History of Castle Ladyhawke

Tucked away in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains lies the newest destination wedding venue of Western North Carolina. Castle Ladyhawke, a Scottish-inspired castle on 60 acres of land, is equally- if not more- beautiful as the mountains that protect it. While the castle is now used primarily for events and weddings, it once was a young girl’s dream that has since turned into reality.

Kim Nord grew up in Florida where her family ran a land development business. As a young girl, she frequently dreamt about walking through a castle and playing with her friends. After a trip to Scotland touring border castles and manors, she divested her interest in the family business and set out to find a piece of property the build her dream castle on.  She fell in love with Sylva, found a piece of land, and built a smaller house on the property so that she could be close to the castle project while it was under construction.

Kim knew her way around development and construction projects, and because of her travels abroad, she knew exactly what she wanted. She hired three different architects to help her make her castle dreams into a reality and ended up firing them all and designing the castle herself. Now an architect, Kim created The Last Straw Enterprises and hired an engineer to help her with the structural details. Inside the castle, much of the flooring and trim work came from the trees that were cleared on the property. All the walnut pieces inside were also from the trees found on the property. Kim built a woodshop onsite to saw the logs and make the planks for the floors and trim, along with some of the furniture as well.

Decorations with a Purpose

The A-frame arch in the Great Hall proved to be a challenge. Kim contracted with a man known for his woodworking skills and paid him in advance. She never heard from him again. Partnering with the local police, they went to the shop where the man had taken her lumber to build the frame and took it all back. In the end, she hired another local woodworker, Leonard Holden, and he built the A-frame and towers stairs.

Many of the pieces of furniture and decorations were purchased on one of Kim’s trips to Europe. She had a difficult time finding just the right pieces in the United States, so she traveled abroad and filled a container with dressers, beds, stained glass, tapestries, paintings, armoires, and old doors. Some of the pieces came from an abbey in Europe that was being torn down and replaced with new construction.

The stained-glass pieces in the Great Hall came from her trip abroad; others came from old churches that were being destroyed in the US. She commissioned a few of the pieces in the castle as well. The stained-glass windows in the tower were made by a local glass maker, Bobby Pace.

The mantle in the Great Hall is a 14th century piece depicting Native American figures. Kim also added crystals to the hearth. The caretaker of the castle wasn’t sure why Kim added the crystals, but said that she was always coming up with creative ideas and believed in everything having a reason and purpose.

The vanity in the blue room came from England and the bee curtains were hand embroidered and once hung in the McGuire House in Sylva, which was once a home and is now a restaurant and retail space. All the furniture pieces in this room were shipped from Europe.

The Dragon room was built for Kim’s son. He wanted a hidden room which is located behind the bookcase. Her son loved to bring friends to the castle to play, but he would hide his prized toys in the room so they would not be touched. The dragons were hand painted by the late local muralist Jan Adams. The writing in the murals are friendship prayers written in ancient Runes.

The upstairs gold and red room served as Kim’s room. The armoire is from Belgium and the vanities are dressers that came from Scotland. Once they arrived, Kim cut holes in them to turn them into vanities, much to the dismay of the caretaker and her woodworkers. Once again, Kim had a specific vision, and the result was perfect for the space. The toilet room doors are antiques from an old church, and the floor of the tub room is onyx.

While on one of her trips overseas, Kim visited several pubs and decided to bring that part of the European culture to North Carolina by building her own pub inside the castle. It is a great place to have a pint, watch sports, and play pool with friends!

Whether you are looking to treat and inspire your employees or bring families together to celebrate a union, all the details put into Castle Ladyhawke will surely be the reason your event will stand out from others. There are ample opportunities for your cooperate retreat or wedding to be the most memorable event to take place! If you have any inquiries regarding renting Castle Ladyhawke for your next event, please contact info@castleladyhawke.com.