Newman's Castle- Bellville TX

"Using one stone at a time, you can build your own dream". Mike Newman

photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


A medieval castle in rural Texas?


Not quite what you would expect! But Texas isn't an ordinary state and it is often filled with unexpected surprises: The Beer Can House in Houston, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, and Newman's Castle in Bellville.


As you turn into the road that leads to Mike Newman's private residence, nothing prepares you for what you will encounter: A medieval castle complete with a working drawbridge, a moat, a catapult and a 62 ft. high bell tower with a 1200 ton cast-iron church bell that Mike picked up from an old church in Wisconsin. The castle also has an 18 ft. wall with corner turrets reaching 24 ft.


Mike Newman is a baker whose Newman's Bakery in Bellville is a fixture for the community and visitors alike. It's where you go to book a tour of the castle and receive the castle's location upon your ticket purchase.


What distinguishes this castle from many others is that Mike built it single-handedly with just one helper. As he shared on the tour "there aren't that many castle contractors around"! It took him eight years to complete, from 1998-2006 and he claims "it's more fun to build a castle than a cabin" which was what he initially thought he would build.


"I knew if I wanted it built, I would have to learn to build it myself."


His motive? He wanted to build something that would make him smile, and make others happy.


The design was born purely out of his imagination and influenced by his trips to Europe where he visited medieval castles.


The property sits on 20 acres of land and is made entirely out of cinder blocks.

Mike built it using rope, pulleys and scaffolding, and speaks proudly about his accomplishment, imagining himself to be a knight straight out of ancient tales. To complete the real-life fantasy project, he created his own family crest.


photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


The image of the knight is from a picture he saw of a classic knight wearing a chain headdress. The letter N represents Newman and the cross is the symbol of Christianity. As Mike explained during the tour, he repurposed the family crest to reflect the knight as a new man: Newman, as in, a new man in Christ.


Initially, the castle's flag was intended to represent a maritime signal that was raised when the knight/ lord was in residence. It was sewed by a group of ladies in Bellville but the fabric didn't withstand the elements beyond four months. When it was time to replace it, Mike chose a Scottish flag, reinforcing the medieval character and influence of the building


photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


A noticeable feature of the castle is the keep, which is traditionally a castle's central tower, used in the Middle Ages as a fortress.


photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


Inside, the castle has a large dining hall, a dungeon, a tower and a chapel.


The 3000 lb. drawbridge was redesigned over a dozen times, until it worked, using a simple hand operated mechanism , intended to keep marauder's at bay!

photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


Mike is also a bee keeper and his honey is sold at the castle and the bakery.


photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


The catapult can shoot big rocks 100 yards away.


photo credit: Hadia Mawlawi


Next time you want to explore Texas, visit Newman's Castle. You won't be disappointed, moat, dungeon and all!


 

To make a tour reservation call Newman Bakery: 979- 865 9804

Tours are available six days a week and last 1 1/2 hours- 2 hours including lunch, donuts and cookies.


Newman Bakery is located at 504 E. Main Street, Bellville, TX 77418.


 

Additional resources

http://newmanscastle.com/tours/

https://www.discoverbellville.com/

https://www.wideopencountry.com/castles-of-texas/amp/

https://newmanscastle.com/castle/



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