This is going to be quick, as it’s another site I visited some time ago and haven’t had the time to write up until now.
Dundas Castle, Also known as Craig-e-Claire, in Roscoe, also known as Craigie Clare, New York, is an unmistakable structure along an unassuming river in southern New York. If you can find the road that runs along the Beaverkill, you can find the castle. I use the world “castle” liberally; this was a house built to look like a castle, in the same way Disney movies look like real life.
I’m not sure there’s much to say about this place. It was supposedly built by an immigrant in the style of an Irish castle, for his wife who eventually went insane. While the general outline was finished it was never lived in, the family having never come together. There are lots of ghost stories about this, which I don’t totally believe; if you’re curious, here’s a good overview.
As the home was never actually lived in, it was mainly barren in a way that our typical sites aren’t. It was obvious that this was a sterile place from the beginning, which was a bit odd. The “castle” itself was expansive, multiple floors with dozens of rooms plus dining halls and servants’ quarters. We visited during winter so underground areas were frozen over. I didn’t get the same feeling of history here as in other sites we’ve visited; nobody actually lived here, so the only signs of use were from previous visitors, mainly vandals.
The architecture is exquisite, with lots of arches and gothic touches. Some of the exposed areas are fortified with crenelated walls and towers, and the masonry is remarkable.
Overall this was not one of the more exciting sites I’ve visited. It’s easy to find, and thus often visited; we ran into two other groups while there. Vandalism has taken its toll and as it was never used, there’s no real story here. Still, it’s an interesting bit of history in southern New York, one man’s attempt to translate the majesty of old world construction to New England. If you’re in the area, it’s worth driving by to check out.