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Castle in the Clouds of New Hampshire

Updated on December 10, 2017
Castle in the Clouds overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee in central  New Hampshire
Castle in the Clouds overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire

Castle In The Clouds - Lucknow Estate in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Castle in the Clouds is an historic mountaintop estate overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire. You can drive up the mountain to the estate and park near the mansion where you can then take a trolley around the grounds to the walking paths.

Thomas Plant, the man who designed and built this lovely hilltop estate, was a self-made millionaire who worked in the shoe industry in the early twentieth century. Plant and his wife Olive designed and built Lucknow - the name given to the estate - as their planned retirement home, but misfortune robbed them of their wealth and that dream never materialized.

Thomas and Olive Plant purchased the rural property and sited the house at the very highest point on the mountain, where it overlooks the Lake and surrounding terrain. Their "castle in the clouds" and its beautiful grounds have been restored and preserved as they were when the mansion was first designed and constructed.

Castle In The Clouds - Grounds and Garden Photographs

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The main entrance of Lucknow shows off its Craftsman architectural style. The building is completely constructed of locally quarried granite stones and hand hewn timbers. It was designed to weather the severe New Hampshire winters and winds with easeCastles must have towers, and this one has a lovely turret roof with plenty of windows. Each hand-shaped stone has 5 sides, crafted and assembled by a team of talented Italian stone masons who lived on site during construction.After parking your car in the visitor's lot near Castle Springs bottling plant, you take a short trolley ride to the Castle in the Clouds. The grounds have been maintained much as they were when the estate was built. The former stable is restored andNew Hampshire is known as The Granite State, and many huge outcroppings of the rugged stone appear in the mountainside, especially near cascading streams and waterfalls along the roadway that leads to the summit parking area.The ample front lawn and garden at Castle in the Clouds sit atop a sturdy constructed granite retaining wall that's at least 20 feet tall. Photographers will find plenty of unobstructed views to shoot pictures of the Ossippe Mountains, surrounding vaStone features on the grounds are built from local native granite like this huge retaining wall and stairway that lead from the main garden to the driveway and lower grounds.Pure spring water flows year round from the mountain at Castle in the Clouds. The water is so pure it's bottled and sold as Castle Springs mountain water.Castle in the Clouds is bright inside because of the many windows in each room offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes below.Walking trails abound on the 5500 acres of conservation land that surround Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. Thirty miles of trails were constructed by Thomas Plant so that he and his wife could ride horseback throughout the grounds.Spectacular waterfalls from natural fresh water springs tumble down the mountain side and granite ledges on the Castle in the Clouds estate. Walkways and paths lead to these natural beauties - you can get up close and personal.
The main entrance of Lucknow shows off its Craftsman architectural style. The building is completely constructed of locally quarried granite stones and hand hewn timbers. It was designed to weather the severe New Hampshire winters and winds with ease
The main entrance of Lucknow shows off its Craftsman architectural style. The building is completely constructed of locally quarried granite stones and hand hewn timbers. It was designed to weather the severe New Hampshire winters and winds with ease
Castles must have towers, and this one has a lovely turret roof with plenty of windows. Each hand-shaped stone has 5 sides, crafted and assembled by a team of talented Italian stone masons who lived on site during construction.
Castles must have towers, and this one has a lovely turret roof with plenty of windows. Each hand-shaped stone has 5 sides, crafted and assembled by a team of talented Italian stone masons who lived on site during construction.
After parking your car in the visitor's lot near Castle Springs bottling plant, you take a short trolley ride to the Castle in the Clouds. The grounds have been maintained much as they were when the estate was built. The former stable is restored and
After parking your car in the visitor's lot near Castle Springs bottling plant, you take a short trolley ride to the Castle in the Clouds. The grounds have been maintained much as they were when the estate was built. The former stable is restored and
New Hampshire is known as The Granite State, and many huge outcroppings of the rugged stone appear in the mountainside, especially near cascading streams and waterfalls along the roadway that leads to the summit parking area.
New Hampshire is known as The Granite State, and many huge outcroppings of the rugged stone appear in the mountainside, especially near cascading streams and waterfalls along the roadway that leads to the summit parking area.
The ample front lawn and garden at Castle in the Clouds sit atop a sturdy constructed granite retaining wall that's at least 20 feet tall. Photographers will find plenty of unobstructed views to shoot pictures of the Ossippe Mountains, surrounding va
The ample front lawn and garden at Castle in the Clouds sit atop a sturdy constructed granite retaining wall that's at least 20 feet tall. Photographers will find plenty of unobstructed views to shoot pictures of the Ossippe Mountains, surrounding va
Stone features on the grounds are built from local native granite like this huge retaining wall and stairway that lead from the main garden to the driveway and lower grounds.
Stone features on the grounds are built from local native granite like this huge retaining wall and stairway that lead from the main garden to the driveway and lower grounds.
Pure spring water flows year round from the mountain at Castle in the Clouds. The water is so pure it's bottled and sold as Castle Springs mountain water.
Pure spring water flows year round from the mountain at Castle in the Clouds. The water is so pure it's bottled and sold as Castle Springs mountain water.
Castle in the Clouds is bright inside because of the many windows in each room offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes below.
Castle in the Clouds is bright inside because of the many windows in each room offering spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and lakes below.
Walking trails abound on the 5500 acres of conservation land that surround Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. Thirty miles of trails were constructed by Thomas Plant so that he and his wife could ride horseback throughout the grounds.
Walking trails abound on the 5500 acres of conservation land that surround Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. Thirty miles of trails were constructed by Thomas Plant so that he and his wife could ride horseback throughout the grounds.
Spectacular waterfalls from natural fresh water springs tumble down the mountain side and granite ledges on the Castle in the Clouds estate. Walkways and paths lead to these natural beauties - you can get up close and personal.
Spectacular waterfalls from natural fresh water springs tumble down the mountain side and granite ledges on the Castle in the Clouds estate. Walkways and paths lead to these natural beauties - you can get up close and personal.

