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Castle Pines Farm, more than 40 gorgeous acres, in rural West Tennessee is the home of Chestershire Castle. The exclusive grounds and castle offer a magical venue for your wedding, pre-bridal and engagement photo shoot. Whatever the fantasy, the staff at Castle Pines Farm will help make your dream a reality. Chestershire Castle features a drawbridge entry complete with moat, portcullis, torches, battlement and towers for a trip back in time. Its gray stone walls and towers provide the perfect backdrop for wedding and bridal photographs.
The 30’ x 40’ timber-framed pavilion with a 25’ cathedral ceiling has all the amenities you will need to host the perfect event: stone fireplace, kitchen with major appliances for caterers, restrooms and dressing room. Guests, of course, are free to explore the spacious grounds. As the setting sun reflects off the pond and the rays peak through the trees photographers can capture moments on your special day that you won’t soon forget. Only with a visit to Castle Pines Farm can you appreciate the beauty of the natural surroundings and Chestershire Castle.
The Story of Castle Pines
The 44.5 acres known today as Castle Pines was purchased by George Manzelmann and Teresa Hardee in December 2006. Due to the many years of neglect, it took two and half years of hard, diligent work to clear and reclaim fields and a building site. After clearing one area, it was sowed in Bermuda grass to harvest. Now it’s a beautiful green, open field referred to as the Glen.
The second area that was reclaimed sits directly across from the recently constructed timber-framed pavilion and was planted with hundreds of loblolly pine trees, providing inspiration for the name of the property – Castle Pines.
As the building site began to be cleared, thoughts turned to the style of the house. Naturally, all good husbands ask their wives, “Honey, what kind of house would you like to build?” Having a strong interest in their ancestry, the couple visited Germany in 2004 for Manzelmann family research, and in 2007 took a trip to the UK (Scotland, Wales and England) for the Hardee family. Because of this, their love for castles ran deep and Teresa’s answer to George was a bit of joke. “I think we should build a castle.” Although she was kidding, what girl doesn’t want to live in a castle with her knight in shining armor?
Fortunately, George’s older brother, Jim Manzelmann, is an architect and was able to help the couple begin designing their dream home. The first phase of construction began in 2009. The two story structure boasts Tudor-style features and a tower with more Germanic features. The lower level of the structure is a three bay garage with basic, one bedroom, one bath living quarters above. The attached 40’ north tower houses a staircase leading to the living quarters and top for gorgeous views from the wraparound windows. The tower is decorated with carved antique furniture, swords and shields and stained glass panels to create the feel of centuries of history.
In May 2012 a 3/4 acre pond was added and is now stocked with bass, catfish and blue gill making it a perfect addition for fishing with the family or just relaxing quietly and enjoying nature.
Phase two of the building of Castle Pines started July 17, 2013. This goal of this phase was to create a structure connecting the existing parts of the castle with additions to be built in the future. This portion of the phase was in more of an English/Scottish style and consisted of the castle wall, a breezeway with cathedral arches along the walk and a bailey connecting the three-bay garage that’s currently utilized as the great hall. The castle entry is complete with a drawbridge and moat and medieval-looking portcullis. A 20’ tower stands on the opposite end of the north tower and is also used as a staircase to access the battlement of the castle wall.
As phase two was being constructed, the couple felt that while the land was referred to as Castle Pines, the actual castle should have its own name. Great consideration was taken in the naming. Although married, the couple’s surnames are different, so using one or the other didn’t seem to be right, and the combination didn’t quite have the ring they were looking for. Eventually, they turned to the area in which they lived. Knowing the castle would remain for many years after they were gone, they decided to name the castle after the county in which it’s located, Chester County. Most Scottish and English castles have “ham” or “shire” on the end, so the couple chose Chestershire. Chestershire Castle is the perfect name for this unique, European structure.
The raising of the 30’ x 40’ timber-framed pavilion began in April 2014. The pavilion has a 25’ stone fireplace, kitchen with major appliances, two restrooms and a small dressing room, making it ideal for hosting get togethers.
George and Teresa are very thankful for the progess that has been made since 2006 and are now looking forward to designing phase three, the actual castle. Because that will be such a major project, they have decided to wait for George’s retirement so they can oversee it together. In the meantime, they have chosen to share this stunning medieval castle setting with others for weddings and other special events. Once the castle is complete, the current living quarters will become a bridal suite.