Windham local Shannon DiPietro takes time to interview Shaun DeLorey, Vice-President of NHC Events at Searles Castle. Shaun and Shannon chat about the history of Searles Castle and its original owner Edward Searles. Edward Searles built the castle in the early 1900’s as a private residence and a place to store artwork, antiques, and furniture. Construction of the castle started in 1905 and was completed in 1915. One of the shining pieces of the castle are the interior doors. These doors were originally used as a side entrance to Windsor Castle in England. Searles liked the doors so much, he designed the entire interior of the castle around the doors.
Another key feature of Searles Castle is the fireplace in the foyer. The fireplace is hand-carved marble inlaid with pure gold leaf and was originally in the great hall of the Palace of Tuileries in France. The last occupant of the palace was Napoleon, therefore this fireplace is dubbed the “Napoleon Fireplace.” While the fireplace was in transport from France to New York, the ship carrying the fireplace sank in the Hudson River. It took two years to retrieve the fireplace.
The fireplaces within the castle have dates carved in various locations indicating the times when that particular part of the building was completed. Napoleon’s Fireplace has a date of 1660, making it over 350 years old.
Searles Castle is a private event venue, specializing in weddings. Even though the castle is not open to the public, we do host some public events, Valentine’s Day Dinner and Mothers Day Brunch are very popular, with tickets selling out fast.