Being the lord and lady of a castle definitely scores high on the cool-o-meter, but getting your hand on one of those imposing properties can be a tad difficult. For one thing, there are not too many of them and, for another, most castles tend to like to reside in Europe. Even if you find one and you’re willing to move across the Pond, it’s still going to cost you a bundle.
Wanna-be lairds are in luck, however, because right smack in Brevard County, in Rockledge in fact, sits an impressive castle. Moreover, it’s available and — even better — owning it will only set you back under $400,000, which although not spare change, is only a fraction of what those European castles could exact from your bank account.
“It’s truly a unique property,” said DeWayne Carpenter of DeWayne Clyde Carpenter/Kirk Kessel Homeselling Team of Dale Sorensen Real Estate. The firm is listing the property for $399,000.
As far as castles go, the Rockledge Castle — or as the locals know it, The Castle — is a youngster. The architecturally significant historic home was built in 1925 by Richard Rummell and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
It’s also super neat, with its round two-story tower, turrets and parapets so you can effectively defend your domain should somebody ever decide to invade Rockledge.
Some castles are cold, damp and drafty. Not so at the Rockledge Castle, which is bright and sunny and with a plethora of amenities.
Located in Rockledge’s Valencia Historic District, The Castle brims with history and tradition, for the Valencia neighborhood dates back to the Florida Land Boom of the 1920s. The community is named after the type of oranges that grew in the 22-acre tract of land where the subdivision grew. The subdivision was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and Valencia Road, where the Castle lies, is one of the few streets in Brevard listed in in the National Historic district registry.
The architect of choice for the development was Richard Rummell Jr., who designed many of Brevard’s most impressive buildings.
The Castle originally was, to couch it in modern jargon, a spec home, and its builders may eventually have had second thoughts about getting so frisky with an eclectic building style, particularly at a time when there weren’t too many folks who could afford such grandeur. Fortunately for them, Grace Fiske had the wherewithal to purchase the structure and become first lady of The Castle. Six other owners have since called The Castle home, each tweaking and adding to it here and there, but leaving its architectural integrity intact.
Unlike many historic homes, The Castle has always been appreciated and loved by all of its owners. The 3,561-square-foot, four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath residence features rare, extensive period artisan plaster work and built-in cabinetry, three fireplaces and a second master suite with its own turret room.
There are two wings to the place. The East Wing includes original hardwood flooring, intricate plaster work, period tile, French doors and original windows and an arched, screened front porch, an iconic circular turret room with arched entry, built in paned glass cabinetry and even an ornate glass chandelier in the first-floor bath.
Make your way to the West Wing, where you will find a granite-mantled fireplace, a Roman-style bench inside the large walk-in shower and a recently upgraded wet bar. The master retreat includes a turret room, ideal for use as vanity or as dressing area before those royal functions. Mature vegetation assures that your domain is secluded and protected from intruders.
Being that this is a Florida castle, the Rockledge Castle thoughtfully includes a pool, ornate fountain, private courtyard, mangoes and other fruit trees, and a large screened-in back porch.
“The Castle is a property that when you see it, you never forget it,” said Carpenter’s business partner, Kirk Kessel.