When you hear the name Versailles, you probably imagine the French city or the grand palace. But what if we told you there was a city and a castle in the middle of Versailles, Kentucky? A large plot of land with a remarkable stone creation rests in the heart of bluegrass country, just waiting to be visited. This is the story behind The Kentucky Castle near Lexington, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Castle didn’t always go by that name. The original owners, Rex and Caroline Martin, let the home go unnamed for years. It all began when the couple fell in love with French architecture after spending a holiday in France. When they returned home to the United States in 1969, Rex Martin bought 53 acres of land and began building what we now know as The Kentucky Castle.
The Martins’ plans for the building grew out of control. The couple eventually split after seven years of marriage, leaving the castle unfinished. Rex Martin wanted to finish the project and commercialize the building. However, local citizens stood against his building plans. They were afraid of what a commercial business would do to their town.
Rex eventually gave up trying, and placed his home on the market. For 30 years it sat abandoned, as Rex refused to answer phone calls from buyers. The castle became known as Castle Farm with its mostly mysterious heritage.
The Martin heirs sold the property in 2003. The new owner aimed to turn it into a Bed and Breakfast, which he called Castle Post. This went on for ten years before the property was back on the market.
The Kentucky Castle
The castle was purchased again in 2017. It was redesigned to include a restaurant, hotel, and event space. The property was then named The Kentucky Castle. This beautiful piece of French architecture offers several events throughout the year. One of the most popular events is the Murder Mystery dinner.
The newer owners have plans to bring a farm to the property, making the restaurant truly farm-to-table. Also, they give back to their local community through their Kentucky Fairy Tale Program. With sustainable food sources, gorgeous architecture, and a community-driven outlook, The Kentucky Castle is more beautiful than ever.