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Kimball Castle being restored, though dealing with trespassers

July 11, 2019
Work is underway on restoring Kimball Castle so it can be opened to the public, though owners have been dealing with with frequent trespassers.

In recent years the historic Kimball Castle property has been largely abandoned and the main structure has been crumbling. Patrick and Melissa Starkey of Starkey realty in Concord purchased the property in September of 2018 and have been working to stabilize the structures and fully restore them.

Patrick Starkey said that since the purchase a new roof has been added on the gazebo, work that has been done in the original design. This month the former caretaker's cottage has been completely renovated.

"Right now, we have some engineers actively looking at the castle and making it structurally stable," Starkey said.

He said the goal is to fully renovate the castle, which depends on several factors such as financial considerations. Starkey said they want to share this property with the community.

"We'd love to have people stay in the rooms and have people come and visit it," Starkey said.

Pending town approval, they also want to hold weddings and events on the property.

Repeated trespassing has been a frequent issue. The property is encircled by an eight-foot fence that is clearly marked with No Trespassing signs. People have climbed and cut the fence to get on the property, a number kicked in doors to get in the building. He said sometimes people will go in just to see the inside of the castle, others have vandalized the property and left graffiti. A lot of people go in to hang out and drink.

"We found some kids in there with alcohol unfortunately," Starkey said.

Starkey said he estimates that 44 arrests have been made ever since they put cameras on the property.

They took the issue to the media and Starkey said the trespassing slowed down after a report on WMUR in April. Since then there have been only two arrests.

Starkey said they want to restore the property and open it up in the future. All of the trespassing is a big safety issue.

"We appreciate people staying out of it at this time," Starkey said. "In the future when it's done we'll gladly open up to the public."

The project will go to the Gilford Planning Board around late summer or early fall.

Starkey said they have gotten "overwhelmingly positive feedback" from across the Lakes Region and across the state.

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