Check out this $2.5 million medieval castle outside of Detroit

  • LeBlanc Castle is a custom 10,000 square foot property approximately 30 minutes north of Detroit.
  • It has 26 rooms spread over five floors and features facilities such as a wine cellar and secret passageways.
  • The castle, which sits on more than 6 acres, has been on the market for three months and is asking $2.5 million.

Brent Gatecliff, 64, never imagined owning a castle.

To this day, he has not spent a single night at the five-bedroom, seven-bathroom mansion, a 30-minute drive north of Detroit, known to locals as The LeBlanc Castle.

Located at 2009 Victoria Hill Drive in Rochester, Michigan, the 10,000-square-foot, five-story structure sits atop a 6.25-acre site. It dates back to 15th century Scottish medieval times with its secret passageways, wooden drawbridge and other classic features such as a moat. But there are also more modern amenities such as central heat and air, a fitness center and a fire protection system.

Gatecliff came to own the castle after striking a business deal with James LeBlanc, the original designer and builder of the eponymous castle, in 2015.

LeBlanc originally purchased the land to build the castle in 1991, public records show, and he then made several trips to Europe, as well as studying several books on castle architecture, to study the subject as he designed the home. According to Dylan Tent, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International who represents Gatecliff, the castle took nearly six years to build at a cost of $10.5 million.

The home was intended to be an engagement gift from LeBlanc to his wife, Vera, Gatecliff said.

Gatecliff added that LeBlanc was in poor health and struggling to make payments on the property when they met. So Gatecliff agreed to loan LeBlanc more than $900,000 to keep the home on the condition that LeBlanc would repay the loan in monthly installments. LeBlanc made most of these payments until he died in May 2022, aged 73, leaving Gatecliff in possession of the property.

“James was an amazingly brilliant person,” Gatecliff said. “I saw an opportunity to help a guy who was about to lose his house, and I ended up befriending him.”

Gatecliff said he and LeBlanc had a lot in common despite being near total strangers when they first met. For example, both men owned businesses in Lake Orion, Michigan. Gatecliff owned a mechanical supply company called Pipe Systems, Inc., while LeBlanc ran a military contracting company called Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems. (Gatecliff said he helped LeBlanc find parts for some military vehicles he was working on after the two met.)

Since taking possession of the castle, Gatecliff said he has updated several parts of the home’s infrastructure. He has replaced the hot water tank, installed six new furnaces and added six new programmable thermostats.

Gatecliff has also received several offers for the property since taking ownership, but none have worked out so far. The castle is sold as is and the price includes all the period-specific furniture. However, it is currently under contract, and Tent told Insider that the deal could close as early as mid-December.

“The quality craftsmanship that went into building this home is truly astounding,” Gatecliff said. “It’s easy to see in the inlaid wood, the antique chandeliers and the oak coffered ceilings. It’s truly stunning.”

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