Live Like a Queen
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live like royalty in a castle of your very own? Turns out, there’s a man in Bellville, a small city located about 100 miles east of Austin, doing just that — and he welcomes visitors.
Mike Newman, who was born and raised in Bellville, always dreamed of having an unusual house. Eventually, he turned that dream into reality with his own two hands when he broke ground on his castle-inspired home in 1998.
“I didn’t have any practical experience in building houses,” Newman says. “But I did design the place by myself and pretty much ended up building it by myself with the assistance of another helper on the job site.”
Newman officially moved into his castle in 2006. Since then, however, word spread and interest grew, and he decided to open his unique residence to visitors.
“I built it as my home,” says Newman. “I had no idea I would let people come out and walk around the place when I first built it.”
Newman’s Castle currently offers tours six days out of the week (no Sundays), but as this is Newman’s private property, reservations are required to come by.
To make a tour reservation, you need to call Newman’s Bakery, which is also owned by Mike Newman, and located on Bellville’s Main Street. Speaking of the bakery, don’t miss out on trying some of their treats like cakes, cookies, and doughnuts during your journey. They also offer full breakfast and have a lunch menu.
On the day of your scheduled tour, check in at the bakery by 10:30 am to get directions to the castle, which is about five miles out from there. Newman says, “It’s way out in the country. It’s not like you can just drive down the road and see a castle.”
Once all the tour participants arrive at the castle, guests are welcomed with a bit more information about how it was built and why, and then left to explore the place inside and out.
Newman says there is certainly a bit of a “wow effect” when first-time visitors see his home. Surrounded by a moat filled with water, the castle has a functioning drawbridge and portcullis as well as five round towers along the perimeter wall, one of which is a “dungeon” and another is a chapel. It also has its own bell tower and courtyard. Newman explains, “Guests can really walk around anywhere.”
Kids visiting Newman’s Castle also get the special treat of a little bit of medieval role-playing where they can get dubbed a knight and can storm the castle with a toy sword in hand.
A ticket to Newman’s Castle costs $20 per person (except for kids under 6 who are $10), and it includes lunch from the bakery (sandwich, chips, drink, and sweets). The castle is also open for booking special events like weddings and birthday parties. To learn more, visit the website or call the bakery at 979-865-9804.