Destination Geek: Hammond Castle

Welcome to Destination Geek.

In the Destination Geek series, we will cover places in New England that a geek might find interesting to visit.  Our first post in the series will cover Hammond Castle in the seaside town of Gloucester Massachusetts.

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Hammond castle, was built by inventor and “Father of Remote Control” John Hammond in the Nineteen Twenties as a home for he and his wife as well as a place to store his collection of Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance artifacts.  John Hammond was an avid collector of items from these periods of time, and his castle is full of artwork, armor, weapons and other artifacts.

A view of the two towers from outside the castle.
A view of the two towers from outside the castle.
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The drawbridge entrance to the castle, for display only, not for public use.

My wife and I visited the castle last summer, and we both found the experience quite fascinating.  I was impressed with the size of Mr. Hammond’s collection of weapons and armor, as well as his large library of books found on the basement level of one of the towers.

Our tour began in one of the towers of the castle that housed much of Hammond’s collection for display to the public.  As my wife and I journeyed up the first tower, things began to get interesting.  For you paranormal geeks, Hammond castle is reported to be haunted by Mr. Hammond himself, and my wife as well as another woman that had no association with us, both said they had strange, and uncomfortable feelings in the tower during our visit there.  As a skeptic, I did not have the same strange feelings that my wife had, but who knows if the ghost of John Hammond may have been there watching us as we explored his castle.

The hall way leading up to one of the towers is only shoulder width.
The hall way leading up to one of the towers is only shoulder width.
Here is a small portion of the weapons on display in the castle tower.
This is a chapel located in the tower.
This is a chapel located in the tower.

After our paranormal experience, my wife and I headed down from the tower and explored the rest of the castle without further incident.  As we progressed through the castle, we entered the main hall with it’s cathedral ceiling and functioning pipe organ.  I marvelled at the design and architecture of the castle as well as the artifacts found within each room.  There is also a lab room dedicated to the history of John Hammond and his many inventions including the development of remote control functions using radio waves.  In another section of the castle, there is a pool area with a glass ceiling to let the sun in.

The pipe organ in the main hall.
The pipe organ in the main hall.
Here is the poo area. It is fenced off to keep the public out.
Here is a view from inside the castle.  You can see how close it is to the ocean.
Here is a view from inside the castle. You can see how close it is to the ocean.

Hammond castle is a place that will appeal to geeks on many levels.  History geeks, paranormal geeks, science geeks, weaponry and armor geeks will all find something to love about Hammond castle.   There is a lot to see and enjoy at this modern day castle by the New England seaside.

A fantastic restaurant.
A fantastic restaurant.

After visiting Hammond castle, you may find yourself wanting to get a bite to eat.  I highly reccommend stopping at a restaurant called the Glouster House.  The food at the House is top quality seafood, but it is really the clam chowder that makes this restaurant noteworthy.  As a New Englander, I have loved clam chowder since I was a child.  I have tried chowders from all over New England, and I can say without a doubt that the chowder at the Gloucester House is my favorite.  What is it about their chowder that makes it so good?  Bacon!  The Gloucester House puts bacon in their clam chowder.  Let that sink in for a moment.  The only thing that could possibly make the heartiness and comfort of clam chowder better is to add bacon.  If you have never tried clam chowder with bacon, then you owe it to yourself to come to Gloucester and try it.  You will not regret it.

That is all for this installment of Destination Geek.  I hope this has piqued your interest and hopefully encouraged you to go and visit Hammond Castle, and the wonderful seaside town of Gloucester Massachusetts.  It is a great place to spend the day.

For more information about John Hammond and Hammond castle, including hours of operation and driving directions, visit the official websit:  http://www.hammondcastle.org

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