Baltzley Castle in Bethesda Is Waiting for a New Royal Resident

An 1890s castle that had fallen into ruin is completely renovated and back on the market for $3.9 million.

Located in Bethesda, MD, Baltzley Castle was built as a grand mansion in the Glen Echo area of the city. It was considered a modern marvel in the 19th century. The castle boasted hot and cold running water and electricity before the White House, says a profile of the property in Bethesda Magazine.

“It was as modern and as up to date as it could be in the 1890s,” says Richard Cook, who has studied the history of Glen Echo. It was built by the Baltzley brothers, one of whom parlayed his invention of the spatterless eggbeater into the purchase of 500 acres of land in the area.

Baltzley Castle
Front exterior(

Now sited on a half-acre of land, the castle fell on hard times and became a speak-easy during Prohibition and a bachelor pad during World War II. By 2011, it was decrepit. The red slate roof leaked, ceilings had caved in, floor joists had rotted, and raccoons and possums had taken up residence.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and a local builder bought the property for $1.16 million in 2011 and went to work lovingly restoring the 16-room stone house. It features five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms and hit the market in 2016 with a list price of $4.45 million.

The listing says the 9,000-square-foot house with four finished levels features “breathtaking scenic vistas of the Potomac River. Highest quality materials (and) expert workmanship.” Now it needs a royal resident.

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Bethesda, MD
  • Learn more about Bethesda, MD

You Can Become Ruler of Denning Castle

This royal domain in Graham, WA, is waiting for a regal buyer to ascend the throne and claim the castle. In our travels across the country, we’ve seen a number of castles for sale, or at least houses that look like castles.

But few include an actual moat and village to rule over. This castle comes with more than just two bedrooms and 2.5 baths—other medieval touches include swords, armor, even a 1,000-square-foot dungeon that isn’t factored into the 1,700 square feet of living space. Bonus: The wine cellar comes fully stocked.

The castle’s website says owner Ron Denning was inspired by his visits to over 200 European castles. However, Denning said, “I saw so many castles that I couldn’t copy them all!” After returning from Europe, he decided to make his childhood dream of being a knight a reality.

One castle was crucial to Denning’s plan: Neuschwanstein, built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. (Fact: Neuschwanstein also inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.) Both Denning and Ludwig were dreamers whose castles were their labors of love. While Denning didn’t have a king’s ransom to pour into his project, his attention to detail and the eight years he spent perfecting his vision would probably earn him a royal commendation.

Denning Castle comes with more than enough wine and ale for any royal feast.
Denning Castle comes with more than enough wine and ale for any royal feast.(VHT Studios)

Neuschwanstein Castle is the first of the two hundred castles that inspired Ron Denning.
Neuschwanstein Castle served as a primary inspiration.(Wikimedia Commons)

Most of Denning’s collection of medieval artifacts and reproductions will stay with the property. Many of these pieces (one suit of armor was forged in Spain) would be difficult to procure. “Some of these things are considered state treasures now,” Denning says of his collection.

Cozy up by the fire wth your own collection of medieval teasures.
Get cozy by the fire with your personal collection of medieval treasures.(VHT Studios)

The adjoining village, including a blacksmith shop, isn’t technically habitable, but any peasant (or potential buyer) would be impressed by the fact that these outbuildings have electricity and heat.

Ye olde storage shedde village.
Ye olde storage shedde village(

The property is one of a kind, but there’s more than one path a new owner could blaze on the property. It’s already been the set of a few indie movies and the venue for some not-quite-royal weddings.

The property has a lot of potential, listing agent Wes Jones says. “We’ve got a lot of great local wineries and distilleries, so this could be a unique tasting room.” Other options include turning the property into a bed-and-breakfast or corporate retreat for “Game of Thrones” fans wanting to live it up like true Lannisters. After all, winter is coming.

  • For more photos and details, check out the full listing.
  • Homes for sale in Graham, WA
  • Learn more about Graham, WA

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