In a ravine along the Little Miami River sits Castle LaRoche, better known as Loveland Castle. The Castle is one of the more interesting attractions in Loveland. Based on tenth century castles in Europe, it was built by Harry Andrews, a World War I veteran who objected to the use of guns and machines in modern warfare, preferring the sword of old. So how does a US Army vet get through the first mechanized war if he objects to firearms?
Harry was a nurse. Discharged after suffering meningitis (during which he was declared dead), Andrews spent six months in Europe after his discharge visiting castles. His imagination stirred, he settled to the Cincinnati area to found (or, as the Order puts it, reactivate) the Knights of the Golden Trail, an order open to any man willing to help save civilization. As part of his dream, he built Loveland Castle.
The Order currently owns and operates the Castle. A popular tourist attraction, it’s also rented out for weddings and for Scout functions. Open all year for tours, it is only available for private functions during warm weather months. It is possible to spend the night in the Castle. However, before making your reservation, keep in mind this is a working tenth-century-style building. There is no heat or electricity, and the only bathroom is a porta-john in the parking lot.
The gardens also attract people and are integral to the Castle’s charm. Sir Harry, as he styled himself (as do all the Knights), even kept a hidden room in the garden. It was not discovered until after his death when that section of the Castle suffered some structural damage. The Castle maintains a blog updating the news on the gardens and posting pictures. Plants are maintained in a greenhouse during cold weather.
To find out how to get to Loveland Castle or just learn about the Knights of the Golden Trail, check out http://www.lovelandcastle.com/
More at the My Town Monday blog.