Minister’s House – The World’s Biggest Treehouse

I’ve seen some pretty bizarre-but-impressive treehouses in my day, but the Minister’s House is by far the most impressive, if only through its sheer size.

Located in Crossville, Tennessee, the Minister’s House took Horace Burgess 14 years to build around an 80-foot-tall white oak tree, with a diameter of 12 feet. The wooden edifice itself is 97-feet-tall and it’s supported by six other strong trees that act like natural pillars.

Burgess says he started working on this giant treehouse after he had a vision back in 1993. God spoke to him and said: “If you build me a

treehouse, I’ll see you never run out of material.” And so he spent the next 14 years building God’s treehouse, using only salvaged materials, like pieces of lumber from garages, storage sheds and barns. So, as far as Horace is concerned, God did provide him with all the materials he needed.
Although he never bothered to measure Minister’s House (he estimates it must be about 8,000 to 10,000 square feet), he did count the nails he had to hammer into it, 258,000. It cost the 56-year-old landscape architect around $12,000 to construct the world’s biggest treehouse.

400-500 people visit Minister’s House every week, most of them tourists from out of state who heard about a 10-story-treehouse somewhere in Tennessee.

I found the photos on this obscure Hungarian site, but I doubt they actually own them. If you know who these belong to, let me know so I can credit them.

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Feedback (34 Comments)

  • Wanda Oakerson Posted on February 7, 2010

    HAVE BEEN THERE BUT COULD NEVER CAPTURE PICS LIKE THESE.

  • Robbins Mitchell Posted on July 13, 2010

    Looks like a fire trap to me

  • Tree Beard Posted on July 13, 2010

    Yeah right, a 12′ diameter. I don’t think so.

  • Denver Posted on July 13, 2010

    It isn’t Soaring Woodshealven or Caras Galadhon but puts Tarzan and the Swiss Family Robinson to shame.

  • Jack Posted on July 14, 2010

    Amazing. Not a real treehouse, though.

  • JackWayne Posted on July 14, 2010

    10 years from now when those trees grow, that house tears apart.

  • Paul Posted on July 21, 2010

    It’s not a real treehouse in my opinion, but ot’s amazing.

  • Alexis Posted on July 28, 2010

    i want to live there.

  • Pam Posted on August 15, 2010

    This treehouse is awesome I just saw it this past week it is unbelievable. This is something that everybody should go see…. if you dont have nothing nice to say about this treehouse that means that you havent seen it or been up it.

  • Oklahoman Posted on March 22, 2011

    Went there last week. It was awesome and the kids loved it.

  • MIKE Posted on May 12, 2011

    The tree house is in my home town been there many times all ways something new there when you go you have to swing very fun go see it cost is free enjoy

  • susie allen Posted on May 19, 2011

    I have friends coming in town and we want to take our kids to see this tree house, but i cant seem to find the direction can you please tell us how to get there, i will be coming from Pikeville, Tn.
    thanks susie allen

  • Shelli Posted on June 17, 2011

    Beehive Lane, Crossville, TN
    Directions: I-40 exit 320. Turn north onto Hwy 298, then make an immediate right at the stoplight onto Cook Rd. Drive almost a mile. As the road takes a sharp right, instead make a sharp left onto Beehive Lane. Drive about a half-mile. The pavement will end, but keep driving. You’ll see the tree house ahead and to the right.

    Didn’t see anyone else post the directions so Susie here you go. I haven’t been but it looks interesting.

  • laurie Posted on July 10, 2011

    we have gone a few times since we leave fairly close. it is an odd mixture of scrap wood pieces. He is constantly working on it and it has been a little different each time. Some spots are dangerous and it is not well lit so be careful. My son loves to go and climb around and its free which is always a plus.

  • Gary Posted on September 7, 2011

    Its a great place something you should see my name is Gary Hall also a Minister and horice is a friend for years befor you critisise this go and see it you need to be fairly active and in good shap geting to the top is a good climb but what a view we used to have servises hear and we were always blessed if you ever dreamed of a tree house as a kid and you could never get past a few baords to stand on this will be great for you

  • Hattie Posted on September 25, 2011

    Let’s see now. How many of YOU have built a treehouse like this – or even smaller? It’s so easy to sit in our house, air conditioning going wide open, sipping your – whatever your poison might be – and criticizing a poor man’s creation. Build one yourself, and I’ll bet you won’t even have TIME to sit and bitch. Go. Do it. Get off your duff!

  • Garth Posted on October 11, 2011

    Well put Hattie, well put.

  • kp330 Posted on January 5, 2012

    do people actually live in it all year round? Amazing!

  • splashy Posted on January 6, 2012

    I have some friends that built a tree house home, and after about 10 years or so it started leaking and coming apart as the trees grew. The roots started breaking the bottom parts, and one started to die so wasn’t a good support.

    With much sadness they had to cut down their beloved trees and finish out the house without them in there.

    This is really cool, though. It’s hard on the trees, but I can see the appeal.

  • Faith Posted on January 30, 2012

    I’d like to see some interior shots

  • Faith Posted on January 30, 2012

    Oooh Hattie, that was pretty vehement, I haven’t seen any bitching going on here – all comments seem to be positive. It’s true that, when a tree house gets so built around that you can’t see the trunk of the tree, it may not fit into the category of ‘tree house’, but that doesn’t take away from the awesomeness and is not a negative comment.
    Thing I’m trying to work out is, if the materials were all free how did it cost him $12,000 to build? Can someone please enlighten me.

  • Faith Posted on January 30, 2012

    Oh, maybe that’s the cost of 258,000 nails?