Entering This Hidden Massachusetts Castle Will Make You Feel Like You’re In A Fairy Tale
If there’s one place in Massachusetts that feels like a page from a storybook, it’s Hammond Castle in Gloucester.
Between the soaring arches, ivy walls, hidden passages, candlelit alcoves and romantic seaside locale, this place has all the makings of a fairy tale. And you can visit today.
Nestled against the stony cliffs of Gloucester Harbor, Hammond Castle has a history almost as romantic as its medieval turrets and spiral staircases.
The castle was built by John Hays Hammond Jr. in 1926. Hammond was a tinkerer and inventor, and had amassed a great fortune by devising the technology that we now use in almost all radio remote control devices. In fact, he is second only to Thomas Edison in number of registered patents.
He used his wealth to journey to far-flung countries, always hunting for the next fascinating artifact or artwork to add to his burgeoning collection.
When Hammond met Irene Fenton, the couple fell ardently in love. Hammond built the castle as a wedding present to Irene, and the couple lived in the Medieval-style castle for much of their lives.
Visitors have countless options when touring the castle. You can tag along on a pre-arranged tour of the estate and be guided through the rooms and collections by knowledgeable staff. They’ll show you much of the priceless artwork gathered by Hammond during his lifetime, as well as fill you in on little-known secrets involving the castle and its inhabitants.
Or, if you prefer a more independent exploration, take one one of the castle’s self-guided tours. You’ll be supplied with a map and given free reign to investigate the whole of the castle.
Explore the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance-style dining hall, multiple guest bedrooms, dramatic library, and exhibitions rooms. You’ll even be able to poke around in the servants’ quarters and take a secret passageway to a hidden part of the castle.
The romance doesn’t stop at the castle walls, however. The grounds of the estate are equally charming.
Take in beautiful, panoramic views of the Atlantic while you stroll through the carefully cultivated gardens of fragrant blooms and creeping ivy. There are plenty of hidden stone benches to pause for a bit of a breather (or maybe a quick kiss) where you can hear the crash of the waves and smell the sharp salt air.
If you come at the right time, deer can sometimes be seen grazing on the sweet grass at the foot of the castle.
The castle also holds countless events throughout the spring, summer and fall. Besides the expected Renaissance faire activities, there are amazing musical and cultural events that are often free and open to the public. Check out their incredible Halloween “haunted castle” event, where ghosts and spooks populate 23 lavishly decorated rooms throughout the castle.
Hammond Castle is located at 80 Hesperus Avenue, Gloucester.
Admission fees are as follows:
Seniors (65 and older): $9
Children (6-12): $8
The last day of the 2016 touring season is October 9. After that date, the castle will be open for special events until the spring. For another enchanting spot in Massachusetts, check out this magical waterfall campground.