Castle Hill on the Crane Estate is a massive Tudor Revival mansion in Ipswich, Massachusetts, which has 56,881 square feet of living space. The 59-room mansion was completed in 1928. It was built for Mr. and Mrs. Richard Teller Crane, Jr. who used it as a summer house. Crane was a Chicago industrialist being the founder of R.T. Crane & Bro.
Castle Hill is also the name of the 165-acre drumlin on which the house was erected, which is surrounded by sea and salt marsh. Indigenous peoples were familiar with the Castle Hill location, which they dubbed Agawam because of its abundant fishing.
The estate is a largely intact work from the turn-of-the-century Country Place Era, when affluent people erected sprawling country estates. The Crane Estate is well-documented and features architectural and landscape designs by at least seven nationally renowned firms or individuals, including the Olmsted Brothers and Shepley, Rutan, and Coolidge. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998 for its condition of preservation and architecture.
In 1949, the Crane family donated the full property to The Trustees of Reservations. The non-profit maintains the estate to this day and offer tours of the historic mansion seasonally. Castle Hill advance passes are recommended but not necessary for visits. If you have an advance pass, however, you will be guaranteed access on the day and time of your visit, even if passes sell out.
Looking for more great spots to explore nearby? Check out the GoXplr Massachusetts Map at goxplr.com/map/massachusetts!
- Opened: 1928
- Original function: A summer home for Chicago industrialist Richard T. Crane, Jr. and his wife
- Architect(s): David Adler
- Year added to NRHP: 1977
- NRHP number: 77000183
- Status: Public
- Admission cost: Free for Trustees Members. Nonmembers: Adult $10, children 6-14 $5, and children 5 and under Free. Passes are valid for a single entry during a three-hour time slot. It is best to purchase passes in advance at https://thetrustees.org/content/passes/.