It’s not just Europe; America has castles too – or at least stately homes built as castles. One of the more interesting castles in the United States is the Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was built between 1926 and 1929 and was the home and laboratory of one John Hays Hammond Jr.
To see real medieval history in England, one can see Warwick Castle – a living castle dating from the times of William the Conqueror almost 1,000 years ago. Even better, while in England, time for one’s visit the Medieval Festival in Sussex and see the medieval times come to life.
The Massive Castle – Home Of One Of America’s Greatest Inventors
John Hays Hammond Jr. was an inventor and a pioneer in the study of remote control. For his discoveries, he is known as “The Father of Radio Control” and was one of the most prolific inventors of his time.
- Built: Between 1926 and 1929
- Architecture: A Mix Of Different Periods
The Hammond Castle is built in a mist of modern and 15th, 16th, and 18th-century architectural elements. This gives it a mix of a medieval castle, a Gothic cathedral, and a medieval French village – what a mix! Adding to its image, it sits on a rocky cliff that overlooks Gloucester Harbor.
Today the Hammond Castle is the Hammond Castle Museum and one of the top attractions in Gloucester. It is a museum and cultural arts center. Go there and discover Hammond’s collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts. In addition, there are exhibits of his life and his inventions. See his many patents, learn about his work on radio control, and even his work on guiding torpedoes for the navy.
- Function: Originally The Home And Laboratory Of John Hays Hammond Jr.
- Great Hall: Has A Large Pipe Organ
Visiting The Hammond Castle Museum Today
Today guests are permitted to explore many of the rooms. See the castle’s Great hall, inventions exhibit rooms, War Room, library, and indoor courtyard, among others.
- Time Needed: Approx. 1.5 Hours to 2 Hours
Choose between the museum’s guided and self-guided tours as well as many educational and cultural events. The events are held seasonally. Self-guided tours are purchased at the Museum Shop on-site, while guided tours are purchased online.
- Self Guided Tours: Available Only On-Site At The Museum Shop
- Guided Tours: Offered Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in April, November, December, Every Day May through the End of October
Candlelight Tours and Spiritualism Tours: Often Thursday Evenings During August, September, and October
Venue Hire: Available For Private and Corporate Rentals
- Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 4.00 pm Until The End of October
- Last Tour: Begins at 3.00 pm
- Off Season: November and December Open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm
General Admission Fees:
- adult: $20.00
- children: $10.00 (Aged 5 to 12)
It is also possible to explore the exterior of Hammond Castle without a ticket. A few things are prohibited in the castle, including dogs, food & drink (apart from water), large bags, and selfie sticks. Also, note that the museum is not wheelchair accessible.
Hammond Castle Specialty Tours & Group Tours
Thursday Night Spiritualism Tours
During the summer and the Halloween Season, the museum offers its Spiritualism Tours. During the late 19th and the early 20th centuries, segments of America’s population were enthralled by the American Spiritualism Movement – including John Hays Hammond Jr. and his wife, Irene.
They were both active in the movement and believed in psychic capabilities. The tour dives into the movement and the culture that formed around it.
Thursday Night Candlelight Tours:
John Hays Hammond Jr. was not quite an ordinary man. He followed the advice of his mentor Alexander Graham Bell and did much of his work in the evening (to the chagrin of other residents of the castle like his wife). He would often work throughout the night and sleep during the day.
Today the “Candlelight tours” are offered on Thursday evenings through the end of September and throughout the month of December. Be escorted to many of the rooms of the castle and be immersed in a different time. They are included in the price of basic admission.
Additionally, the museum also offers Educational Tours for school and camp groups.