All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In

Kimball Castle in Gilford has fallen into disrepair and the owners want the town’s permission to raze it. (COURTESY)

Gilford castle

Gilford to mull Kimball Castle’s fate

GILFORD — Selectmen will hold a public hearing Aug. 14 to gather public opinions before the town decides whether to allow the owners of historic Kimball Castle to tear it down.

Kimball Castle Properties, LLC, owners of the 20.35-acre castle lot, the castle, and other dwellings adjoining the Kimball Wildlife Forest, has submitted a petition seeking permission to raze the deteriorating castle, which is in such bad shape that it is not open to the public.

It also has been the site of frequent vandalism, said Town Administrator Scott Dunn.

“It’s falling apart,” Dunn said. “I don’t think anyone wants to tear it down, but it’s become a problem.”

After the public hearing, the selectmen will make its determination. The town through the selectmen is the trustee of the Kimball Castle Trust established by the late Charlotte Goodale Kimball.

The petition also seeks the approval of the director of Charitable Trusts of the state Attorney General’s Office and from Belknap County Superior Court.

Kimball Castle was built on Lockes Hill on Belknap Point in 1895 by Concord and Montreal Railroad President Benjamin Ames Kimball.

It is not easily accessible to the public and was never a tourist site, town officials said.

It is listed in town records as a mansion with nearly 4,000 square feet of living area and had a net assessed value of $311,600 in 2012.

Kimball family members hoped the castle would be preserved and not used for commercial purposes, according to the castle’s website.

The town, which owned the castle for a period, created the Locke’s Hill Nature Preserve on 260 acres and created hiking and skiing trails on it in the 1990s.

The castle and its remaining land were later sold to its current owner, according to town records.

The hearing, which will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 14 in the town offices’ first-floor conference room, will be attended by members of the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee, who would prefer that the castle be restored, said Sandy McGonagle, the committee’s chairman.

But committee members recognize that the castle is in bad shape and will support whatever action the selectmen take, McGonagle said.

“We’d very much like to see it restored, and make it an educational opportunity for everyone,” she said. “But we realize it has fallen into serious disrepair, and we will support what the town chooses to do.”


To improve the chance of seeing your comment posted here or published in the New Hampshire Union Leader:

  • Identify yourself. Accounts using fake or incomplete names are suspended regardless of the quality of posts.
  • Say something new, stay on topic, keep it short.
  • Links to outside URLs are discouraged, if used they should be on topic.
  • Avoid comments in bad taste, write well, avoid using all capital letters
  • Don't cite facts about individuals or businesses without providing a means to verify the claim
  • If you see an objectionable comment please click the "Report Abuse" button and be sure to tell us why.

Note: Comments are the opinion of the respective poster and not of the publisher.

Be the first to comment.

Post a comment

You must sign in before you can post comments. If you are experiencing issues with your account please e-mail

NH Maple Weekend NH Maple Weekend
All Weekend

Sap Gathering Contest Sap Gathering Contest
Saturday, 10 a.m.

45th Annual NH Camping and RV Show 45th Annual NH Camping and RV Show
Friday, 1-8 p.m.,
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.,
Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Ales for Tails Ales for Tails
Sunday, 1-5 p.m.