Christmas at the Gillette Castle

Decorations on one of the Christmas trees inside Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut

Photos by Cheryl Landes

In November and December, volunteers decorate the Gillette Castle inside and out for the holidays. The 24-room mansion overlooking the Connecticut River Valley resembles a medieval-style castle. It’s the former home of William Gillette (1853-1937), an actor who made Sherlock Holmes famous.

The castle was closed for the 2020 holiday season due to COVID-19, so I will update this post when more information is available about plans for 2021. The pictures in this post are from my previous visits to the castle during the holidays.

Also check gillettecastlefriends.org/events for updates.

Gillette Castle State Park is located at 67 River Road in East Haddam, Connecticut (get directions). Admission is free, except for the castle tours. For more information, visit the park’s website.

Gillette Castle in East Haddam, Connecticut
The living room in Gillette Castle
An owl ornament on one of the Christmas trees inside Gillette Castle
A Christmas tree in Gillette Castle. Several trees are decorated on each floor for the holiday season.
William Gillette’s office at the castle
One of the origami bird ornaments on a Christmas tree on the second floor of the Gillette Castle
Even the bathrooms are decorated for the holidays at the Gillette Castle.
Left: A Christmas tree downstairs. Right: The cat bell. William Gillette loved cats, and as many as 15 cats lived at the castle at one time. The bell was used to alert the cats when their dinners were ready.
A cat figurine on one of the beds in the Gillette Castle
Another cat figurine on a bed at the Gillette Castle
Miniature cat figurines on a shelf at the Gillette Castle

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