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Castle Gwynn opening its gates for 34th annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival

Posted at 9:56 AM, May 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-03 11:40:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — Tennessee's Castle Gwynn is opening its gates this weekend. You can get up-close to knights, ladies and merchants - all part of one man's passion project. Rising from the forest, about an hour south of Nashville are the towers.

Mike Freeman is the founder of Tennessee Renaissance Festival and the keeper of the castle.

"Been living here for the past 30 years," he said.

For more than three decades he's been building and adding on to the structure, both inside and out. He's fashioned gates and turrets, even an enormous dog-house for his prized Scottish Wolfhounds.

"When I was a senior in High School I started drawing the plans to it as an architectural drawing project," he said.

There's original paintings, ornate tapestries and windows that look out over the Tennessee landscape.

You may recognize a section of the castle from Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video.

To keep up with construction, Freeman says he worked two day jobs - as both a photographer and a host. He started the annual Renaissance Festival as a way to live in the castle year-round.

"It's kind of like an art, food, and craft fair in the 16th Century," he said.

Year after year, more than 60 artisans from all over the country come to Castle Gwynn. There's jousting, games and contests for kids. Freeman says this will be his 34th festival, fulfilling a dream he's had since childhood which, he says turned out better than he ever imagined.

You can visit the castle and enjoy the festivities every weekend during the month of May and Memorial Day. For more information click here.