Castell Gwynn is the realization of Mike Freeman's dream, one begun in 1970 in a high school architecture class, in which he drew the first sketches of his dream house. With the help of parents Joe Paul and Bessie Freeman, he established his professional photography career and began his search for the proper location for such a structure. Just south of Nashville, near the small town of Triune, a landowner named John Covington made it possible for the young dreamer to purchase a portion of his land.
The first tower was begun in 1980: five stories of which the first-floor kitchen is the crowning glory. Master mason Kenneth Canady worked two years molding the 14,000 bricks into 60 arches. Tilemaker David Wright highlighted his feat with his reproduction of the castle coat-of-arms.
Castell Gwynn will be completed as a four-towered structure. Finer points of the plans began to take shape when Mike visited a twelfth-century border castle in Wales. Castell Coche, or "Red Castle," became the prototype of Castell Gwynn, or "White Castle."
The second tower, begun in 1985, boasts a focal point of Castell Gwynn: a second-floor Great Hall. Under a 28' ceiling, a balcony with a minstrel gallery will lead into the area. The great hooded fireplace is Indiana limestone: 14' tall x 6' wide x 3' deep. The mantel, resting at a height of 5 1/2 feet, is 7' thick and 6' long. Finished with a coat-of-arms, the fireplace will center a room with cut-stone ceiling arches. The third and fourth towers will feature Guest Suites, including a "Honeymoon Suite" with personal elevator and hot tub in a glass gazebo on the roof.
Castell Gwynn is the centerpiece of the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, held from 10:00 A.M to 6:00 P.M. each weekend in May, and Memorial day. The fully-costumed festival is held in a shaded site, complete with entertainment, crafts, games, and foods. Each day features several armored jousts. Unlike other Renaissance festivals, it is the only one in the country which is held on the grounds of a castle residence. Tours of the castle are included in the admission price. The castle and festival are located between 1-24 and I-65, thirty minutes south of Nashville, TN. Further information at (615) 395-9950.
Princess Patricia and I visited this castle in March of 1999. The interior design and decoration are perfect, including a beautiful suit of armor. This castle is a "must see" for castle lovers. The castle is a private residence and can only be toured during the Tennessee Renaissance Festival when your ticket to the festival also gets you a tour of the castle, enjoy.
On 5-27-05, I received E-Mail that said:
Castell Gwynn in Triune, TN really is a beautiful work-in-progress. But Mike has done a lot of work since the picture on your website. He has added a roof to the main tower that they live in. He used authentic wooden pegs and everything. I don't have a picture myself but it can be seen at
The Tennessee Renaissance Festival website
On 6-5-07, I received E-Mail that said:
Just wanted to let you know that Castle Gwynn has come a long way in recent years! On 25 May 2007, a roof was added to the second tower. You can read about it, here:
On 11-24-08, I received e-mail that said:
"Castell Gwynn" was just used to shoot the video for Country musician Taylor Swift's song "Love Story".
On 4-22-10, I received e-mail that said:
The family that owns it and lives in it actually lets the Tennessee Renaissance Festival take place on their property and opens up portions of the castle to the public for the festival. I attached a link I found about the history and when I drive by it on my way to work tomorrow I will take a few pics for you.
Back to "Castles of the United States"
A special thanks to Mike and Jackie Freeman for the picture and information on this page.