Located on Redmont Road, this property boasts eight bedrooms, eight full and three half bathrooms and is approximately 21,385 square feet. The castle was built for Theodore Swann who made his fortune as an early leader of the chemical industry.
The stones were brought to Birmingham for use in the construction of another house erected on Shades Mountain in the early 1920s. The architect was from California, and, by his representation, he obtained them from the cache of William Randolph Hearst. That house no longer stands. The leader architect on the Swann house, William T. Warren, acquired them for use in the "Norman Hall" which is a subterranean or basement room.
Swann suffered a reversal of fortune and was reduced to living in the basement of his house, trapping rabbits on the property for food. He was unable to make the last mortgage payment on the property, and, the bank foreclosed. The second owner died in an airplane crash before taking possession. The wife of the third owner went blind in the house. The fourth owners, Joseph and Virginia Simpson fared no better. the wife was found murdered in her bed, and, the husband died shortly thereafter; the fifth owners got out with any misfortune, although the husband died before the sale of the house closed. The sixth owner spent a million dollars restoring and modernizing the house; unfortunately, he, like Swann, suffered a reversal of fortune, and he sold the house at a considerable loss. The house is now on its seventh set of owners.
Several of the amenities that make this house unique are things such as a 12th-century Norman hall, preserved from an English castle. Ten fireplaces, including living-room setup with hand-carved oak paneling. Georgian dining room and stone-and-glass conservatory overlooking a pond. Small gym and two new wine cellars. Outside, an English garden with a rose arbor, a Provence garden with a pond, a kitchen garden, a dogwood grove and a boxwood parterre.
To drive through the Red Mountain District is like driving through a Hollywood movie set. Steep curving streets barely wide enough for two cars, stately trees framing the avenues and giving shade to the wondrously designed mansions whose views are beyond anything else in the city.
Red Mountain District is a unique and picturesque section of the city.