rennes

5.21.2012

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Yesterday Jesse and I drove up to Gloucester, MA. We had heard about a place called Hammond Castle, built by John Hays Hammond Jr in the twenties for his wife. Somewhat similar in style to Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Hammond had a passion for Medieval and Renaissance antiquities and decided to build a castle to house his collection. His castle is a mish-mash of different architectural styles, including a little French, a little English, and some flying buttresses just for good measure. I can't believe we hadn't come here before, it seemed like a little bit of Europe tucked away on the North Shore. If you are visiting the area I highly recommend making the side trip.

Hammond was an inventor and researcher and had more than 400 patents at the end of his life. Most of them pertained to radio communication and widely impacted US and global naval operations. Today Yale seems to have most of his research equipment, which is too bad because it would have been great to see his lab.

3 comments:

k. wang said...

neat! i saw these on your instagram and was wondering where you were, now i know! i'd love to visit ma sometime, some really good friends of mine are originally from worcester and i know it's very pretty out there (general ma, not sure about worcester).

jennifer said...

So cool! I love how it was built to sort of look like a ruin...or at least it appears to be. I wonder if the pieces were all made to order for him (like the detailing in the archway in the last picture) or if they were salvaged from real medieval structures.

Oh, and I seriously love Gloucester. We were up there a couple years ago for a friend's wedding. I wish we had known to visit the Hammond Castle!

julia said...

k - i know, it totally doesn't seem like MA at all! it's funny, i don't go to worcester much, it's always the in between place when i'm traveling back and forth between boston and western MA (where i'm from). MA is really nice in the summer, and the north shore is definitely worth a visit!

jennifer - i think hammond bought all the pieces in europe during summer tours so i'm pretty sure they are authentic, not replicas. then i think he just had them installed in different ways in his home - oh to be rich in the early 1900's!

it's funny, but i was certain i had been to gloucester until this trip - but then i realized i hadn't! it's a nice little town.