Experience the grandeur of a 2,100-acre seaside estate, its marvelously landscaped grounds, restored Grand Allée, gardens, and Casino complex.
Castle Hill was well known by indigenous peoples, who called the area Agawam in reference to its rich fishery. Beginning in the 1880s, J.B. Brown transformed Castle Hill Farm from an agricultural holding into a gentleman’s farm, improving roadways and plantings and renovating his modest farmhouse into a rambling, Shingle-style cottage that is now The Inn at Castle Hill.
After Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr., purchased the property in 1910, Castle Hill came to exemplify a European-inspired country estate of the era, with its farm and estate buildings, designed grounds and gardens, and diverse natural areas. The first house built atop Castle Hill, an Italian Renaissance Revival villa designed by Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, was razed and replaced in 1928 with the Great House, the 59-room Stuart-style mansion designed by architect David Adler that you see today.
Across the grounds, there’s no shortage of stunning features to stop you in your tracks, including the quietly captivating Casino and the jaw-dropping Grand Allée rolling toward the surf. Allow a minimum of one and a half hours to explore the Grand Allée, gardens, and grounds. A Visitor’s Guide to the Crane Estate is a self-guided landscape tour brochure that introduces visitors to Castle Hill. It is available at the Welcome kiosk in the main parking lot. Take a self-guided garden and landscape tour app using our TourTrustees: Castle Hill smartphone App (Google Play or Apple iPhone). Castle Hill offers four miles of easy hiking trails and is a link in the Bay Circuit Trail.
GROUNDS AND TRAILS
At this time, Castle Hill is open Daily from 9AM – 5PM. Parking passes must be reserved online in advance.
THE GREAT HOUSE
Currently, the Great House is closed. When it reopens, we will update that here.
At this time, we are doing a limited number of outdoor landscape and garden tours. Contact us for further information.
NOTE – Visitors to Castle Hill must have a Timed Entry Pass to enter. Please visit our coronavirus update page for further information and a link to access passes. Timed Entry Passes are valid for a single entry during a three-hour time slot.
Trustees Members: FREE
Nonmembers: $20 per car, $5 per motorcycle, $3 per bicycle/pedestrian
Ipswich Residents: Weekdays FREE with valid town residency sticker, Nonmember admission on weekends; Ipswich Residents do not need a Timed Entry Pass on weekdays but do need them for weekends.
290 Argilla Road
Ipswich, MA 01938
From Rt. 128 North Exit 20A, take Rt. 1A North for 8 mi. to Ipswich. Turn right onto Rt. 133 East and follow for 1.5 mi. Turn left onto Northgate Rd. and follow for 0.5 mi. Turn right onto Argilla Rd. and follow for 2.3 mi. to entrance on left.
Public restrooms are available in the form of portable toilets in the main parking lot and other locations around the property.
The Great House Gift shop and adjacent Café with grab & go refreshments are currently closed.
The Inn at Castle Hill offers overnight B&B accommodation. Check for special offers in connection with Great House events.
Hold your wedding or special event at the Crane Estate. For further information visit this site or contact 781.221.3003.
Free trail map distributed from bulletin board in the parking area. Please understand that supplies periodically run out.
We recommend that you take a photo of the map on your phone so you can refer to it during your visit, or download a trail map before you head out.
The standard Crane Estate regulations are here. Additionally, please review the following:
We want you to experience Trustees reservations to their fullest, whether you're spending time with friends and family or seeking quiet time by yourself.
Concerts at the Crane Beach parking lot featuring popular bands covering your favorite summer music.
Castle Neck Boat Tours are a great way to explore the tidal estuary river that leads from Essex Bay around the back side of Crane Beach, and into the Gre...
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Working to get children outside, using creativity and curiosity to foster individual development, community, and personal connection to nature.
From the Colonial Era to the Modern Movement, our historic homes represent architecture, design, and history that spans more than 300 years.
Imagine yourself a guest at the Crane family’s famed summer home in 1929. Strolls in the garden, ladies in tea dresses, bustling servants, clinking glasses, and jazz tunes wafting across the warm summer air. The estate’s sounds and sights come alive in our dynamic 40-minute multi-sensory experience: Castle Hill Illuminated. This night-time spectacle combines music, narration, and lighting to offer you a new and exciting way to experience Castle Hill.
For centuries, this dramatic coastscape served as seasonal fishing grounds for indigenous peoples before European settlement turned it to agriculture. By the late-19th century it had evolved into a gentleman’s farm. Richard T. Crane, Jr., began its transformation into a sprawling summer estate during the early decades of the 20th century.
The Crane Estate is a wonderful, historical and very peaceful place. Catch a house tour in season, then a walk on the beach.
– Bill H, Facebook
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