Artist builds 12,000sq ft CASTLE with dungeon, drawbridge and moat complete with Spanish galleon… in the middle of a Florida swamp
- Howard Soloman built his three-storey, 12000 sq ft castle by hand
- It has its own bell tower, dungeon, drawbridge and a moat
- Castle also has 90 stained glass windows created by Mr Soloman
Artist Mr Soloman, 78, built his three-storey, 12000 sq ft castle by hand, complete with its own bell tower, dungeon, drawbridge and a moat. The remarkable building also boasts an east and a west wing, five bedrooms and four bathrooms. It features up to 90 stained glass windows – all lovingly designed and created by Mr Soloman.
The castle even has it’s own moat with a replica of the Spanish Galleon which Mr Soloman, from New York City has turned into a 250-seat restaurant called the Boat in the Moat. The great-grandfather began work on his unique home when he moved to Ona, Florida in 1972 and purchased some land to build a house for his wife Peggy, 68 and their five children. He had planned to build a conventional home until he realised there was a swamp on the land and so decided to build something high to prevent his home being destroyed by potential floods. He has now spent over 12 years building the castle where he now lives with his wife Peggy. His daughter Julie also lives in a house on the castle’s 100 acre grounds. Their unique home has generated so much interest they regularly open their home to the public. Guests can enjoy a meal at the castles 250-seater restaurant or spend a night in a room in the castle’s east tower for $100 per night.
The castle also proved to be the perfect venue for his great-daughter Julie’s fairytale wedding and they now open it up for other weddings and events. Mr Soloman said: ‘I’ve always been good with my hands, I started wood carving when I was four, metal carving when I was a teenager. I spent time in the construction industry when I left the military at 21. ‘Everything I know was self-taught. ‘When I found out the land I bought had a swamp on it so I decided I had to build something tall. ‘It took me a about 12 years on and off and I spent a further four years building a ship in the castle moat. ‘The ship is a replica of the Spanish Galleon which is a 250 a seater restaurant called the Boat in the Moat. ‘When I first started building the castle people thought I was mad. They thought I was this strange New Yorker who came here to build a castle on a swamp. ‘There were all sorts of rumours, some said I was going to start a nudist camp. People wouldn’t let their children come over to play with mine because they thought I was this strange man. ‘But after over forty years here the local community have accepted me. ‘It was very gratifying to see the castle when it was finished and see what I had achieved. ‘I’ve now turned my home into a business, we have events here such as car shows and weddings and people can come eat in our restaurant or stay here. ‘My love is working with my hands and so i’m very fortunate to be able to make a living doing something I love.’ Read more: New-Yorker-builds-12-000sq-ft-CASTLE-dungeon-drawbridge-moat-complete-Spanish-galleon-k