05-15 Castle Basement

Beginning July 1, visitors will be able to tour the basement of Castle in the Clouds, with its unique mechanical systems that provided modern-day conveniences a century ago. (Courtesy Photo)

MOULTONBOROUGH — The historic “Castle in the Clouds” — the Lucknow estate of Thomas Plant that has become a New Hampshire landmark — today will celebrate the opening of a new exhibit, “Lucknow Revealed: Research, Restoration and Mystery at Castle in the Clouds.”

The opening reception will take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Carriage House Gallery.

The Castle Preservation Society has been restoring the 10,000-square-foot mansion that opened as Castle in the Clouds in 1959. The new exhibit tells the story of that restoration effort which began in 2006, and the secrets of the castle’s design and construction that the team uncovered.

The interactive exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to see how they can help solve ongoing research mysteries.

“We love providing this behind-the-scenes experience for our visitors, because it brings them closer to our mission and why we exist as a nonprofit organization,” said Charles Clark, executive director at Castle in the Clouds. “Each visit, donation, membership — all the support we receive from our patrons — plays a part in making what guests will see in the new exhibit happen, and we are proud to be able to share those intimate details.”

Michelle Landry, director of Collections and Interpretation, will give a gallery talk while guests view the objects that document the architectural and interior design of the mansion.

Admission is free for members and $10 for non-members, and includes wine and light refreshments.

Beginning July 1, the castle also will offer daily tours that include the basement. The one-hour guided tour will be offered three times a day, and will cover the highlights of the castle’s unique construction in 1914, the ultra-modern appliances and amenities enjoyed by owners Tom and Olive Plant, and a glimpse into the lives of the servants who helped run and manage the Lucknow estate in the 1910s and 1920s. Guests will see first-hand the mechanisms that powered the modern-day systems of the estate, such as ammonia-brine refrigeration and central vacuum systems, as well as technologies and features that exist only in the basement.

Tickets for basement tours must be purchased online in advance and are sold as a bundle with tickets to tour the main house. As a member benefit, Castle in the Clouds members may tour both the house and the basement for a discounted price of $10.

For more information, call 603-476-5900 or visit castleintheclouds.org.

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