Gillette castles secret passage
March 16, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Does Gillette Castle have secret passageways or not?

"and contrary to popular belief there are no secret passages."
-from wikipedia (gillette castle)

but the Gillette Gazette(2006) says: "Nooks and Crannies, Secret Passages, Hidden Compartments, Cunning Locks, Exotic Wood- and Stonework, and the many sidelights of a clever and theatrical personality"
posted by clavdivs to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: and can any find me a floorplan to the castle or were to find one?
posted by clavdivs at 11:38 AM on March 16, 2007

It's been some years since I went on a guided tour, but I don't remember there being passages per se. (I did visit without a tour last summer.) There are definitely nooks and niches that Gilette used to sequester himself in, and mirrors that he used to use to see where people were, but as for passages, I'm not sure.

There's no plans online. You can write the rangers and see if they can answer any specific questions.

Park address.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:50 AM on March 16, 2007

Best answer: I was a tour guide there, actually.

For obvious reasons, we were not allowed to tell people there are secret passages in the castle. We had enough problems with people making out in odd places, sneaking into the employees' section, etc.

This much I can tell you: except for one passage, the off-limits areas are pretty obvious. You don't need to press buttons or go underground or turn over bookcases or anything. The one passage that is "secret" is basically a ladder that pulls down (like your average attic ladder) and goes into what we called "the secret room," one of the two rooms on the third floor (you can see it from the outside). Gillette had a fireplace up there and some comfy chairs. He'd basically sit there and escape from people, probably chill with one of his twenty some-odd cats.

From this room, you can also go on the roof, which is flat and made of metal sheets. For preservation reasons, we were not allowed to spend a whole lot of time on either the third floor or the roof.

That is the only passage I know of, and we were told a LOT of things about that castle and its bizarre inhabitant.
posted by landedjentry at 1:18 PM on March 16, 2007 [3 favorites]

Oh, also:

You can see the clever locks in abundance on the tour, as well as the staircase passage into the woodworking room, plenty of nooks and crannies, and woodworking that hid things like water gauges and his fire-prevention system. Ask a guide about them when you visit, some of them aren't cranky.

If you have any other questions about the Castle, my email's in the profile.
posted by landedjentry at 1:23 PM on March 16, 2007

Going there as a kid, what really impressed me was the way things were built-in and otherwise camouflaged into the decor and paneling. I'm not sure that stuff really qualifies as "secret" (any more than the door of the Oval Office is 'secret'), but it was just different enough from what I expected things to look like, that I remember thinking it was cool.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:51 PM on March 16, 2007

« Older Car seats in the city   |   How to get my phone to remember more of the things... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.