Caudy’s Castle, also known as Castle Rock, is a unique land formation located along the Cacapon River in Hampshire County, West Virginia. This rock formation towers 1,070 feet above sea level and 400 feet above the valley and the Cacapon River below. Not only a natural landmark, Caudy’s Castle also has historical significance. It is named after a Hampshire County settler, James Caudy. Caudy is known to have fought off a group of Native Americans on the rock formation during the French and Indian War.
Backstory and Context
Caudy’s Castle is formed of fine white Oriskany Sandstone that was deposited millions of years ago and can be found in many formations in eastern West Virginia. The formation has developed a tan hue due to time and iron deposits. The summitt of the rock formation can be accessed by hikers from a trail on its west face that winds upward towards the jagged peak. The top of Caudy’s Castle offers spectacular views of the surrounding valley and mountains of Hampshire County.
This landmark received its name during the French and Indian War. James Caudy (1707-1784), a pioneer of the area, reportedly took refuge from a group of Native Americans on the mass of rocks. The tight passage Caudy took fleeing the Natives allowed only a single-file chase, and once the pursuers reached Caudy he pushed them one by one to their deaths on the edge of the Cacapon River. In 2003, Caudy’s gravesite was marked to honor his participation in the early history of western Virginia and the French and Indian War. Over time, Castle Rock became known as Caudy’s Castle due to the popularity of the story of Caudy’s participation in the war.