Unlike the rest of the Newport mansions we visited, Kingscote wasn’t all that fancy. It was big, but not huge like Elms or The Breakers. The owner tried to keep up with the building boom, modernizing the house as time went on, but you couldn’t make a 900 square foot house look like a 125,339 square foot mansion.
Kingscote was done in Gothic style, like what was popular in the early 1800’s. Books like Jane Austen’s novel Northhanger Abbey, and Sir Walter Scott’s book Ivanhoe inspired this architecture. It has gingerbread house like details and uneven roof lines.
When we visited, the front was under construction, so we didn’t get a good first look, but I am sure it would have been quite cute. We stepped in the door and looked around. It was very dark. There was nothing very grand about the entrance. In Rosecliff or The Breakers the entrance is very big and grand and most of the time the staircase is what draws your attention.
We then went up stairs. That’s where all the bedrooms were. Originally it was only a summer house, but when the owner died, his wife and daughter moved in and lived there full time. They each had a summer bed room facing the sea. When winter came they moved into bedrooms on the other side of the house.
After we finished upstairs we went back down and saw two other parlors, one for family gatherings, and one for neighbors and guests. That’s where our tour ended. We went back outside and looked around the stables. Soon we moved on to the next mansion, which was Elms. I am happy that we got to look around the house, even thought it wasn’t as fancy.