Always Wanted To Visit A Castle? Illinois Has 7 Of Them
As a fan of the castle concept, it's pretty cool knowing that Illinois has that many. It's even cooler to know that several of those castles are surprisingly close to Rockford.
So forget about going to Europe to indulge your castle-visiting fantasies (it's expensive, and they talk funny over there), let's check out what you can see here in Illinois in far less time and for a lot less expense.
The Closest Castle To Rockford Is About 30 Miles Away, Just North Of Oregon
That would be Stronghold Castle, or as it's now called, Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center. Built in 1928 by the owner/publisher of the Chicago Daily News, Walter Strong, Stronghold Castle boasts, according to the City of Oregon website, "sixteen bedrooms, nine baths, eight fireplaces, four secret passages, and a 55 by 34 foot “Great Hall” with a 34 foot ceiling. In addition, the grounds include a swimming pool and tennis court."
The Next Closest Castle To Rockford Only Takes A Quick Drive To Harvard
It's pretty cool that you could leave Rockford and easily visit two castles in a single day. After (or before) visiting Stronghold, head to Harvard and take a look at (or perhaps spend the night) at Ravenstone Castle Bed and Breakfast. According to their website, "In 2001, Jose and Rose Michel broke ground on their dream home - a castle in the 16th century style. Truly making the house their own, Rose designed each room, arch and turret."
When You Look At A Map, None Of Illinois' Castles Are Very Far From The Rockford Area
Some of the other castles (in a couple of cases, "castle" would be better) inside Illinois' borders include:
Cook Hall Castle on the grounds of Illinois State University in Normal.
Altgeld Hall Castle at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb
Wayne Dunham Castle in Wayne, Illinois
The Water Tower in Chicago
Bettendorf Castle in Fox River Grove, Illinois