Castle in the Clouds - From Ossippee Mountains to Lake Winnipesaukee

Thomas Plant named the estate Lucknow perhaps because he made his fortune quickly and it reflected his feelings of financial success at that moment. Thomas and his brother and business partner William actually were orphans who became self-made millionaires. Thomas built a highly successful shoe manufacturing business in Massachusetts; William invented and patented a machine that helped make the men wealthy and successful. Plant sold the business for $20 million dollars. He later he lost his wealth due to a series of financial misfortunes.

Construction of the arts and crafts style 16-room mansion, stable and other buildings took three years and one thousand workers. Stone masons and carpenters lived on site and worked on the structure from 1912 to 1914. The granite was blasted and quarried from the surrounding terrain and shaped by Italian stone masons. The five-sided granite stones were cut and shaped on site from local granite. Timbers were cut from local trees, then sent to the Bath, Maine shipworks to be hand-hewn and returned to the site by railroad, horse and wagon.

One room in the house was designed and built for Theodore Roosevelt, a friend of the Plants, who visited often. It's named the Roosevelt bedroom in his honor.

Vacation New England - New Hampshire is at the Heart of New England

Spectacular mountain waterfall on grounds of  New Hampshire's Castle of the Clouds
Spectacular mountain waterfall on grounds of New Hampshire's Castle of the Clouds | Source

"In the heart of New Hampshire, on the southern slope of the Ossipee Mountains, lies Lucknow, a magnificent estate of 6,300 acres, extending from the summit of the mountains to the north shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, and bordering the Lake for a mile and a half. The estate is composed of hundreds of acres of meadow and pasture land, but the greater part of the entire property is woodland. Through these and over the mountains, through the lowlands and along the Lake, run more than thirty miles of

— Thomas Plant

Lake Winnipesaukee View from Castle in the Clouds - Historic Landmark and Grounds Preserved Forever

The Lakes Region contains some of the most beautiful and threatened wildlife habitat and recreation resources in the northeastern United States. In 2003, following a 3-year campaign to raise private funds contributed by more than 2,000 donors for its acquisition and eternal preservation, the Lakes Region Conservation Trust made the final payment to purchase the historic Castle in the Clouds property.

The Castle in the Clouds is a landmark early 20th century estate comprised of a 5,500 acre parcel plus assorted structures and roadways. The Lakes Region Conservation Trust has acquired and preserved more than 17,000 acres of property in New Hampshire which includes shorelines, islands, wetlands, forests, and mountaintops, including more than eight miles of shore frontage on the Region's lakes and ponds.

