ROAD TRIP WORTHY: This Medieval Castle in Massachusetts is Straight Out of a Fairy Tale
Hammond Castle Museum
80 Hesperus Ave, Gloucester, MA
Looking at photos of Hammond Castle Museum, you'd never know that this gorgeous Medieval castle sits along the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. High stone turrets, a wooden drawbridge, elaborate artwork, and a pool room with its own weather system are just a few of the elaborate features at Hammond Castle. Take a look inside this enchanting fortress. You'll never believe it's in New England.
John Hays Hammond, Jr. built his medieval-style castle between the years 1926 and 1929 to serve both as his home and as a backdrop for his collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts. The castle was constructed as a wedding present for his wife Irene Fenton Hammond to prove how much he cared for her.
John Hays Hammond, Jr. was a well-known inventor with over 400 patents and ideas for over 800 inventions. We have him to thank for his big role in developing the remote control using radio waves. Too bad he didn't invent a location device, too. He clearly did not foresee the struggle of losing a remote control in the couch cushions.
Hammond Castle's pool room is equipped with its own weather system. Rumor has it that John liked to swim in the rain, so he created a weather system that would allow him to do it anytime he wished.
The furnishings and decor are an impressive display of Renaissance and Medieval style art. John Hays Hammond, Jr. said himself in an unpublished letter that a home is the best display of someone's spirit.
You can read history, you can visit a hundred museums containing their handiwork, but nothing can reincarnate their spirit except to walk through rooms in which they have lived and through the scenes that were the background of their lives. It is a marvelous thing, this expression of human ideals in walls and windows.
- John Hays Hammond, Jr., Unpublished letter, 1929
Hammond Castle Museum is open for self-guided and guided group tours when it opens for the season on May 6th. The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Memorial Day, when they open for summer hours. Summer hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.