A Fairytale Setting in the Heart of North Carolina
A Step Into the Past: A Brief History of Castle McCulloch
In the early 1830's in Jamestown NC, industry was booming. Charles T. McCulloch, a planter and entrepreneur from South Carolina, saw the need for a central mining facility, and with this realization came the birth of what is now Castle McCulloch. In 1831, McCulloch hired Elizier Kersey to supervise the construction of the mill, and by 1832 it was in operation. There is little information available about McCulloch beyond the fact that he may have purchased the land from either Robert W. Hodson or Andrew Lindsay. In 1848, McCulloch sold the mill to Cornish mining engineer John C. Gluyas, who then sold it in 1855 to Central Gold and Copper Company of Norfolk. It is uncertain if either subsequent owner operated the mill, and records are incomplete due to the destruction by fire of the fifth Guilford County Courthouse in 1872.
The site was purchased next by William Ragsdale and held by his widow, Mary Ragsdale, who then donated the property to Preservation North Carolina. In the 1980's, the property was purchased by its current owner, Richard Harris, who restored the property with the goal of maintaining the site's original configuration. Using photographs from the early 1900's for reference, Harris replaced missing lintel stones with matching stones from a nearby quarry, as well as restoring the engine house, dams, and bridge to the upper floor. Although the dams were reconstructed using concrete, he made sure that they were covered in stone to ensure that they did not have a "modern appearance."
In addition to reconstruction efforts, the grounds have been updated to include a moat around the main building, stone steps and pathways, as well as a wooden addition which houses a modern kitchen.
The Castle Now: An Elegant Event Space
Boasting over 7,000 feet of functional interior space (plus additional outdoor patio space!), Castle McCulloch offers a unique opportunity to capture the historic beauty of this expansive property with three separate locations - the Great Hall, the Queen's Chambers, and the Crystal Garden. Read on to get to know a little bit about more about Castle McCulloch and all it has to offer in a Q & A session!
Who currently owns and runs the facility?
Mr. Richard Harris owns the castle, and John Range is the General Manager for the facilities.
When, why, and how was the property converted into a wedding and event venue?
The castle was converted into an event space around 1984. Having grown up playing in the forest that housed what then remained of the castle, Richard Harris dreamed of going on to one day own and restore the property.
How much money was invested in the updates to the property?
Approximately $600,000.00 was invested in the updating and restoration of the castle.
What is the maximum number of people you can host a wedding with?
Approximately 300 - 350 people. Castle McCulloch has spaces available for weddings and events of all sizes, large or intimate.
What are the typical wedding costs?
The cost of hosting a wedding at Castle McCulloch varies widely depending on the number of guests, the time of day, the day of the week, and whether the date is in or out of peak season. The most sought after dates are Saturday nights in the spring or fall, so an event during this time frame would be approximately $4,500.00 for between 50-75 guests.
How many weddings do you host per year?
The Castle hosts, on average, approximately 200 events, with 80% of those being weddings.
Why do you think people are attracted to historic venues for weddings? What makes Castle McCulloch unique from other venues?
Originally constructed in 1832, Castle McCulloch not only boasts a rich history, but also singular spaces that provide true fairytale backdrops for a unique wedding day! Listed on the National Historic Monument Registry, this beautiful castle was modeled after the elegant structures of Europe. The striking architecture of Castle McCulloch makes it a magnificent backdrop for the exchanging of vows, or dancing the night away! Make your grand entrance into the Great Hall by entering through massive wooden doors or descending down an epic staircase, accented by an intricate iron balustrade. The stone walls, exposed oak beams, cathedral ceilings, and pointed arch glass windows help emphasize the castle-like atmosphere. Decorative details like wrought iron chandeliers, sumptuous tapestries, and expansive mirrors help make your wedding day into a truly royal occasion. The finely manicured grounds, complete with a sparkling lake and mature trees, provide ample space for taking lovely wedding photos, with the Castle's unique facade hovering in the background to give each photo a whimsical feel.
With a separate entrance on the lower level of the castle's Great Hall, The Queen's Chambers consists of two rooms, an inner and outer chamber, which open into each other. Warm and intimate, they are perfect for a variety of functions. The Queen's Chambers boasts beautiful high beamed ceilings, intricately leaded glass window panes, slate floors, and a pair of elegant, large bay windows that look out onto the sparkling lake.
Rising on the hillside and overlooking the castle, you'll find the Crystal Garden. Beveled leaded-glass walls are ornately accented with grecian columns, french doors, and a surrounding terrace. Beautiful by day and dazzling by night, this intricately detailed structure features an incredibly styled and sized (40 ft.) crystal chandelier - becoming the focal point of this ballroom with an unusual yet elegant suspended canopy ceiling!
Outside the Crystal Garden, guests will be able to stroll along an elevated veranda or out onto the cement footpaths to enjoy the stunning views across the valley and our immaculately landscaped grounds. The hillside terrace, which is seasonally tented, provides a secluded area perfect for outdoor meetings and special occasions.