Friday, February 18, 2011

Olde Stonewall Castle

Who would've thought a castle was in your own backyard? More like an hour away, but close to home nonetheless.

The clan and I ventured to Ellwood City, PA to Olde Stonewall Castle and Shakespeare's Restaurant and Pub over Valentine's Day weekend. As if this historical author would pass up an opportunity to wander around a castle!

Sitting upon 269 acres and actually known for its golf course, Olde Stonewall was rated as one of the top 50 places to play golf in the USA. For me, the only interest I have in the sport is the miniature kind. I don't think dunking the ball into the treasure chest would quite fit in here.

Imposing wooden doors that are 12-feet high and weigh 800 pounds have matching intertwined gargoyle door handles. Once you enter the fortress, a 6-foot knight-in-shining-armor greets you in the entryway. Envisioning yourself in the 16th century, clouds are depicted upon the ceilings with medieval chandeliers casting their mystical glow. The owner has antiques displayed in corner nooks and along the walls, mostly which are imported from Spain.

Shakespeare's Restaurant and Pub has a delightful medieval theme. The waiters and waitresses dress in peasant tops--although no kilts are donned--to add to the European atmosphere. Hanging in the main dining room, chandeliers were recovered from former churches in the Pittsburgh area and restored. The food is outstanding and the choices vary from sandwiches to prime rib and lobster. The price fits anyone's budget.

The elevator takes you to the second floor which also boasts several antique rugs and medieval weaponry. Period pictures are also displayed in several additional banquet rooms.

Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to roam outdoors due to the weather, but there is a 20-foot oval water fountain and a flower garden in the back of the castle. We will definitely be returning in the summer months to enjoy the outdoors.

When Scotland is so far away, why not enjoy a Sunday drive to a castle that's so close to home?


  1. What an awesome place! You are so lucky it's so close to you. The pics are great. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  2. Neat post, Victoria. The closest I can come to this is to go to the Philadelphia Art Museum where they have rebuilt part of a Medieval castle complete with weapons, etc. But there's no prime rib, that's for sure! Cafeteria sandwiches, anyone? I think I like your castle.

  3. What a great place. Sounds like a good fix when a visit to a European castle isn't possible. Bet you'll be back to see it in summer!

  4. What fun, Victoria! I would love to visit here since it's going to be a long time before I get to Scotland. My husband's aunt had a castle/house in Birmingham, AL that was built to resemble some castle in England. It was so cool, but now she's sold it.

  5. Wow Victoria! I had no idea about this place! Thanks for sharing, I'm going to habve to visit there.

  6. Since all of you are castle junkies like me, I think you would enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. It is an awesome place. So happy you enjoyed your time there. My young sons and I did a daytrip driving there today to document the structure and architecture in b/w film. The last time we visited it was not open and my oldest son was only 3 weeks old. He is almost 12. What a great opportunity to pay tribute to my late husband, Bill also heritage Scottsman and one of the 5 Bricklayers who built the structure with AER the Union contracted company. The finished structure is amazingly beautiful with great attention to detail! Worth the drive from east burbs of Pittsburgh.
    Mary Beth Karchella-MacCumbee

  8. Mary Beth, thank you so much for your comment. You're right. The finished structure is beautiful and within driving distance which makes it even better. I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip and what wonderful memories to make with your sons. Thanks for sharing.