Atalaya Castle

The following is taken from Wikipedia.

The photos are from a cache page at

Atalaya Castle

Search Coordinates: N 33° 30.009 W 079° 04.093

(These are the actual coordinates for the geocache, but if you can find that, you can find the castle!)


Photo by Georgia Treasure Questor

Nearest city: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Built/Founded: 1931
Architect: Archer Milton Huntington;William Thompson
Architectural style(s): Other
Added to NRHP: September 071984
NRHP Reference#: 84002045[1]
Governing body: Private

Atalaya Castle, also known as Atalaya, stands as a monument to the creativity and generosity of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Archer M. Huntington was a noted scholar of Spanish culture and art and modeled the couple’s winter home in the style of the Moorish architecture of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Anna Hyatt Huntington was a sculptor and her main studio was here.

Atalaya was built near the ocean in South Carolina in what is now Huntington Beach State Park. The 200 by 200 foot (60 by 60 m) masonry structure was built from 1931 to 1933. Local labor was used at Mr. Huntington’s insistence to provide work for a community hard hit by the Great Depression.


Photo by Georgia Treasure Questor

Atalaya (AH-tuh-lie-yuh) means “watch tower” in Spanish. The house is dominated by a square tower (which was used as water tank) that rises nearly 40 feet (12 m) from a covered walkway that bisects the inner court.

The living quarters consists of 30 rooms around three sides of the perimeter, while the studio, with its 25 foot (8 m) skylight, opens onto a small, enclosed courtyard where Anna Hyatt Huntington worked on her sculptures.

Photo by Georgia Treasure Questor

Because she liked sculpting with live animals as models, horse stables, a dog kennel and bear pens were included. The building also features hand-wrought iron grillwork designed by Mrs. Huntington, and shutters to protect against hurricane winds.

The inner walls of the main courtyard were covered with creeping fig vines. Sabal palmettos, the South Carolina state tree, and other palms help make the courtyard a picturesque, unique setting.

The Huntingtons last used Atalaya as their winter home in 1947. Most of the furnishings were sent to New York City after Mr. Huntington’s death in 1955. The studio equipment was moved to the new studio at Brookgreen Gardens just across U.S. 17 which cut through the Huntingtons’ former property.

The 2,500 acre (10 km²) tract was leased to the state in 1960 for use as a state park. Mrs. Huntington died in 1973.

Photo by Georgia Treasure Questor

Atalaya was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, and was included in the designation of Atalaya and Brookgreen Gardens as a National Historic Landmark in 1984.

Visitors to Huntington Beach State Park are free to walk through Atalaya.

The annual Atalaya Arts and Crafts Festival is held each year in late September.

The above image comes from and was taken by Joseph Levy. He has some very interesting photos of the castle so head on over.


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