Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

Castle McCulloch Gold Mill

by Lisa Coston Hall, 2006McCulloch Gold Mill, Copper Branch, Jamestown, NC. Image courtesy of Library of Congress.

The Castle McCulloch Gold Mill is a restored gold refinery in Jamestown listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built by Charles McCulloch, a Cornish engineer who brought the new steam engine technology to North Carolina from England, the structure was completed in 1823 and restored in the early 1980s. It is a granite castle, complete with drawbridge, moat, and 70-foot tower. Using locally quarried granite, McCulloch and stonemason Elizier Kersey created a Cornish Rock Engine House for the refining of gold ore, with a "Walking Beam" steam engine that powered Chilean mill ore crushers.

After years of ownership within the McCulloch family, the site passed through several hands and fell into disrepair before being bought and rebuilt by Richard Harris during the mid-1980s. It is maintained by the McCulloch Foundation. The site is popular for such occasions as weddings, receptions, and corporate events. In 1997 the Crystal Garden was built nearby, with Victorian-style beveled glass walls, a crystal chandelier, and a veranda with a view across a lake to the castle. The gold mill-which operated on the grounds of the castle for its first three decades-offers gem and gold panning, historical tours, and rock quarry visits.


Elizabeth Hines, "McCulloch's Rock Engine House: An Antebellum Cornish-style Gold Ore Mill near Jamestown, North Carolina," Material Culture 27 (1995).

Grimsley T. Hobbs, Exploring the Old Mills of North Carolina (1985).

Alexander R. Stoesen, Guilford County: A Brief History (1993).

Image Credit:

McCulloch Gold Mill, Copper Branch, Jamestown, NC. Image courtesy of Library of Congress. Available from (accessed October 3, 2012).


Origin - location: 



My grandmother's house was the last house on Bronze Road. We played in the ruins of this castle for my entire childhood in the 70's. The chimney which was still mostly intact always had bats in it. Whatever happened to the door underneath the stream near it. We tried everything to get that door open but never could.


I played in the castle also as a kid. Ty for the pics and info!


Thank you 4 the history on such a unique piece of NC home from birth, 51 Yrs and VERY PROUD!


My home also, I’m 50yrs old and I played in this castle when I was a kid

Add a comment

PLEASE NOTE: NCpedia will not publish personal contact information in comments, questions, or responses. If you would like a reply by email, please note thats some email servers are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. These often include student email addresses from public school email accounts. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia. Complete guidelines are available at