Get Outta Town: Bishop Castle in Rye

by Patty Templeton

Roadside America is a place of tall tales, gritty splendor, and people who created champagne lives on beer budgets. Jim Bishop ain’t no different. In 1959, at 15 years old, Bishop bought two and a half acres of land on the edge of the San Isabel National Forest. When he got married 10 years later, Bishop started building a cottage for his bride. That cottage kept growing. It’s now a full-on, fantasy of a medieval castle.

Everything on the property has been hand built by Bishop. He cut down trees, milled the lumber, gathered the stones, did the masonry, created arches from railroad ties, stacked spires, welded the ironwork for the house frame, windows, and bridges. The man was on a mission to build and be king of his own castle. Forty years in, he just hasn’t stopped building yet.

Along the way, he’s gathered a following because Bishop Castle is free and always open for the public to cruise through.

If you’re looking for a whimsical roadside stop with donation-bucket entry that demonstrates the determination of what one person can create, get your ass over to Bishop Castle, 12705 State Highway 165, Rye. Deets at

Patty Templeton


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