Company.

Newly married in 1913, Plant focused on building his New Hampshire country estate. He bought 6,300 acres of land in the Ossippee mountains and hired the Boston architectural firm of J. Williams Beal & Sons to design a stone mansion, called Lucknow, for him and his new bride, Olive.

Built between 1913 and 1914, the 16-room Lucknow Mansion has amazing details and sweeping views of Lake Winnipesaukee. From the stained glass window insets, to the intercom system and air conditioning, this all-stone mansion featured beautiful architectural details and cutting edge technology that was well ahead of it’s time.

All of the land from the top of the mountain to the lake was once part of Plant’s estate, and the Plants lived there until Thomas’s death in 1941.

A trolley ride tot he top of the mountain starts your tour of the Lucknow Mansion, traveling up the same road that Thomas & Olive traveled back in the early 1900s when the mansion was built. At the top, a museum guide gives everyone a 15-minute orientation, where you’ll learn more about about the rags to riches to rags story of Thomas Plant and the history of this unique Arts & Craft style home.

Visitors are welcome to tour the mansion at their own pace on a self-guided tour, and you will be amazed at features such as the central vacuuming systems, refrigeration, and needle showers that were built into this magnificent home.

The property now includes 5,500-acres with extensive gardens, horseback riding, hiking trails, an art gallery featuring local artists, and a restaurant. There are a lot of things to do and the museum holds regular events and programs. On weekends in the early summer, you may also witness a wedding as the castle is popular place to tie the knot!

More Information

New Hampshire’s Castle in the Clouds, owned and operated by the private non-profit Castle Preservation Society, is open to the public from Memorial Day through October. You’ll find it at:

455 Old Mountain Road
Rte 171
Moultonborough, NH 03254-3517

For more information on visiting this jewel, see their website.