The “castle” is located in the San Isabel National Forest, southwest of Pueblo, Colorado. Bishop Castle is an “elaborate and intricate” “one-man project” named after its constructor, Jim Bishop, that has become a roadside attraction in central Colorado.
Bishop bought the land when he was 15, and construction on what was originally intended to be a family project to build a cottage started in 1969. After Bishop surrounded the cottage with rocks, several neighbors noted that the structure looked something like a castle. Bishop took this into consideration and soon began building his castle.
In order to pursue the totality of what he could visualize, Jim employed anything and everything that was available to him. He had apprenticed and then mastered with his father in the family’s Bishop Ornamental Iron shop welding and scroll bending and learning how things fit together for most of his life. Jim did everything, hauling rock from the state highway ditches, felling timber and then milling it into lumber, building railroad ties into forms for his arches, building scaffolding as he went.
He hand dug holes up to 12 feet deep for the foundations, mixed all his own mortar, carried it, usually up, to wherever he was working, created and rigged complex systems of pulleys and come-alongs to hoist such things as tree trunks for the floor supports, and stone by stone his dreams were being made manifest. Jim handles each and every stone in the castle on average of six times before it rests in it’s final configuration in this massive re-organizing of the scattered granite in the Rocky Mountains into the form of the Bishop Castle.