Bishop Castle near Rye, Colorado, is built of hundreds and hundreds of tons of rock, cement and steel. Credit: Jared Ewy
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Ever driven by a roadside attraction and wondered, “how did that happen?” Who had the time and the interest to dedicate their lives to the world’s largest ball of twine that sits in rural Kansas? That’s what we’re here to do: examine the attraction. Get its origin story. Of all the attractions, it’s plausible that the citadel we’re about to investigate took the most effort. Not even small-town Nebraska’s Carhenge, a Stonehenge replica made of cars, stands up to this as far as sheer force of will from one person.

It’s called Bishop Castle and it borders the San Isabel National Forest near Rye, Colorado. The castle is hundreds and hundreds of tons of rock, cement and steel molded into an epic adventure. The man who built it is Jim Bishop. He’s now in a care facility in Pueblo, CO, but his son, Dan, carries on the legacy as caretaker of the castle — a job title that’s become less common since the advent of Democracy. 

As far as we can tell, it is the largest single-person project open to the public. If you have a bigger single-person project, then maybe open it to the public and we can compare.

Bishop Castle is astounding. Some travel magazines and websites have alerted people to the language and rawness of Bishop’s anti-government rants. Although even those didn’t keep people away. It’s all part of the provenance.

There have been some regulatory bumps along the way. The federal government wanted to get paid for all the rocks Bishop was taking from national forest land. That issue may have been settled. Like the castle, there are a lot of things that haven’t quite come to a finish. Right now, the most interesting thing still up in the air is the 160-feet of towering height on this incredible roadside beast.

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