Hammond Castle

Yesterday a friend and I decided to hang out for awhile.  We could have gone for a 4 mile hike around Winnekenni Lake. Instead, since he’d already made one circuit of the lake that morning I opted for Hammond Castle.  It was open all Labor Day weekend and we could tour the museum, something I’ve never done before. So we zipped up to Gloucester, and got some tickets – and found out it is a self-guided tour.  I handed my pal the map, said, “You’re the navigator” and off we went.

We realized pretty quickly that we should have come the moment the doors opened because you could spend at least a day here, if not more. In fact, I have a feeling that I will visit more than once in the years to come just to get a really good understanding of the artifacts in it that I could not achieve in a 1-hour dash through.   I did get lots of photos, though.

Not to worry, we got our exercising in walking down the spiral staircases into the basement, marveling at the handrails made of carved granite wall hung with various banners and cloth hangings, then up again with rope handrails as we ascended the towers and peeked out the windows designed to fend off arrow attacks.  I’m not sure how many acres are inside, but it has a Great Hall that could seat a moderately sized church.  It has a pipe organ (I wonder if it works?) and various Christian trappings such as crosses and a round stained glass window.

All in all, the place has at least a dozen, perhaps more, stained glass windows. It has fairly modern kitchens, bathrooms, etc. There’s everything from Russian iconography to a silver tea service tucked away behind glass. It is a “look, don’t touch” sort of place since it is a museum.  We found the inner courtyard which appears to be an outer courtyard, but which is confined in the castle walls.  It has a lovely pool and when we were a floor or two above it I was able to take some window shots looking down that were great.

The one fly in the ointment was a rather surly employee who was “New England Rude” as we left.  We could have done without that. But it didn’t ruin our day or our fun.  I got to take lots of photos and spend time with a friend I quite like.  Followed by an enjoyable dinner, it was a really good day!

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