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Danbury Seeks State Help to Preserve Ruins of Hearthstone Castle

Volunteers work on a trail project at Tarrywile Park & Mansion in Danbury. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Hearthstone Castle on the Tarrywile property as it appears today. Photo Credit: Contributed
The Hearthstone Castle on the Tarrywile property as it appeared in its early years. Photo Credit: Contributed

DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton met with state historic preservation officials on Tuesday to discuss the city’s concept for a walled garden at Hearthstone Castle.

State officials agreed that the concept is the best use for the historic ruin and have even offered to seek additional state or federal funding on the city’s behalf.

The Hearthstone Castle, which is a landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had fallen into severe disrepair over the years and deemed dangerous .

A full restoration of the castle would cost approximately $16 million, according to Taylor O'Brien, public relations coordinator for the city of Danbury.

The city of Danbury, which owns the castle, recently proposed the idea of cleaning up the castle and building a walled garden inside it as a means of preserving the castle at a more reasonable cost.

The cost of the reparations and installation of the garden would be $1.6 million, according to Becky Petro, director of Tarrywile Park & Mansion.

Danbury voters will get the opportunity to decide the castle's fate at the upcoming November election. The question about the castle will appear as part of a Public Improvement Bond.

The November Bond referendum includes funds for Tarrywile Park Improvements that will be used for the preparation of detailed design and construction plans for the creation of the wall garden, removal of the contaminated debris, stone removal, and stabilization of adjacent rock retaining walls.

The city and state will work together to analyze the stability of the exterior walls of the castle once the debris is removed, according to a press release from the City of Danbury.

The parties agreed that a final determination of wall height can only be made upon further analysis once the debris is removed.

The mayor is looking forward to working with the state on this project to create a publicly accessible and safe passive recreation space that respects the castle’s historic past, the release said.

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