We are fortunate that the Bishopsgate Inn sits right up the road from the Connecticut River between the Gillette Castle State Park, rolling acres of farm land, and of course, architectural beauties that bring us back to the rich history of our town. For new visitors to our area, we are excited to introduce you to several historical and architectural gems all within minutes of our Bed and Breakfast here on Norwich Road.
4 Architectural Gems Near the Bishopsgate Inn
Amasa Day House: Take a 4-mile trip from our Inn down CT-82 E to visit the Federal Homestead, built in 1816 by farmer, Colonel Julius Chapman. The short drive is worth it just to enjoy the museum’s Federal architecture dating to the beginning of our town’s colonization. The house has since been donated to Connecticut Landmarks and serves as a museum featuring furniture and toys from its original family as well as photographs taken by photographer, Amasa Day Chafee.
St. Stephens Episcopal Church: Drive down Norwich Road and make a right on Main Street past A Creamery and you will arrive at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The eclectic, Victorian mode structure is a residing jewel in our town. It was built in 1890 on land offered to the church by Judge Julius Attwood and features a church bell from a Spanish Monastery bearing an inscription with the date of 815. Perhaps most magnificent are the medieval style stain glass windows inside the church that overlook the pews, filtering in the beams of light over the congregation.
Gelston House: The Gelston house is a beloved destination to those in East Haddam. It is right around the corner from our colonial B&B, sitting like a tiara residing above the edge of the east side of the Connecticut River. Since 1853, it has been a feature of our landscape here in East Haddam, inviting people to celebrate special occasions or even to simply enjoy a night out with their loved ones beneath it’s regal, Italianate roof.
Gillette Castle State Park: Just three minutes away from the Inn sits the Gillette Castle State Park. The castle was built by architecture enthusiast, William H. Gillette. Gillette was known during his time for playing Sherlock Holmes on the stage. Yet, during his free-time he oversaw the construction of the Gillette Castle, which he designed to look like ancient ruins. When you visit the 24-room mansion you’ll notice custom carved wood latches, figurines cemented to the fireplace mantle, stone walls, and unique doorknobs on each door. David. H. Barkin, an architect and president of Barkin Andrade Architects of New Haven, who took on the job of restoring the castle has said that “everything about the castle is unique.” He further describes the structure as “a weird blend of Victorian Arts and Crafts.” As you can tell, it is a curious attraction that will offer you a museum experience as well as one of the most beautiful views of the lower Connecticut River.
For more ideas on where to visit during you stay with us, make sure to ask Jane or Lisa and they will be happy to point you in the right direction. Or, visit our Activities page for more ideas on what to do here in East Haddam!