Bishop Castle Frequently
Asked Questions ~ F.A.Q.
- Q: When did the Bishop
- A: June of 1969. The year
2001 is the castle's 32nd year.
When is Jim going to finish the Castle?
- A: The
Bishop Castle is an on-going work of art. It won't be finished
until the morning that Jim doesn't wake up again. Then, and only
then, will it be DONE.
- Q: How
tall is the castle?
- A: Jim
doesn't really measure, he just builds. The tallest tower is
roughly 160 feet tall.
Does he really do everything himself?
- A: YES.
The construction of the castle has been documented extensively
from day one, and it is Jim, and only Jim, that has built the
- Q: But
aren't there parts that he didn't do?
- A: Yes
there are. Keep in mind that when the project started, it was to
be a one room family vacation cottege up in the mountains. (
History of Bishop Castle
) For the first two years in what is now the room with the eiffel
tower shaped fireplace, Jim's father Willard was helping to build
also. Willard built the corner tower around the water tank up to
the level of what is now the floor of the Grand Hall. You can
easily see the difference in Willard's rockwork (small stones) and
Jim's rockwork (large stones). It was at the point of the third
floor in just that corner when Jim began calling it a castle and
Willard wouldn't have anything to do with it anymore. The only
other part of the castle that Jim didn't do himself are the
stained glass windows. They've all been either gifts, donations,
or fund-raisers, which he installs and then become permanant
features of the castle.
Will his children continue to build the castle after Jim is
- A: NO.
That is like asking whether someone will continue to paint a
canvass that Van Gogh left unfinished when he died. The Bishop
Castle is a unique WORK OF ART.
- Q: Is
building his castle all that Jim does?
- A: No.
Jim works full time for a living down in Pueblo at the family's
Bishop Ornamental Iron Shop. 719.564.5568 He is usually up at the
castle and building on weekends and the occasional weekday, and
he'll usually take 6 weeks or so off in the middle of summer, July
& August, to spend as much time as he can while the weather
supports masonry work.
Where does he get all of the rocks from?
- A: Jim
has a permit with the National Forest Service called a
non-invasive rock hauling permit. That means that he can take as
much rock as he can without the use of heavy machinery, dynamite,
and without building roads. So wherever there is a forestry road
and a rockslide, he'll simply pull up his truck and start throwing
rocks in the back. He figures that if they don't break, it's a
good rock! It is extremely rare for Jim to show up in the morning
with an empty truck.
- Q: Did
Jim's father Willard start the Castle?
- A: No.
Many people think that Willard started the castle because for
years Willard would sit out in the courtyard drinking beer and
smoking cigarettes and ask people what they thought of his castle!
Willard was known as a wise-guy (to put it mildly) and very prone
to pulling people's legs. Jim gets so worked up about being asked
that because he's the one who did all the work.
What will happen to the castle when Jim dies?
- A: Jim
will have left us a legacy that will last for a much longer time
than any of us will be around. He's made provisions to make sure
that the castle will always be open to the public free of
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