Saturday, August 6, 2011

A field trip fit for a king: Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Mass.
(Photo: Lylah M. Alphonse)
Last week, my youngest kids and our best friends piled into the car for a family-friendly road trip to Hammond Castle, in Gloucester, Massachusetts. My 6-year-old daughter is at the princess stage, my 4-year-old son loves knights and dragons, and I've always had an interest in Medieval history, castles, and the like.

This royal outing was so much fun that I shared it with my readers of the Boston Globe's "Bring the Family" column today. You can read the article at, but these pictures also tell a good part of the story:

The cavernous Great Hall looks fit for a king’s court; a 1,000-pipe organ sits at one end, and colorful banners hang from the walls.

In the Great Hall, alcoves hung with heavy red curtains are filled with what my 4-year-old son insisted must be “dragon’s treasure.’’

The Great Hall opens out into a sunny courtyard with a reflecting pool in the center. The interior walls of the courtyard are made out of facades found during the Hammonds’ travels through Europe

A Renaissance-style dining room holds a narrow table, colorful floor tiles, and plenty of artifacts from the Hammonds' collection.

Narrow, winding stairs snake up the towers; climb them (single file) and you’ll find artfully gloomy dungeon rooms, paintings and prints of knights and princesses, and a medieval chapel complete with altar and religious paintings. 

This is what you see when you walk from the parking lot to the gift shop, where the tickets are sold. 

(All photos by Lylah M. Alphonse)
Read more about Hammond Castle at "A Medieval Outing Fit For A King," on

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