Gilford asks judge to OK razing of Kimball Castle

GILFORD — The town, in its capacity as trustee, has asked a judge in the Belknap County Superior Court, for permission to release deed restrictions and give the town permission to allow the current owner to tear down Kimball Castle.
According to the pleadings, the town sold a portion of the Kimball Castle in 1999 to Historic Inns of New England with the approval of the court in order to get money to preserve the remaining portion of the property as a de facto wildlife preserve.
Historic Inns of New England was empowered to develop the castle and its immediate surrounding property on 59 Lockes Hill Road as a restaurant and lounge. The current owner is part of the initial company that purchased the castle.
The pleadings state that his effort and those of the previous owners to raise the capital to restore the castle and build a restaurant failed and because of deterioration and vandalism the building is no longer viable.
The town building inspector condemned the property about three months ago.
The newest owner, Kimball Castle Properties, LLC prefers to remove the castle and the building inspector has extended the order to tear it down to give the court the time to rule on the proposed order.
Should the court agree to allow the owner to tear down the castle and remove the debris the proposed new trustee agreement states that the property may not be subdivided unless the town of Gilford — in its capacity as trustee of the Kimble Castle — agrees as must the Director of Charitable Trusts of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office and the Belknap County Superior Court.
The Office of the State of New Hampshire Attorney General has approved the stipulations provided in what the town and the property owner hope to be the newest easements and rights decree.
Should the property be used as a single family home, it will be limited by zoning to owner-occupied only and any other uses will be consistent with applicable land laws and zoning regulations.
Easement to the Kimball Castle property held for wildlife that include the right to use the property for grooming, utilities, a roadway and the use and groom ski trails are part of the newest proposed trust .
Any artifacts removed before the castle is demolished will be donated to the Thompson-Ames Historical Society in Gilford.
There will be a public hearing on August 14 at the Gilford Town Hall.