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The famous castle in Cornwall, Conn., will be a stop on this year’s garden tour to benefit the Cornwall Library on June 18. Photo submitted

A Garden Tour That Includes Cornwall’s Castle


Hidden away in the lovely Coltsfoot Valley of Cornwall, Conn., is an 18-room stone castle built in the early 1920s by an eccentric and wealthy Manhattanite named Charlotte Martin.

Although it is not a castle in the way that ancient buildings in Europe are castles (no nobility ever lived here and the building was never the site of a siege), the history of the property is as full of romance and drama as any historic edifice.

Coltsfoot Valley resident Jeff Jacobson wrote a book about the history of the property in 2015, and called it, “A Cornwall Love Story.” There are also many stories about the Cornwall Castle, as it is known, at the online archive of The Lakeville Journal (http://scoville.advantage-preservation.com).

The castle had been allowed to fall into significant decay by a recent owner, a New York City financier who was often in the news. It was recently given a complete and gorgeous overhaul by new owner Russell Bannon, who gave a similar makeover to the former county jail on the Green in Litchfield.

The exquisitely buffed 256-plus acre property is now for sale through the Klemm Real Estate agency. You can see photos at www.klemmrealestate.com/pages/rPropertyDetails.php?2579.

Or you can make an actual visit to the castle grounds on Saturday, June 18, and support the Cornwall Library. The castle is one of four properties open to the public for this year’s Books and Blooms: Country Gardens benefit weekend.

Kicking off the two-day event is a talk by famed gardener and author (and Litchfield County, Conn., resident) Page Dickey, who will give a talk on Friday, June 17, at 6 p.m. called “Bringing Meadows into the Garden”  at the UCC Meetinghouse in Cornwall Village (8 Bolton Hill Road), around the corner from the library. There will also be a cocktail reception.

Maps of the garden will become available that day between noon and 6 p.m. The gardens are open for visitors starting Saturday at 10 a.m.

Tickets are $30 for the talk, $30 for the garden tour or $50 for both.

Register and purchase tickets online at https://cornwalllibrary.org/books-blooms-2022, contact the library at 860-672-6874, or stop by.  The library’s annual Under the Tent book sale will begin May 28 and continue to June 5.

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