I’m not sure anyone would think to look in Des Moines, Iowa for a 15th century English manor. OK, building began in 1923, at least 400 years after its namesake was built, but the date makes the building no less impressive.
Carl Weeks and his wife Edith were in Salisbury, England in 1921 and saw “Kings House“, which now houses the Salisbury And South Wiltshire Museum. They knew instantly that they would design their Des Moines home after the Tudor style mansion. Not only did he design his home to look historic- many of the materials actually were historic. The west section of the roof and the cottage were covered with 17th century tile from Lord Nelson’s Trafalgar estate in England and interiors included imported 16th-century English oak paneling and floors, as well as five fireplaces. It’s spectacular.
Salisbury House is now owned by the Salisbury House Foundation and is open for tours March 1 thru December 31, Tuesday thru Friday and Sunday. Schedules and prices can be found here.
The Weeks were avid collectors. In addition to the antique art and tapestries you’ll see antique swords, rare books and documents (including a leaf from the original Gutenberg Bible), English Wedgewood, and medieval armor. What’s most impressive, though, is that Carl and Edith Weeks raised four boys in this home. Upstairs reflects more about their life as a family.
In addition to tours Salisbury House also hosts public events and allows the house and gardens to be rented for private events- like weddings. Talk about a fairy tale! Some of the most popular public events are:
Chamber Music Concerts
In the past Salisbury House has also participated in the Holly & Ivy tour. Viewing the house decorated for Christmas is truly magical. We have also had “Tea at the Castle” for Mother’s Day.
Salisbury House was featured in an episode of America’s Castles: The Anglophiles on A&E in 1997.
To view more photos from this amazing house click here. It may just make you want to visit Des Moines! There’s more here than you might think!