When you think medieval castle, Massachusetts is not a location that quickly pops to mind. Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Belgium? Sure. Massachusetts? Not so much. But much to my surprise, Gloucester, MA has an interesting facsimile of a medieval castle – Hammond Castle.
If you can visit during the summer evenings and take a guided, candle-lit tour, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the castle and its original owner, John Hays Hammond, Jr. in-detail. You can do a self-guided tour as well, but I much preferred the visit where I got the tour with a guide.
Completed in 1929, Hammond Castle was a wedding gift for his wife, and served as part-residence, and part-museum. You’ll find oddities and artifacts like the skull of one of Christopher Columbus’s crewmembers, a coat of armor, secret passageways, and an indoor “outside” terrace with a weather system.
Hammond was a prankster – he had trick doors, and often made it rain in the terrace while guests were walking to the dining room – but he was also a prolific inventor who produced over 400 patents (second only to Edison) and ideas for over 800 inventions including a radio wave remote control and the Emergency Broadcast System. The Castle contains a room that lists all his patents, and many of his inventions.
Located right on the coast of the Atlantic, this castle is well worth a visit!
Hammond Castle has a schedule that changes with the seasons, so please visit the website before making your journey. Hammond Castle Museum offers a number of educational programs and prearranged tour opportunities for school and tour groups. Admission is $10.
Here are a few of my favorite pics from my two tours…