The Beautiful Warner Castle & Sunken Gardens of New York

If you ever find yourself around Rochester, New York, and are looking for the perfect day trip any time of the year, you can be sure to find that at the beautiful Warner Castle Sunken Gardens.

Warner Caslte New York Main CastleWarner Caslte New York Main Castle

The incredible Warner Castle was constructed in 1854, commissioned by Horatio Gates Warner. Horatio had wanted the castle to resemble the ancestral castle of the Clan Douglas.

Warner Castle Sunken GardenWarner Castle Sunken Garden

Everybody loves candy, right?

Well, at least a couple who loved candy, also fell in love with the beautiful Gothic architecture of this castle. In 1912, Frank and Merry Ackerman Dennis, owners of the Dennis Candy Factory had purchased the castle, and would later commission the work of Alling Stephen DeForest to further beautify the space.

Warner Castle Sunken Garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden

Warner Castle Sunken Garden

Alling Stephen DeForest, a famous landscape architect during the late 1800s, through the mid-1950s designed the beautiful sunken garden behind the castle. DeForest was commissioned to design gardens for the grounds in the 1920s, with the sunken garden being completed in 1930. There were also plans for a courtyard, rose and woodland gardens.

Warner Castle Sunken GardenWarner Castle Sunken GardenWarner Castle Sunken Garden

The sunken gardens, when not occupied by the occasional wedding photographer, are a peaceful scene to be enjoyed by all.

Warner Castle Sunken Garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden
Warner Castle Sunken Garden

DeForest studied under the world’s greatest landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, who was responsible for the Highland Park arboretum where the castle stands.

The castle grounds are just a small part of Highland Park as a whole. Highland Park was Rochester’s first park, on land donated by horticulturists George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry.

Today, Warner Castle is owned and operated by Monroe County Parks Department.

Warner Castle Cat

And if you’re lucky enough on your visit to Warner Castle, you just might find this friendly one wandering around the sunken garden! (cat)

It should also be noted that DeForest was a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Artists. Alling S. DeForest was one busy man, as numerous other bunches of scenery throughout New York can be attributed to his hard work. Some of his most incredible projects include the original landscape of the George Eastman house on East Avenue in Rochester, and the gardens of Harbel Manor, the home of Akron, Ohio’s famous Harvey Firestone.


Pretty sure you could guess what he was famous for.

The castle grounds are free and open to the public from Tuesday-Thursday, 9:00am-4:00pm.

Learn more about the castle HERE, or click the map below for directions if you’d like to visit!

You’ll also only be a short distance from one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the state of New York – the Mount Hope Cemetery.


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