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“A Must-See”
Review of Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle
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$159.00*
and up
Gloucester Harbor Cruise with Lobster Bake
Ranked #7 of 61 things to do in Gloucester
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Medieval-style castle built by inventor John Hays Hammond.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

Simply put, what a cool place to visit and experience a European castle in North America. The outdoor views and gardens are incredible, it even has a moat bridge.

Inside is amazing...Mr. Hammond had an interesting life and a great eye for collecting. I don't know what was more interesting, learning about a man who I hadn't heard of and his scientific career or seeing the incredible collection of castle related items including a giagantic organ.

Next time I find myself near Boston, this is a definite repeat visit!

2  Thank museum-guru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"self guided tour"
in 26 reviews
"pipe organ"
in 17 reviews
"remote control"
in 14 reviews
"indoor pool"
in 11 reviews
"his inventions"
in 11 reviews
"grounds are beautiful"
in 12 reviews
"candlelight tour"
in 8 reviews
"medieval style"
in 6 reviews
"fascinating place"
in 5 reviews
"his wife"
in 18 reviews
"gift shop"
in 19 reviews
"great place to visit"
in 12 reviews
"interesting history"
in 11 reviews
"his life"
in 5 reviews
"couple hours"
in 5 reviews
"dining room"
in 5 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 5 reviews
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450 - 454 of 471 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2009

$10 fee. Need about 1-2 hours to really see it And not a good place for people who have a hard time with narrow stairs.

Set high on cliffs, the view is beautiful!!!!! The parking lot is small but wasn’t busy. Walk down the stairs to the main entrance and in the gift shop pay the $10 fee.

The castle was really interesting to see. Lots of things to look at and read about. There’s tons of small winding stairs that lead from room to room so not an easy walk thru for a person who has a hard time with stairs. Was a bit musty smelling, well that’s an understatement.

They say it’s haunted and I might believe that J My friend and I walked into the “blue” bedrooms as we called them and was commenting on something when the hallway door slammed shut. And I mean slammed! After unclinging myself from her she went to take a picture and hew camera battery was drained. Weird!!!! One of the workers there, a quirky but real, real nice man told us some great ghost stories. He kind of made our trip!!

All in all it’s a great, cheap place to visit. Wonderful views, easy to get to and worth the trip!

4  Thank icantBwhoUR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2009

I'm so happy we made the time during our vacation to see the castle. The sea views from the gardens and most windows were amazing. I liked that you were free to tour the castle on your own and didn't need to have a guided tour. They allow you to take pictures including flash photography which was a pleasant surprise. There are lots of stairs, some very narrow so I would recommend wearing sneakers vs. flip flops for safety. The gift shop was just ok (prices were high for figurines and didn't have a large selection of items to purchase as souvenirs). Overall, it was worth the $10 entrance fee.

2  Thank LuvtoKayak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2007

One of my boyfriend's first comments to the visitors we encourtered after we toured the Hammond Castle, was "the place is a little run down." The place does hosts weddings and has potential as a great venue, but the grounds definetely could use a little upkeep and the interior rooms some dusting.

The ocean views from the castle's windows are breath-taking and the pool in the home's courtyard is very impressive. I am glad that we checked this spot out because it added variety to our day spent on the North Shore. The nine dollar admission fee seems a little steep. Plan to spend about an hour walking through the castle, and be sure to arrive before 3PM because weekday hours end at 4.

2  Thank karaturtlegirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Redlands, California
128
Reviewed July 11, 2005

It's billed falsely by the deteriorating sign out front as "A Medieval Castle," defying the fact that the early 20th century was not, by any measure, "medieval." When John Hays Hammond, Jr., the quirky inventor of the 1920's, built his fabulous medieval-style castle on a point overlooking the sea near Gloucester, Massachucetts, he had no idea that it would become a repository of some of the tackiest, thrift-shop trash imaginable.

Hammond built the impressive structure and filled it with an eclectic collection of priceless objects d'art from Europe including early Roman sculpture, medieval church carvings in stone and wood, and even facades of charming buildings his architects artfully worked into the edifice. The lovely gardens, awesome "great hall," fabulous 1000-pipe organ, and the charming castle turrets, narrow passageways, and open-beamed rooms make the place a charmer, even for people like me who have visited the great castles of Europe and North America. Add to this the fascinating story of the inventive genius and personal eccentricitries of the father of radio-controlled guidance systems, and you have a place that should fascinate the most jaded visitors to historic sites.

But, when the castle came into the hands of its current owners, something horrible happened. In an inexplicable effort--it is supposed--to add interest for visitors, the "curator" (if, indeed, anyone fills this role) began filling every available square meter of the walls and rooms with the most awful collection of cheap junk imaginable. A modern, tole-painted serving tray placed among some of Hammond's lovely curios, cheap, modern pine cabinets covered with strange nick-nacks, and cheap reproductions of medieval armor (available at any Medieval Times gift shop) clutter the castle and offend the taste and senses of any discriminating visitor.

The greatest favor anyone could do for the memory of John Hays Hammond, Jr., and the thousands of visitors who fork over seven to ten bucks a visit would be to sweep through the place removing and trashing every piece not actually owned my Mr. Hammond and placed in his castle personally. As Hammond Castle stands, it's as if someone had painted a blond wig and goggles on a fine reproduction of the Mona Lisa.

28  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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