Hawks Nest Castle might be the closest thing to “Downton Abbey” in Minnesota.
A massive brick and stone estate set on Lake Minnetonka in Minnetrista, the “castle” on the water was inspired by an 18th-century English manor, according to real estate agent Mark LaQua of Weichert, Realtors Advantage. It’s now on the market for $11.15 million.
The home features fortress-thick walls and an imposing 15-foot entry gate. There’s no moat — but there is a formal fountain.
Inside, it’s filled with features to warm the heart of the most ardent Anglophile, including nine fireplaces.
The front foyer with its wide curved staircase definitely makes an entrance.
“It’s over-the-top grand,” LaQua said. The wood-paneled library with its box-beam ceiling is “outstanding — it feels like an English castle.”
Artisans were brought from Europe to work on the 22,376-square-foot house when it was built in 1989. The cobblestones for the driveway were reportedly salvaged from outside the U.S. Capitol building, where they were believed to have been underfoot during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, according to LaQua.
Another White House executive, Vice President Dick Cheney, actually visited the place in 2006, to headline a fundraiser for then-congressional candidate Michele Bachmann, hosted by William and Karen Hawks, the home’s previous owners. The event made further headlines when protesters arrived by pontoon boat, armed with rainbow flags and peace signs. Two were arrested for trying to paddle rafts to shore.
Cheney did not spend the night but it wasn’t for lack of accommodations. Hawks Nest Castle has eight bedrooms, 19 bathrooms, seven garage stalls, four kitchens, a massive ballroom, a billiards room, two attached caretaker apartments and even two helicopter pads.
The home sits on 2.2 acres with 190 feet of shoreline on Halsted’s Bay. There are also two pools — indoor and outdoor.
The castle’s technology includes in-floor heat, commercial air conditioning with 40 zones and an extensive security system.
Mark LaQua, Weichert, Realtors Advantage, 612-669-6526, has the listing.