One of the most renowned of all the classic Darjeeling estates, Castleton Estate tea garden is the crème de la crème of all Goodricke?s gardens.
It was planted in 1885 by Dr. Charles Graham, and was taken over by the Goodricke Group in 1984. The slopes span Kurseong, Pankhabari and the Hill Cart Roads. Snow peaked ranges and soaring verdant hills encircle the garden. The predominantly China bushes grow at elevations of 3,000 ft. to 6,000 ft. above sea level.
The name Castleton was derived from a building which looked like a castle and still exists in Kurseong. This ?Bank Ghar? belonged to a money lender who built this grandiose fort. The original name of this famous garden was Kumseri, and it is still known as Kamseve by local residents. Interestingly, departing from usual practice, the tea sections here have been given names, not numbers. These names tell stories of adventure and are echoes of the past. Bhalu Khop (bear cave), Jim Basha (the erstwhile manager’s domain), Dhobitar (washerman?s clothes line), Baseri (resting place) are some of the interesting section names.
The Goodricke Group has pursued Castleton?s fine tradition of excellence and has been the guardian of this treasure for many years. Since 1984, the garden has consistently achieved record prices in open tea auctions.
Quality remains the quintessence of Castleton. The garden has been awarded the ISO9000/HACCP/ISO 22000 Quality Systems Certification, thus ensuring the legacy of excellence for the future. It also has the distinction of being the first garden in the world to be awarded the ISO 9002 certification.