Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

June 20, 2014

Looking in on Lexington landmarks

LEXINGTON — The first time I can remember traveling to Lexington, I was in my first year at Western Kentucky University. My boyfriend at the time was attending the University of Kentucky so I started making weekend trips there whenever I could.

Coming off Bluegrass Parkway and turning right onto Versailles Road, then traveling a short distance toward Lexington, I would always look up to catch site of a strange edifice perched on the hill to the left of the road. Known as “The Versailles Castle” locally, it stood unfinished and unoccupied for many years.

A man named Rex Martin Jr. bought the land in 1969 and started building the outer walls and turrets of what was to be a grand home for his wife. Marriage being what it is – they divorced several years later and construction on the project stopped.

More than 30 years later, the property was purchased by Tom Post, who began the renewed task of finishing the building. It took several years of construction and recovery from a suspected arson fire, but the castle is finally fit for a king or his queen or anyone with some money in his or her pocket and a hankering to see what has become of this historical landmark at last.

I got that chance along with more than 50 other people from Glasgow, Bowling Green, Edmonton, Cave City and Tompkinsville last week. Many of you have had the opportunity to travel with the  globetrotting Ledean Hamilton on one of her many trips. Ledean organized this outing as well. She filled a 56-passenger touring bus and still had to turn 12 people away. So needless to say, I was not the only one around here with a yen to see what had become of the castle. We were not disappointed when we arrived.

CastlePost is a bed and breakfast with rooms ranging in price from just under $200 to just over $400 a night. Everything has been designed and decorated to convey a sense of grandeur. From the main hallway with its grand staircase to the ornate chandeliers hanging above the tables in the dining room, it works. After we toured the billiards room and the music room and the library and one of the bedrooms, our group had lunch there, which was quite good. Outside, the amenities include tennis courts, basketball goals, a formal boxwood garden, all overseen by a dragon statue perched on the edge of a small pool.

Next, we reloaded the bus and picked up a wonderful guide, Martha Martin, a local horse farm owner, who showed us Darby Dan and Donamire horse farms off beautiful and historic Old Frankfort Pike. Martha had plenty of informative tidbits for us about movies that had been filmed in the area, the history of the farms and other area landmarks and about the thoroughbred horses living there.

At Darby Dan, we met two famous race horses, Dialed In and Shackleford. A person doesn’t realize just how magnificent these animals are until he or she is standing right next to them and touching muscled flesh.

Our final stop was at Keeneland race course where we toured the stands and viewed the track.

It was a good day spent in good company with plenty of fun moments and wonderful sights. I would tell you more, but I promised Ledean what happens on the tour bus stays on the tour bus.

 

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