3.6
8 votes

Castle of Heron Bay

32.794176, -97.476255, Fort Worth, Texas 76108 USA

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“extraordinary history!”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. This extraordinary stone mansion, sited on a rise above the south shore of Lake Worth was begun by the Whiting in the late 1920's and was largely completed by 1938. Reportedly, Whiting won the property from a Mr. McPherson in a poker game. The round crenellated front wing and rear tower give the rambling structure the appearance of a castle. Mr. and Mrs. Samuel E. Whiting, wealthy Fort Worth residents called it "Inverness." Mrs. Whiting designed and personally supervised the construction of the house. A one story gabled rear wing is believed to be a three-room stone farm house that reputedly was build on this site around 1860. It is difficult to trace early ownership of the property because the 1876 courthouse fire destroyed the deed records, but Ulrick Cannon reputedly owned the property during the Civil War and Julian Feild acquired it after the war ended. It is not known who built the stone house, but records do indicate that the land was homesteaded by D.P. Terrell as early as 1872 - the first indicationthat a residence stood on the property. The Charles Turner family owned the property between 1873 and 1894, and the Oliver S. Kennedy family held it between 1904 and 1911, when it was sold to the City of Fort Worth because portions of land were needed for the Lake Worth project. After construction of Lake Worth, the City of Fort Worth leased the lake front property, and many homes were built around the shore of Lake Worth. It is during this period that the Whitings constructed what has come to be known locally as the "Lake Worth Castle" and the guest cottages across Heron Drive to the West. During the ownership by the Whiting's it is believed that their son committed suicide at the castle and it also suffered a serious fire in 1939. The Vultee Aircraft Corporation leased the estate between 1944 and 1954, probably using it to entertain visiting businessmen and dignitaries. Jimmy Stewart stayed here in the early 1950's during the filming of "Strategic Air Command" at nearby Carsell Air Force Base. General Dwight D. Eisenhower spend time here also.In the mid 70's,Tony and Marian May offered Adult Self-Improvement Training Programs at the Castle and called it "Castle St. Michael." The mid 80's found the castle owned by a John Pigenburg from Hawaii and a Richard Ruiz who left the property as you see it today.

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Reviewed by
glorianneeder

  • 1 Review
  • 5 Helpful
February 21, 2018

I am the granddaughter of Samuel and Hazel Whiting, the builders of Inverness.....I grew up in the house from my birth in 1941 until 1954. As would be expected, I have photographs of both the interiors and the occupants.

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Jalbrekt

  • 1 Review
  • 6 Helpful
December 16, 2016

I lived there from about 1985 to 1987.. My mother was married to Richard Ruiz during this time, I turned 10 in 87. He and my mother divorced and he moved on to San Diego around 1990. I recall he was of Italian descent and he had a brother who owned part of the structure as well. At one point he was trying to turn in into a hotel. He also hosted LARPING parties there where people would dress up as if they were in mid-evil times. I think the venture into making it a hotel failed and he ended up going bankrupt but again I was a young kid and don't recall all the details. I learned a lot living on those grounds, how to drive, how to shoot a rifle, ride a horse etc. Richard, as you can see from my handle, you know who I am. Thank you for everything, your rabbit and venison pasta was amazing.

6 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Nichole_1205

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
April 16, 2019

I would love to reach out to the family members/ owners of this property. I am trying to write a paper to publish in Chisholm Trail High Schools news paper and would love to get extra information and the history. As a little kid my mom used to take my siblings and I the the Old Heron Castle and ever since I saw it I wanted to know more about it and find out who owns it. My Email is janamarsh5@gmail.com I would love to reach anyone that is willing to give information about the house. Thank you so much.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
giorivera

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 11, 2019

Does anyone know how we can get a hold of the owners now ? We have gone by to see if anyone is there to talk to but all I can see is light that is on in the “guest cottage I guess you call it if anyone has any information please email me giopetrivera.gr@gmail.com

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Reviewed by
southernmess

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 09, 2019
Rated 4.0

I am doing a bunch of history on this Castle because of its incredible background and just something about this place to it out as well as the history that I've heard I would love for anybody that has been related to any of these previous families to contact me I would love to interview you and ask more questions about you the family the history behind it
Kelseykattt1994@gmail.com
Please contact me. My name is Kelsey. There is something about this castle that has drawn me in and with its incredible history behind it as well.

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Reviewed by
graysonberry

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
December 11, 2018

My name is Grayson Berry, and I am Producing a Christian film in the vein of Game of Thrones called "Calington Castle". Does anyone know who I should contact? There's a great chance that we would only need to film EXTERIORS, or the outside of the building. Thanks very much for your help. Trying to bring elite film-making to TX. Contact me at graysonberry@yahoo.com

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Reviewed by
MichelleHenderson74

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 27, 2018

glorianneeder, do you know who owns the property now? I would love to see your pictures! Thank you!

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Reviewed by
Dee Ashley

  • 18 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
May 14, 2017
Rated 3.0

There is someone living on the grounds now.

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Reviewed by
MichelleHenderson74

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
February 01, 2017

How do we get to talk to the people who live in the small house on this property?

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Reviewed by
MichelleHenderson74

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
December 22, 2016

Jalbrekt you don't know how to get in touch with Robert now, I suppose? You are the first person who has been the closest to being able to tell anybody anything about the castle!! I would love to receive a tour of the place even if it is falling apart!! Thank you!!

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Castle of Heron Bay

32.794176, -97.476255
Fort Worth, Texas
76108 USA

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