New Hampshire's Lakes Region boasts several famous lakes including Sunapee, Squam and the state's largest body of water, Lake Winnipesaukee, located in the heart of the Granite State. Castle in the Clouds overlooks Lake Winnipesaukee. Views of the lake and surrounding forest areas are beautiful in all four seasons and most spectacular in the fall during the peak foliage time from late September to early October.

Milford, New Hampshire - Souhegan Mill

Souhegan River bridge view of old mills in Milford, NH
Souhegan River bridge view of old mills in Milford, NH | Source

Easy New Hampshire Hikes - Kid-Friendly and Dog-Friendly Hiking in New Hampshire

Hiking in New Hampshire is a year round activity. In winter there's plenty to explore either with snowshoes, cross country skiis or for the more adventurous, ice climbing gear.

In spring, summer and fall you can hike short or long trails to climb the tall peaks of the White Mountains or the less-challenging mountains in the Monadnock Region in the southwestern part of the Granite State.

Visit New Hampshire and Castle in the Clouds - The Granite State Offers Mountains, Cities, Seashore and More

New Hampshire is a state filled with wonderful attractions and majestic natural beauty. The state's different regions are diverse: from the Castle in the Clouds you can reach the seashore, mountains, farms and orchards plus hundreds of beautiful lakes and streams within an hour's drive. Boston is less than two hours away by automobile. Former Massachusetts Governer Mitt Romney owns a vacation home in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.

Castle in the Clouds - Interior Photographs - My photos of Lucknow, October 2005

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Exquisite stained glass panels in several rooms feature scenes from the grounds.Every window in the building offers spectacular views of the natural, peaceful lands surrounding the estate.Thomas Plant's office and desk.A unique fireplace with window above.A phone system to summon maids to any room.Plants private reading room, to which only he held a key, is secreted behind this low panel door.The stairway to the second floor winds slowly in a circular pattern with immense skylights above.This tower bedroom features unique wood flooring custom fit to the shape of the room.This spacious tiled bathroom is only one of many and features double sinks, a huge bathtub and unique multi-jet shower.Luxurious multi-jet shower.
Exquisite stained glass panels in several rooms feature scenes from the grounds.
Exquisite stained glass panels in several rooms feature scenes from the grounds.
Every window in the building offers spectacular views of the natural, peaceful lands surrounding the estate.
Every window in the building offers spectacular views of the natural, peaceful lands surrounding the estate.
Thomas Plant's office and desk.
Thomas Plant's office and desk.
A unique fireplace with window above.
A unique fireplace with window above.
A phone system to summon maids to any room.
A phone system to summon maids to any room.
Plants private reading room, to which only he held a key, is secreted behind this low panel door.
Plants private reading room, to which only he held a key, is secreted behind this low panel door.
The stairway to the second floor winds slowly in a circular pattern with immense skylights above.
The stairway to the second floor winds slowly in a circular pattern with immense skylights above.
This tower bedroom features unique wood flooring custom fit to the shape of the room.
This tower bedroom features unique wood flooring custom fit to the shape of the room.
This spacious tiled bathroom is only one of many and features double sinks, a huge bathtub and unique multi-jet shower.
This spacious tiled bathroom is only one of many and features double sinks, a huge bathtub and unique multi-jet shower.
Luxurious multi-jet shower.
Luxurious multi-jet shower.

From the castle grounds at Lucknow (Castle in the Clouds, New Hampshire) and from any window within this spectacular turn-of-the-century 16-room Arts & Crafts mansion, you can see breathtaking views of Lake Winnipesaukee, Ossippee and the White Mountains.

Castle in the Clouds sits in the center of 5500 acres of preserved forest land open to the public for hiking or birdwatching. The grounds are tranquil and natural. Our visit was in October on a rainy day but it was still beautiful on the mountain and inside the castle. Autumn leaves were spectacular that weekend, as they are most days from first frost until late October in New England. From the castle's many windows and on the garden grounds you can take in the beautiful foliage that abounds in central New Hampshire and the White Mountains. If you enjoy horseback riding, there are miles of groomed trails and a fully appointed stable available for hourly rentals.

In May, 2011, Castle in the Clouds was named one of the Granite State's greatest preservation achievements of the past 25 years by the New Hampshire. Preservation Alliance. For the past 25 years, the N.H. Preservation Alliance has been encouraging towns and organizations to preserve their old mills and town halls, to connect the present with the past and save it for the future.

Historic and beautiful Castle in the Clouds is available as a rental facility for weddings and other special events.

