If you've ever dreamed of taking a tour of an old English castle, there is no need to book a trip to the U.K. In fact, the drive won't take but two hours from Eastern Iowa. Who knew that Des Moines was hiding its very own English-styled property known as The Salisbury House and Gardens.

So why is it called the Salisbury House? The home is actually modeled after the King's House in Salisbury, England. Wikipedia says that the house is a Tudor, Gothic, and Carolean-styled home. The massive house has 42 rooms and is over 22,000 square feet. It was built by cosmetic magnate Carl Weeks and his wife Edith between 1923 and 1928. The home had an initial budget of $150,000 built and furnished. But upon its completion, that budget had soared to over $3 million!

The Weeks family moved into the Salisbury House in 1926, according to Wikipedia. They then donated the home to Drake University in 1934. They retained ownership of all the furnishings inside the home and paid Drake rent to live in the house. They stayed until 1954. The Iowa State Education Association bought the home that year for $180,000 and began to use it for office space. The Salisbury House Foundation was formed in 1993, and in 1998 they purchased the home from ISEA for $4 million. The home was turned into a museum in 1999.

Salisbury Home and Gardens

If this Engish-style mansion interests you, you're in luck! The home is open to the public and available for group or individual tours. You can roam through the halls yourself, Wednesday through Sunday from Noon to 5 p.m. You can also take a guided tour of the house and learn more about its history Wednesday through Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

You can get directions and check prices at SalisburyHouse.org.


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