The Real Rose Red Mansion – Thornewood Castle

Much of Stephen King's Rose Red mini-series was filmed onsite at Thornewood Castle.

Much of Stephen King’s Rose Red mini-series was filmed onsite at Thornewood Castle.

Rose Red is the well-known paranormal mini-series written by famed author Stephen King. It premiered on ABC TV on January 27-29, 2002. What you may not know is that the stately house used to film this eerie mini-series is none other than Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, WA.

Thornewood is an authentic Tudor Gothic mansion that was built in the early 1900’s by Northwest financier Chester Thorne as a gift for his wife Anna. 100 years later, the castle still stands on four acres of woodland overlooking a lake just twelve miles south of Tacoma, WA. But its heart is much older.

Many of the materials used to build the castle actually came from a 400-year-old English manor house that Thorne purchased and had dismantled in 1907. The recycled material—red brick, oak paneling, oak doors, a grand staircase, and medieval stained glass windows—was then shipped from England, all the way around Cape Horn, to Washington State. Construction took three years to complete.

The Thorne family lived on the estate from 1911 until the mid-1950’s when the castle was sold to a housing developer. During its golden age, the house and grounds were maintained by a staff of 40 servants and 28 gardeners.

The current owners have completely renovated the property and restored the old mansion to its former elegance. Within its 27,000 square feet of living space are 54 rooms, including 22 bedrooms and 22 baths. The landscaped grounds include a secret English Garden originally designed by the Olmsted Brothers, who also designed Central Park and Prospect Park in New York City.

**Special Note: Thornewood Castle today is a private residence doing business as a bed and breakfast lodge. The owners also host weddings and other special events throughout the year. So, unfortunately, they do not have time to accommodate visitors who drop in unexpectedly looking for a tour of the house and grounds.

But if you’re celebrating one of life’s special events—a birthday, anniversary, or maybe even a promotion—we encourage you to book a room/suite at the castle and stay for a night or two. Who knows? Maybe you’ll run into the ghost of Ellen Rimbauer on the grand staircase after dark.

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