Aborn Castle

This Place Wasn’t Just Aborn Yesterday
Aborn Castle

Somers Road (Rte 83), Ellington

Pc0180500This is another one of those posts that I don’t care about at all. But I’ve gotten emails about it, and I’ve seen it featured on a couple television shows. So here you go… No, I didn’t visit it or go inside and I’m not about to pay for a tour of what is essentially an odd castle-like house. I drove into the driveway once, many months ago, and took a terrible picture of it (the one below, not this good one here).

Fortunately, there are plenty of good pictures on the Intertubes of ths place that I’ll be borrowing. Oh, and the entire rest of this post will be borrowing from a couple sites that follow these types of castle houses: dupontcastle.com and an article from the Reminder News (where the first picture is from) which is some free regional paper thing. Enjoy.

Have you ever driven down Somers Road on Route 83 and wondered about the castle up on the hill? If you’re like most, it’s crossed your mind from time to time when you’ve been enroute past the house with the stone façade and the unmistakable imperial look.

abornIt was this interest and curiosity that prompted the recent tour of 265 Somers Road, the imposing castle-like home that sits atop a hill. The structure was built in 1918 and named Aborn Castle for Harry Aborn, owner of a general store set in the center of Ellington. Aborn became fascinated with the castles of England at the time and decided to try to replicate the grand look in his own home. Along with his brother Edgar , who was a mason, Aborn built the regal house, bringing this medieval English style to Ellington. The residential home on 7 acres boasts a turret tower and lion statues which keep watch over the property.

Aborn Castle underwent some major renovations not so long ago, under the careful eye of former owner John DeAlba , who meticulously renovated the interior of the home and the outdoor grounds from top to bottom, paying careful attention to maintaining the integrity of the home’s original style.

DeAlba spoke of the curiosity most people have felt in passing the house year after year and wanting to know what it looked like inside. “People would drive up the driveway to take a closer look, and I would invite them in,” said DeAlba. (CTMQ Notes: Aww man, I had no idea he was that cool.)

aborn-1DeAlba acquired Aborn Castle in 2001 at auction when it was in disrepair and recently sold the property. He still speaks of it fondly, though. “In terms of aesthetics, I did everything myself. I have an interest in buying properties and fixing them up to re-sell . In this case, I did everything from the patio and adding a pond, to updating the kitchen and bathrooms. Then I sold the home fully furnished.”

With a distinct vision, DeAlba took on the details of the immense restoration with vigor, using creative materials and flea market finds here and there to accent the décor with antique-looking furniture like a chaise lounge in one bedroom and a claw-foot tub in the bathroom. There is even a crackled cameo headboard that resembles a look from the past in the “Red Room,” one of three distinctly different bedrooms. There are also textured walls and a spiral staircase leading up the turret, where you can see all the way to Simsbury’s Heublein Tower (CTMQ Visit Here), and imported trees in the front yard like Norwegian weeping firs that add to the overall look of the home. It is in these details that this house preserves its originality and period look.

And there you have it, one of Connecticut’s castles.

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  1. Brian S. Mcconville says

    I lived in the castle in the early forties,my parents John & Beatrice Mcconville,rented it from Harry Aborn. I remember climbing the steps to the tower and looking over Ellington. We have a picture of my father in his Marine Corps uniform and I on the front steps. I only remember a few things, since I was very young. The garage was narrow and damp,I was told that the castle might have been used as a “Speakeasy” at one time.
    I grew up in Ellington and was inside the house several times when the “Wittams (sp?)lived there. Great place to see. Brian Mcconville

  2. Brendan Riley says

    I lived in the house previous to 2001 just before the gentleman that bought it through auction did and I can tell you that he tells quite the story. Most of the outside renovations were done by my family and myself. He mulched the nice flowing grass hills out front probably so he didn’t have to mow them. The crazy fir trees in front have been there at least 25 years so he definitely had no part of that. The fountain in front was used as a flower bed when we first bought it and we dug it out and sealed the inside and eventually got it running again, it looked amazing. It has turned out that a long time ago probably when new, the fountain was fed via steel pipeline from an underground spring which might still exist if that gentleman didn’t bulldoze iron the back yard half way up from the red barn in the back. Im pleased to see he is attempting to give people history on the house and property but not to see that he’s trying to take credit for this great renovation. He cleared trees, eliminated grass on the front hills and decorated the interior. We had made a decent patio in the back entrance area also where he said he did that as well. The house and history is pretty amazing and to anyone wanting to know more can get all the history right at the Ellington town hall. Visit when you can and ask questions, myself or the gentleman that lived there in the forties or anyone else other than the guy that bought it in auction will tell you more info.

  3. Art V says

    My father either owned or rented here when I was a child for a few years in the 80s. I didn’t live with him full time but I have fond memories being picked up to look over the edge of tower. Pretty amazing place for young kids.

  4. DEE PIERCE says

    This is all very intetesting, but who owns the house now? Is it available for tours/events?

  5. KIRK says

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS AMAZING, I’LL HAVE TO GO AND SEE IT THE NEXT TIME I’M IN CT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Jared says

    I recall as a child growing up in Ellington in the Seventies, that it was referred to as the “Weather Lady’s House” A reference to the weather reporter on one of the local network affiliates (there were only three, plus CPTV at the time) Don’t know who she was or what channel.

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