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Company Hundred Oaks Castle in Winchester TN

Hundred Oaks Castle

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Winchester, Tennessee, 37398

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About Hundred Oaks Castle

The Hundred Oaks Castle was built by Benjamin Decherd originally as a two story plantation farm house around 1830. Benjamin Decherd was a railroad tycoon at the time and for what the city of Decherd was named. The property was purchased in the 1860's by Albert Marks, the 21st governor of Tennessee and a relative to Thomas Jefferson. 

How Did The Hundred Oaks Castle Receive its Name?

The rumor on how the Castle received its name was that Albert's son Arthur counted the oak trees on the plantation land and came to a total of 100.  And the name Hundred Oaks was born.

Arthur Marks got older and became a US diplomat.  His travels took him to Scotland where he fell in love with the architecture of castles -- he got married to his sweetheart from Nashville around that time as well.  When he returned to the States in 1889 (and to his childhood home) he began to renovate it with the focus of it being a castle.  The Hundred Oaks Castle was its new name.  Arthur unfortunately passed soon after in 1892 due to Typhoid Fever at the age of 28 just a year after his father passed.

From the website, historic-structures.com, re: Hundred Oaks Castle, 

"The bricks were pressed from local clay at the site. The stone for the foundations of the additions was hauled from Sewanee Mountain. The three story structure measures more than one hundred feet long, the tower more than five stories tall. A wood carver from Winchester did all the paneling and woodwork. The floors are all hardwood and the dining room has oak paneled walls and oak beams and panels in the ceiling. The ballroom is two and one-half stories high and forty-four feet long. On the south side of house a small replica of a castle served as a wine cellar. It was covered with ivy taken from Kenilworth Castle. The ivy covering the house was imported from Abbotsford, and the vineyards were imported from Southern France. The house combined towers and huge windows in the landscape vista tradition of the 19th Century."

Though the castle was not complete at that point, one of Arthur's relatives, John Marks Handly, had become a Paulist Priest (an order of Catholic Priests).  They purchased the building on/around 1901 and continued renovations. At that time the estate was 600 acres, but all of the property was sold off outside of 26 acres.

After changing many hands in 1996, it became owned and operated by the Kent Bramlett Foundation which is named by the parents of Kent Bramlett who passed in an auto accident in 1992. Much of the castle has since been renovated. Kent's family operates the foundation today.

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