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“A bit hard to reach”
Review of Bannerman Castle

Bannerman Castle
Ranked #3 of 25 things to do in Cold Spring
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hewitt, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A bit hard to reach”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

and we would much rather explore on our own, but certainly worth the trip out. We were there in the heat of the summer and that was a bit frustrating combined with the quick day trip but it would be a lovely place to return to.

Visited July 2012
1 Thank Laurie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Cortlandt Manor, NY
Level Contributor
80 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
“Closer than the castles on the Rhine”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

Pollepel Island, about four miles north of Cold Spring, holds the picturesque ruins of Bannerman's Castle. Bannerman was an arms dealer who bought up much of the Union’s military supplies left after the Civil War and all the military surplus of the Spanish American War. He stored them in a warehouse in New York City and sold them out of a New York storefront. Bannerman published a mail order catalog of the arms holdings and became the Sears Roebuck of munitions. Most of the world's rebellions from 1880 through 1910 were fought with Bannerman supplied weapons. Eventually New York's city fathers became uneasy about having a munitions store in mid-town and convinced Bannerman to move. He relocated his warehouse to Pollepel Island, figuring that the locals would be more tolerant of a few hundred tons of explosive in the basement. The warehouse was constructed to look like a medieval castle, although it was made of conventional brick and concrete. Bannerman and his family moved there. Unfortunately the area is no stranger to lightning and the warehouse was destroyed by a series of fires (and explosions) by the late 60s.

In the mid 70s my kids and I used to canoe the short distance to the island and hunt for Civil War memorabilia in the ruins. All we found was a few belt buckles and minnie balls, but a more fortunate neighbor got a couple of single shot breech loading rifles and a small field cannon. There are guided tours but the grounds are dangerous to visit. The whole place is now being developed as a state park.

7 Thank CaptOlaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
486 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 223 helpful votes
“Ya gotta be into ruins”
Reviewed October 31, 2012

There is more of a mystique here than substance. An old ruin trying to be saved. Eeeh...the view of the Hudson was worth the trip. The castle did little for me

Visited July 2012
1 Thank JAMES L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Evergreen, Colorado
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A Rare Experience”
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Did maintenance on the grounds, pathetically as one of two members of the Cold Spring Kayak Club volunteer group, having to paddle several miles against the Hudson tides each way for the privilege. But the rare experience of visiting ruins, more typical of Europe than the US, was well worth all the effort. The eerie setting produced by the crumbling castle on its isolated island gives one not just a sense of history and of the nature of its original owner, but of the possibilities of what was and what could have been, and of the brevity of our stay in the here and now. If you have the opportunity, i.e., any opportunity, make the most of it.

1 Thank WanderLust 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ossining, New York
Level Contributor
104 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Hard to get to, but well worth the trouble”
Reviewed September 16, 2012

This tiny island in the Hudson River was bought by an eccentric collector and reseller of obsolete army/navy supplies. After he bought the island, he went a little crazy and decided to build a huge replica of a Scottish fort, and also a house for his family to live in. Unfortunately they weren't very well constructed, so have fallen into ruins.

The only way to visit the island is by an occasional ferry boat ride from Newburgh on the west shore of the Hudson. See http://bannermancastle.org/ for more information.

Visited October 2011
Thank atravellingman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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