New Hampshire Tourism - One visit is not enough for most tourists to the Granite State

New Hampshire has it all - ocean front, clear freshwater lakes rivers and streams, mountains, valleys, farmland and vibrant cities. Southern New Hampshire is less than 1 hour from Boston and is a shopping mecca because there's no sales tax.

Have you visited New Hampshire, the Granite State?

How many times have you visited the Granite State?

See results

4 Season New Hampshire Video Tour

Exquisite location-rich video showcases New Hampshire from North to South, in all four seasons. Mountains, valleys, cities and towns, lakes and seacoast scenery.

Visit New Hampshire - Live Free or Die

New Hampshire is the best vacation state in New England

What more could a state offer: Live Free or Die, no sales tax (no income tax, either!), lots of clean air and water, and plenty of room to move around, great roads, scenic views and something for everyone - hiking, camping, skiing, fairs, crafts, fine arts, cultural events, great restaurants, farm stands and lots more.

Plus, New Hampshire is only 1 hour from Boston from any location in the southern half of the state and it's got four real seasons to enjoy some R & R.

New Hampshire is absolutely the best vacation spot in New England

Lakes Region, New Hampshire

Autumn foliage, Gilford NH bog
Autumn foliage, Gilford NH bog | Source

It's on the Map - Here's How to Find Castle in the Clouds

A marker455 Old Mountain Road, Moultonborough, NH -
455 Old Mountain Road, Moultonborough, NH
get directions

Funny New Hampshire Video

This is a parody of Jay-Z's New York State of Mind, done by SSP about the Granite State. As they say up there, it's wicked cool. There are classic and cool photos all through the video.

At the very end of the video you'll see a fly over aerial view of Lucknow (Castle in the Clouds) in winter. Have fun ... and yes, it's all true stuff!

New Hampshire Events - Annual Events Attract Visitors in Every Season

New Hampshire is a four-season vacation state, filled with fun events that attract visitors of all ages. Some events are more adult (for example, Bike Week) but many others are family-friendly affairs that the kids and Grandma will enjoy. There's something for everyone to enjoy at New Hampshire's annual fairs, festivals and sporting events.

If you don't live in New England but you decide to drive to New Hampshire for a visit Castle in the Clouds, you'll pass through at least one other New England state. Here's a list of events, attractions and special deals you might want to include in your trip.

Thanks for visiting - if you ever get a chance to visit New Hampshire, Castle in the Clouds is just one of hundreds of wonderful attractions in the central part of the state. Really, there's no income tax in New Hampshire - and no sales tax, either.

© 2009 Lee Hansen

Have you visited New Hampshire's Castle in the Clouds? - I've visited the Castle at least 3 times and I'll be going back again

Submit a Comment

  • Nancy Hardin profile image

    Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 2 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    A truly beautiful place. I loved learning about it and the lives of those who built it and lived there.

  • profile image

    ChocolateLily 3 years ago

    I've never been to New Hampshire, let alone the Castle in the Clouds, but it looks beautiful. I'd love to visit. Such a sad story about the family.

  • Infohouse profile image

    Infohouse 4 years ago

    I have never heard of Castle in the Clouds until now. Thank you for the lens. I love Craftsman architecture.

  • Michey LM profile image

    Michey LM 5 years ago

    Great info, I was just once in NH and I didn't know about the castle, so your lens educate me with a new place to visit in next trip. Blessings!

  • flycatcherrr profile image

    flycatcherrr 5 years ago

    What a gorgeous place - that view!

  • captainj88 profile image

    Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

    I made a trip through the White Mountains on my last solo vacation but never made it to the Castle. I have lived vicariously through your lens until I get there myself someday! Thanks :)

  • OhMe profile image

    Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

    New Hampshire's Castle in the Clouds looks beautiful. Maybe one day I will get to visit the beautiful state of New Hampshire. Thanks for this virtual tour.

  • profile image

    JoshK47 5 years ago

    Wow - this place looks absolutely beautiful. Thanks kindly for sharing. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    I've not been there yet! I've lived in Keene for 15 years -- it's amazing how you can always be a tourist in your own state for years!

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Enjoyed a trip to Lucknow (Castle in the Clouds) yesterday for their second Christmas open house. The estate was decorated for the holiday. It is a beautiful place and beautiful weather.I would like to plan a trip in the summer as well.

