April 18, 2013

Tour of New England (Part 3): The Crane Castle

Chapter 3.
The third and final installment on the Tour de New England is a real crowd-pleaser. I wanted to share this with you before the weekend hits because, honestly, who doesn't want to see a pretty castle on a happy Friday? Where there are castles, my heart is usually not far behind. And this castle is located in Ipswitch, Massachusetts. Massachusetts! You heard me right! Who says Europe wins the award for romantic castle beauty? K maybe they do. But still. Check this out.

They Exist.
Well, I don't know how many castles are nestled into the foothills of greater Massachusetts, but this fine establishment is tucked far away in a funny-named town called Ipswitch. The Crane Castle (known fondly by the family as Castle Hill) is located atop a hill on The Crane Estate. Can you imagine calling your parents' house Castle Hill? Haaa that's really something.

This land was first  purchased by John Winthrop Jr. (yeah, the son of the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony), and remained farmland for more than two centuries. In 1910 Richard Crane purchased the land and transformed it into an estate, developing the land and gardens and building an enormous Italian Renaissance villa for his lovely wife, in the vein of the Newport mansions. She didn't like it. He tore it down and replaced it with a (more modest) 59-room mansion, overlooking the ocean and expansive grounds on all four sides. It's a hard life, but someone's gotta do it. I'm glad his wife had all those rooms. You know, to put her trinkets and jewels and puppies in.

Today the mansion is open for tours. People who love castles (like me) frolic around the grounds and chase deer whilst imagining growing up on such a mass of land. Our fearsome foursome had a wondrous time.

Fun Fact // Richard Crane is the great-great grandfather of beloved actor Chevy Chase.

// Deer photos courtesy of Steven Hale. He has such a soothing presence that he didn't spook them in the least. Also in his spare time he is a dog whisperer. //



// I mean, whose back yard doesn't open up into a mile-long processional into the Atlantic? //
// Boys throw snowballs. Because why not. //
// Geez, I wonder if it ever gets old being so darn cute. //
// Found one home error: I could see straight through the keyhole! Bad for insulation, Richard. //
Okay, so it's seriously beautiful right? New England is chock-full of grand surprises and this was the perfect way to end a day of lighthouses and seaside bliss. So in love.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend of sunshine and flower picking. Spring is officially springing up here and I am amped to enjoy it. Also, come Monday I may or may not have some photos to share from my jaunt down to Atlanta to see Taylor Swift in concert. I'm feelin' RED!

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