Hand-built with incredible attention to detail by artist Dean Mosher, it serves as both home and studio for Dean and his wife Pagan Sheldon Mosher and their two children Megrez and Cleveland.
The tower contains bedrooms for the children on the second and third floors, while the ground floor houses Pagan's office and sitting room.
Nestled on the edge of a wood near downtown Fairhope, Alabama, stands the Mosher Castle.
Over the last 30 years, the small frame 1950s-era house purchased by the Moshers in 1983 has slowly been completely enveloped by the castle. Dean’s designs and architectural drawings have become concrete footings and Clay City tile walls, with concrete and miles of rebar in slabs, corners, and lintels, all faced with stone veneer with interesting objects woven throughout.
Arching, roofs, balconies, trim, doors, windows, and furniture were all handmade from Dean’s designs, often by himself, with notable help from his father-in-law, Craig Sheldon, as well as his own father and many good friends over the years. “God willing, another decade should see it finished,” says the artist/builder.
The centerpiece of the fountain that feeds the moat is crucible once used to pour molten bronze into one of Pagan's father's sculptures. Dean likes the contrast between the 2100-degree metal and the cool water that now gushes forth. Dean's studio entrance is accessed by crossing the drawbridge over the moat by the waterfall and pond area full of koi goldfish and minnows.
Every part of Mosher Castle is handmade and designed by Dean Mosher down to the last detail, such as the entrance doors with their subtle dragon motif, showing the dragon shooting a fireball around the doorknob.
If you look closely, you will see that Dean's leos have manes formed of leaves rather than fur.
As a descendant of William the Conqueror and Henry II, Dean has a special place in his heart for lions, sculpting them for his cornice pieces.
The artist has been building his studio home for nearly 30 years in and around raising his family and pursuing his art. Dean's wife Pagan Sheldon Mosher, a retired professional dancer, now teaches ballet. They married in 1978. Much of Dean's construction knowledge was acquired working with his late father-in-law, Craig Sheldon, master carpenter, mason, and woodcarver.
All of the trim pieces are handmade to accent the house. Dragons carved by Craig Sheldon ornament Dean's studio, while phoenixes grace Pagan's workplace.
Both the exterior and the interior are largely made of local materials. The stone facing is indigenous to the area, as is the underlying wall tile.
In amongst the stones are pieces of glass and pottery as well as objects from around the world, including the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall.
Renowned potter Charlie Smith created the wonderful sunburst that graces the south face of the tower. Its mood changes as the sun journeys across the sky each day.
If you're wandering through the woods near Fairhope, you might get an enchanted look at this magical home. Thousands of visitors come by every year to see the castle.
Anyone is allowed to come see and photograph the exterior of the building at any time, but please contact Pagan first if you wish to book a tour. (Groups only, Please.) The artist's home has been featured extensively on HGTV, APT and other programs. We invite you to tour a gallery of them on our media page.