Photograph courtesy of: Dale E. Martin

Visiting the Castle

The essence and experience of Hammond Castle Museum is very much as vibrant and enchanting as always!

We are focused on providing you a safe and structured visit, to ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. In keeping with the restrictions set forth by the State of Massachusetts, we have adopted the following provisions:

Code of Safety

We ask that all visitors adhere to our new Code of Safety  for admission to the Museum. Visitors compliance with these provisions is essential to preserving the safety and wellness of both visitors and staff.

  • If you are feeling unwell and displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 including cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat, and/or new loss of taste or smell, please refrain from visiting until you and everyone in your household is well.
  • If you have had close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive, please refrain from visiting until you are confident of your own health and wellness.
  • Face masks are required at all times while on the grounds and in the Museum. They should be worn according to the CDC guidelines covering both your nose and mouth.
  • Please be mindful to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and other visitors who are not members of your own household.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your timed admission to allow enough time for the check-in process.
  • Please be respectful of and adhere to the facilitated, timed movements throughout the Museum.
  • Please be mindful, Hammond Castle Museum is not handicapped accessible.
  • Be kind to each other and to our staff as we all adjust to a new way of presenting the Museum.

In keeping with the Massachusetts State Reopening Regulations, the number of guests in the Museum at any given time is strictly limited. Therefore, each tour group is held to only 20 guests. Visitors are required to purchase timed tour tickets in advance of their arrival as tour tickets will not be sold on premises.  Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate late arrivals. If you miss the start of your timed tour, you will not be able to join another tour at another time. Please note: all ticket sales are final, refunds are not offered, and exchanges for other tour times are not permitted.  Heavy Summer traffic should be considered when planning your travel time.   

Guests will only have access to the Museum through timed tour tickets. Tours run every half hour from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm daily through end of October.

The Museum returns to a weekend only schedule for November and December and will offer tours on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. We are closed on national holidays.

Please note the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is not handicapped accessible for assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers. If you have questions about the Museum’s accessibility, please call us at 978-283-2080 or email us at info@hammondcastle.org.

TOURS:

Guided Tours:  Admission to the Museum is granted with timed tickets for guided tours. Tours are offered daily and run every 30 minutes from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. On these tours, our experienced tour guides will provide a contextualized history of both the Hammonds themselves and the various artifacts located throughout the castle. 

We suggest visitors plan  70-80 minutes to complete the guided tour which will pass through all the rooms open to the public and the surrounding grounds. 

Thursday Night Candlelight Tours: Following the advice of mentor Alexander Graham Bell, John Hays Hammond Jr. conducted the majority of his work in the evening. While this put Hammond at odds with the rest of the inhabitants of the castle – including his wife Irene – he concluded that working throughout the night and sleeping during the day positively impacted his work as an inventor. 

With this in mind, “Candlelight tours” are offered Thursday evenings during the months of July and August. Guides will escort visitors through the castle’s many rooms, placing an emphasis on the Hammonds themselves and the time that they spent in their castle home. Guided candlelight tours are provided with the price of basic admission. Self-guided tours are not offered at this time. Visit and immerse yourself in the lost era of quiet luxury and candlelight.

Thursday Night Spiritualism Tours: The American Spiritualism Movement enthralled America’s upper and middle class during the late 19th and early 20th centuries – John Hays Hammond Jr. and his wife Irene included. Both Hammonds took an active role in the movement, contributing to the body of work vastly in different ways. In honor of their involvement and interest in psychic capabilities, we offer the Spiritualism Tour.

Spiritualism Tours are offered alongside our Thursday Night Candlelight Tours Program during July and August with a separate admissions process. These special tours delve into the history of the American Spiritualism Movement and the culture that formed around it, as well as the contributions of both Hammonds. We will discuss cultural phenomenons such as spirit photography and séances as well as the more scientific aspects of the movement such as Hammond’s research in ESP. 

Candlelight Tours and the Spiritualism Tours are $20 per person. Advanced reservations are required.

Carry-in, Carry-out Picnics: Guests with reservations for either the Candlelight Tour or the Spiritualism Tour are welcome to enjoy a “carry-in, carry-out” picnic on our ocean-facing lawn one hour prior to the start of their timed tour. Reservations are required.

Educational Tours for School Groups: We continue to offer narrated tours for school groups by advanced reservation. Guests should expect to visit the castle for approximately an hour and a half to two hours. 

Discussions with the supervising teachers help to determine the content of the tour, which may change with the age of the pupils. With our standard tour, students will be exposed to the history of the castle and the era in which it was built, the life of the famous inventor who lived here, and his passion for collecting Old World European. 

Upon request, the castle also offers a STEM tour. Focusing on Hammond’s life as an inventor, students will concentrate on various topics including: the patent process, Hammond’s inventions, and the castle itself. As Hammond concentrated on many different areas throughout his career, this tour is suitable for students in any area. Topics may include: radio dynamics, militaristic inventions, sound reproduction, architecture, musical instruments, domestic goods, and more. 

In addition to the STEM tour, the castle also offers a Medieval Arms and Armor tour. Lasting between forty minutes to an hour, this tour allows students to interact with various examples of armor and helmets as well as weaponry such as swords, crossbows, and more. 

Arms and Armor Tours: While Hammond did not specialize in one specific area while acquiring artifacts for his museum, he did have an interest in medieval arms and armor. In honor of Hammond’s curiosity, the museum offers specialized arms and armor tours. Lasting between forty minutes to an hour, the tour includes an interactive lecture that focuses on the different types of armor and weapons such as swords, battle axes, crossbows, and more. 

Please call us for the most current information regarding scheduling group tours. We may be reached at 978-283-2080 or email us at info@hammondcastle.org

General Admission Fees:

  • Adults $18
  • Senior Citizens (65 yrs +) $15
  • Children (ages 5 to 12) $10

Please note that the following items are not permitted in the museum:

  • Food and open beverage containers
  • Backpacks
  • Tripods and selfie sticks
  • Strollers

How to reach the Castle:

Heavy Summer traffic should be considered when planning your travel time.   Take I-95 North out of Boston to Exit 45, then route 128 North to Exit 14.  Turn right onto Route 133 to the very end of that highway, and with the ocean directly in front of you turn right onto Route 127.  Approximately 3/4 of a mile from that intersection the road will begin to narrow. Look for a blue and white sign on your left for the castle, and turn onto Hesperus Avenue. The castle is just a few blocks down Hesperus Avenue on your left.  Park in the lot off the street, and take the walkway and stairs down to the entrance.

 

Navigating the Castle:

Floor Plan