Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs


With 95 rooms and 750 breathtaking acres of land, Glen Eyrie offers a haven where visitors can relax, unwind, and spend time in a secure environment. Glen Eyrie Castle offers a distinctive visitor experience that creates the conditions for everyone to learn, grow, and change.

History of Glen Eyrie Castle

Founding of Glen Eyrie Castle

General William Jackson Palmer, who founded Colorado Springs, erected Glen Eyrie, a castle in the English Tudor style, in 1871. The castle has 17 guest rooms, including the Castle Great Hall (2200 square feet, which can accommodate 240 people), 12 Deluxe guest rooms, and 5 Premier guest rooms. There are also 7 meeting rooms and 2 dining rooms (the Castle King James Hall has seating for 180 people and the Castle Music & Library rooms for seating for up to 58 people).

This home, which is close to Colorado Springs in the northwest foothills just north of the Garden of the Gods rock formations, was his and his wife’s dream residence (now a city park). Palmer and his wife Mary “Queen” Mellen first constructed a sizable carriage house where the family temporarily resided before constructing a 22-room frame house on the 800-acre (3.2 km2) estate. This house underwent renovations in 1881 to add a tower and more rooms, and in 1903 it was transformed into a stone castle resembling those found in England.

In November 1871, Queen Palmer, then age 21, inaugurated Colorado Springs’ first public school. Elsie, Dorothy, and Marjory were the three daughters of the Palmer family.

Mrs. Palmer was advised to relocate to a lower elevation after experiencing a mild heart attack in 1880. General Palmer made as many trips as he could to see her and the girls after they relocated to the East Coast and then England. On December 27, 1894, Queen passed away at the age of 44. General Palmer traveled to England in mourning in order to bring Mrs. Palmer’s remains and the girls back to Colorado Springs. At that time, they made the decision to demolish their house and rebuild the 33,000 square foot castle in memory of his wife who loved the feel of a castle home.

History of Glen Eyrie Castle’s owners

William Jackson Palmer called Glen Eyrie, which was established in 1871, home. Palmer founded Colorado Springs, served as president of The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad during the Civil War, and was a Brigadier General in the Union Army. Glen Eyrie served as the residence for Palmer and his wife Mary “Queen” Mellen. They had Elsie, Dorothy, and Marjorie as their three daughters.

The Palmer sisters neglected the estate for a number of years before finally selling it after General Palmer passed away in 1909, three years after becoming paralyzed in a horse-riding accident. The estate went through several owners. George Strake, an oil tycoon from Texas, bought the property in 1938.

Renovations and additions of Glen Eyrie Castle

Palmer retired from active business in 1901 after selling the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. He then undertook extensive renovations at Glen Eyrie, turning the home into a stone castle with more than twenty fireplaces and 67 rooms.

With the exception of a new kitchen and the removal of the bowling alley to make room for a dining area, the main Glen Eyrie castle has remained largely unchanged.

Glen Eyrie Castle’s current state

Credit : Pinterest

The creator of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, constructed Glen Eyrie, a castle in the English Tudor style. The castle has 24 fireplaces, 4 meeting rooms, 2 dining rooms, and 17 guest rooms. A primitive intercom system and a two-chimney system controlled by a lever that would direct the smoke based on the direction the wind was blowing to remove the smoke from the valley are just two of the advanced features found in the castle that were unique for its time. Additionally, there were fire hose stations located all over the castle in case of fires. The National Register of Historic Places lists Glen Eyrie.

inside the castle, the tea room. The Navigators are the current owners of the castle. It can be rented for private programs and is available for public tours and events.

English and Victorian teas are served every day of the week at the castle, and beginning after Thanksgiving, Christmas Madrigal Banquets are also held there. Additionally, Glen Eyrie hosts family conferences, men’s, women’s, and marriage retreats.

The risk of flash floods increased after the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire due to Glen Eyrie’s location at the foot of Queen’s Canyon. The Queen’s Canyon vegetation was destroyed, but the Glen Eyrie grounds sustained no damage. Two debris nets and a deeper, wider creek bed that is reinforced with concrete and cinder blocks have since been installed as part of a $1,000,000 flood mitigation project, allowing water to flow through Glen Eyrie’s grounds at a rate of 2,000 cubic feet per second.

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Design and Architecture of Glen Eyrie Castle

Exterior features and design

Glen Eyrie, a 33,000-square-foot building, was created by engineer Edmond Van Dienst and architect Frederick J. Sterner.

Credit : Pinterest

The nearly 50-acre complex’s evolving design was influenced by Colorado’s top architects Sterner and Thomas MacLaren. The district’s other notable structures include a gatekeeper’s residence, a schoolhouse, a sizable carriage house, two power plants, a gardener’s residence, a dairy, a granary, and numerous still-existing historic landscape elements like bridges and a rose garden. The historic district, which was initially included in the National Register in 1975, was enlarged in 2016 to include new construction that Palmer ordered to complete his self-sufficient estate.

Interior features and design

Credit : Pinterest

Book Hall

The restored Glen Eyrie castle’s Book Hall, which had a capacity for 300 people and a balcony where an orchestra could perform, was the biggest and most impressive room.

Quick Points :

What is Glen Eyrie famous for?

  • The creator of Colorado Springs, General William Jackson Palmer, constructed the castle-like Glen Eyrie in the English Tudor style.

Is Glen Eyrie Castle religious?

  • The group acquired the Glen Eyrie estate in September 1953. The Navigators’ main office has been in Glen Eyrie since 1953. It is a retreat and conference center for Christians. Each year, they welcome 46,000 tourists and offer over 350 events.

Who built Glen Eyrie Castle?

  • William Jackson Palmer, the general

How big is Glen Eyrie Castle?

  • 3,300 square feet

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