Explore Quigley’s Castle – “The Ozarks’ Strangest Dwelling”

March 24th, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Quigley's Castle The Ozarks Strangest Dwelling

Quigleys Castle “The Ozarks’ Strangest Dwelling”
– photo by Brandonrush

No visit to the Eureka Springs area of Arkansas is complete without a stop by Quigley’s Castle. This uniquely designed family home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Quigley’s Castle is less a castle than it is a unique family home. It would be nothing at all, were it not for the creative vision of one Elise Quigley.

The structure is located on an eighty-acre farm just four miles south of Eureka Springs. In 1930, W. D. Quigley deeded this property to his son, Albert Quigley and his son’s wife, Elise. Initially, they lived on the property in an old lumber shack.

According to legend, Albert promised Elise that she could design their new home and she got right to it. Unfortunately, five children into the marriage they were still living in the same, old lumber shack. To Elise, it seemed like they would never break ground. Eventually, something did break: it was Elise.

Elise Quigley had long since completed her design for the new house and was done waiting. One day, after Albert headed off to work, she and the children pulled the lumber shack down. Now Albert would HAVE to start the new house – and so he did.

Construction on the house, which was built entirely with lumber from the farm, began in 1943. Elise was a nature lover and dreamed of a house that was less a box than it was a receptacle of the world. Elise’s design was unique, with 28 huge windows to help remove the sense of walls between her and the natural world.

Inside the house, four feet of bare earth separate the living space from the walls. Elise Quigley planted flowering, tropical plants into this soil. Unhindered, those plants have since grown all of the way up to the ceiling of the home’s second story!

Elise had a lifelong habit of collecting fossils, crystals, arrowheads, and small stones she found pretty. Once the house was built, she decided to rock the outside of the house with her collection. It took her three years to complete and gives the home a strikingly unusual exterior, to say the least.

Quigley’s Castle is surrounded by a garden filled with wildflowers, antique roses, and 400+ varieties of perennials. Along with this lush display are towering, vine-covered rock pillars, 14 “bottle trees”, and more than 100 rock sculptures – all created by Elise.

Inside the house, further collections of antiques and mementos express Elise Quigley’s undying and quirky love of nature. The famous “Butterfly Wall” is especially spectacular. Elise lived in the house for forty years, filling every possible space with her collections and creations. When she died in 1984, it was a natural choice to open it up for exhibition.

Words cannot accurately describe all that is fascinating, strange, and beautiful about Quigley’s Castle. You’ll just have to stop by and see for yourself!

Quigley’s Castle

274 Quigley Castle Rd, Eureka Springs, AR
Quigley’s Castle is open March through November.
Hours April 1st through October 31st are 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Call for hours in March and November: (479) 253-8311
The castle is closed Sundays and Thursdays.
Be sure to visit the Quigley’s Castle website for more information.

Quigley’s Castle Lodging
Quigley’s Castle is a fascinating place to visit but they’ll kick you out if you try to sleep there! For more welcoming accommodations – the best around – try an Arkansas Bed and Breakfast Inn! Arkansas B&B’s are run by real, local folks, not some faceless corporation that cares more about your cash than your comfort. Do yourself a favor and book your Arkansas getaway at an Arkansas Bed and Breakfast Inn!