Press Releases

New Book About Castle Hill Just Released

Ipswich, MA  |  February 19, 2021

The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) today announces the publication of a new book, Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, which provides an overview of the stunning Ipswich estate visited by thousands of people every year.

Set against the sapphire backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean, the book captures the spectacularly designed landscape of considerable size and beauty that is one of America’s great estates. This beautifully illustrated and practical guide provides the history and context of the stunning country estate of plumbing magnate Richard T. Crane, Jr. and his family, which is now owned and maintained by The Trustees and draws many thousands of visitors each year. It includes the house built by architect David Adler in 1928, with period furnishings, and marvelous natural landscapes and extensive gardens designed by some of the century’s most notable landscape architects.

“Castle Hill is one of The Trustees’ crown jewels in our treasure trove of 120 special places across the state, and we’re thrilled to see it captured so gorgeously in this wonderful new book,” said Trustees Director of the Crane Estate Peter Pinciaro. “Especially now with indoor tours unavailable due to COVID, this book is a fantastic way to experience the stunning beauty of Castle Hill in all its glory.”

Long before Castle Hill was developed by the English, the Agawam tribe of Native Americans occupied the land, which provided a rich source of fish, shellfish and game. When English settlers arrived in the 1600s, they farmed the saltmarsh hay, and the property remained a saltwater farm until the mid-nineteenth century. 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 Crane 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.

The book’s author, Anna Kasabian, is a freelance writer, journalist, and author of more than 15 books. Additional text and research was conducted by Susan Hill Dolan, Curator, Trustees Ipswich Properties, and Danielle Steinmann, Trustees Director of Visitor Interpretation. The staff of Castle Hill, the Trustees’ Archives and Research Center, and members of the Trustees marketing and curatorial staff also contributed to this project. The book was published with Scala Arts Publishers, Inc.

The 64-page, semi-soft cover book with front and back foldout leaves is 8” x 8” and is available for purchase by visiting Also, those wishing to experience Castle Hill in person can do so by securing a reservation in advance on The Trustees’ website. 

More about The Trustees
Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for 130 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit, supported by members, friends and donors and our 120 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.