  • profile image

    AlleyCatLane 6 years ago

    Looks like a gorgeous place. I loved to visit one day. Your lens was very informative and well written. Blessed.

  • lesliesinclair profile image

    lesliesinclair 6 years ago

    no, but it looks splendid to me. It reminds me of a mansion in which i was a pantry-maid (served m'lady's meals in her ballroom sized dining room) while in college, in Reno

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    visited there as a kid and got this mini orange football when I was there. I loved that football. The football is long gone so another trip may be needed. Hope they still have them.

  • ChrisDay LM profile image

    ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

    It looks lovely - beautifully showcased.

  • mbgphoto profile image

    Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

    Lots of great information. blessed

  • Blackspaniel1 profile image

    Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

    Great lens.

  • paperfacets profile image

    Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

    Some day I may see this.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    My great great grandfather was a blacksmih at castle in the clouds NH

  • Virginia Allain profile image

    Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

    I visited Castle in the Clouds last week (second time) and took lots of photos. So scenic and interesting. You saved me the trouble of making a lens about it.

    Sure wish we could have lunched on the patio. It was jammed and the view and food looked great.

  • lasertek lm profile image

    lasertek lm 7 years ago

    I haven't visited this place but would loved to. The castle is cozy and the place is just so wonderful. Lovely pictures!

  • mich1908 profile image

    mich1908 7 years ago

    It looked so lovely. Wish I have the chance to visit someday. I loved the photos. Thanks.

  • profile image

    WebSpinstress 7 years ago

    Adding it to my list of future weekend trips to take when we can stop the little grabby hands from knocking over a lamp or two. The Lakes Region is gorgeous though and you've captured some beautiful photos to share! :-)

  • profile image

    southshoretees 7 years ago

    This place looks amazing. I usually stay in Vermont when I head north, but the middle region of NH is a favorite (North Conway, Mt. Washington, Franconia Notch). Well done!

  • dustytoes profile image

    dustytoes 7 years ago

    I am linking this lens on my new Ruggles Mine lens.

  • profile image

    anonymous 8 years ago

    I worked there for 15 years and still go back to visit.

  • profile image

    anonymous 8 years ago

    I have been there a long time ago,, When I went we were able to go to the castle by horseback it was very nice,,,, Would love to do it again.. but I don't think they do horse back anymore.

  • dustytoes profile image

    dustytoes 8 years ago

    I have never visited it, but I love to go up to the lakes region and maybe I will stop there one day. Nice lens! I'm lensrolling to my New England foliage lens.

  • SandyMertens profile image

    Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

    Beautiful lens.

  • profile image

    julieannbrady 8 years ago

    Gosh, I sure would LOVE to visit New Hampshire's Castle in the Clouds!

  • TopStyleTravel profile image

    TopStyleTravel 8 years ago

    This place is so lovely, like something out of a storybook. Castles are my favorites. No, never been there, but will add this to my list. This is a great resource for travelers. Congrats on the Top 100! Thanks for sharing.

  • profile image

    anonymous 8 years ago

    I live also in Hampshire but in the UK.

  • profile image

    enslavedbyfaeries 8 years ago

    Wow, what a view of Lake Winnipesaukee, beautiful!!

  • profile image

    anonymous 8 years ago

    How cool is that private reading room? What an awesome place. You really took great pictures too, I felt like was there. Incredible lens! I found this on the List a Lens a Day group. Pretty neat-o! If it wasn't for you I would have never known Squidoo Marketing existed. Thank you for that.

  • Linda BookLady profile image

    Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

    Wonderful... beautiful place! I wish I lived close enough to visit it. 5*, blessed!

  • verymary profile image

    Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

    Have not yet been to New Hampshire, but love these photos! 5*****

  • profile image

    GrowWear 8 years ago

    Never have, but it is definitely something I would do if in the area. :D

  • AlisonMeacham profile image

    AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

    It looks amazing - the shower looks a little scary though!

  • CrypticFragment1 profile image

    Tammy Winand 8 years ago from McleodGanj HP India

    hmmm...nope, I never heard of it before! looks lovely tho

  • EpicFarms profile image

    EpicFarms 8 years ago

    No, I've never visited but it sure looks fascinating! Nice job :o)

  • Heather426 profile image

    Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

    No, but it looks so nice I would love to! Thanks for sharing, beautiful~

  • Holley Web profile image

    Holley Web 8 years ago

    Beautiful photos! I learned alot too! Really? No income tax? Wow!