Boston January 09, 2018
7 Captivating Castles You Won’t Believe Are Near Boston
If you ever dreamed of attending Hogwarts or of being a royal, then you’re probably a fan of castles! Surprisingly, there are a number of these grand buildings scattered around Boston. While you’re unlikely to find any wizards or princesses (that we know of, at least), you will discover whimsical architecture, fantastical settings, and the perfect backdrop to let your imagination run wild at these seven castles:
1. Winnekenni Castle (Haverill)
It’s hard to believe that this castle was originally built as a summer home. Dr. James R. Nichols was inspired by the stone buildings of Europe and decided to create Winnekenni Castle in Haverhill. Work on this impressive structure was completed in 1875 and some of the walls are four feet thick! You can rent the castle for private events or attend one of the events that are open to the general public.
2. Hammond Castle (Gloucester)
Tucked away on a seaside cliff in Gloucester is Hammond Castle. This Medieval structure was built by the eccentric inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr. as a wedding gift for his bride. This granite edifice is just as dramatic on the inside as it is on the outside, with a courtyard, Renaissance dining room, and even a secret passageway!
is rumored to be haunted, so when Halloween rolls around, the castle hosts a haunted house called Halls of Darkness. Otherwise, members of the public are welcome to visit between spring and fall.
3. College Hall, Endicott College (Beverly)
Endicott College, located in Beverly, was established in 1939 as a women’s college. The campus includes its very own castle, which was constructed as a summer home for William Amory Gardner. Now it is known as College Hall.
4. Usen Castle (Waltham)
Endicott isn’t the only Boston-area campus where students can live like kings or queens. Usen Castle was the oldest residence hall at Brandeis University and, until recently, students could still live there. The university plans to demolish all but two towers of the castle because its poor condition has limited the number of students who can call it home. It is supposed to be replaced with a new hall of residence, so check it out soon before it's lost forever!
5. The Castle at Boston University
This Tudor Revival-style structure has an imposing interior, complete with a grand staircase and ornate dark woodwork. The BU Pub is in the basement. While that isn’t open to the public, you can usually rent space in The Castle for events. The building is currently undergoing renovations, with work expected to finish in fall of 2018.
6. Herreshoff Castle (Marblehead)
There’s a building in Marblehead that’s a reproduction of Erik the Red’s Viking castle, and it just so happens to be a B&B! Waldo and Joan Ballard constructed this edifice in the 1920s, using a detailed description of Erik the Red’s Greenland castle to create as close a duplicate as possible. If you’re looking for a getaway with turrets and suits of armor, your search is over.
7. Searles Castle (Methuen)
The Presentation of Mary Academy is a Catholic high school that sits on the old Searles Estate in Methuen. The on-site castle was built by Edward Francis Searles, a serial castle constructor who also built a castle in Windham, New Hampshire!
How many of these captivating castles have you seen first hand? Do you know of others in the area that we should explore? Let us know in the comments – and don’t forget to share your photos of these majestic spots on Instagram (
@only.in.boston) or the Only In Boston Facebook page for a chance to see them featured!