Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Crane Beach and Castle Hill, and Pumpkins!

We were so thrilled to see the sun on Monday morning. We had a full day of touring planned, including two estates, a farm, and a National Historic Site, and we were going to the sea!

East of the village of Ipswich, out on Crane Neck, is the property known as Castle Hill and the Crane Estate.

Before you get there you pass Russell Orchards.
 Blue sky and foliage coloring up. Now that's how I had pictured this trip!

 I just love seeing pumpkins in October. 
This place is buzzing with activity on October weekends, but we had it almost to ourselves.

 Inside, the fragrance of fresh fried cider doughnuts filled the air. 
 The orchards here produce many types of apples.
Some are pressed into cider using this very mechanized process.

We came away with a few goodies to enjoy later, and then we were off to Crane Beach.

It's a long sandy beach, the kind we see on the Pacific coast, but that are much more rare on the North Atlantic coastline. This beach would be very crowded on a warm summer day.

And up there on Castle Hill is the mansion that belonged to Richard Crane, who purchased the property in 1910 as a gentleman's farm. Before that it had been farmed by settlers since 1627, when it was claimed by John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who of course took it from the Agawam Nation of Native Americans. 

The house was not open on Mondays, but we preferred strolling the grounds anyway. The landscape is an Olmstead design. There are views out to the sea. 

The long walk.

Not all of the hardscapes have been maintained, but the sunken Italian garden was lovely.

More iris in bloom!

 Then look what we discovered below the mansion, hidden from view from above down the Long Walk. This is called the Casino, which in Italian means the guest house. 

 From the drive up Steep Hill, we found the end of the Long Walk and the view out over the sea.

Tom loves trees, and especially the cones and nuts they drop.

He filled his pocket with acorns.

Before we left for our next destination we enjoyed a little tailgate snack courtesy of Russell Orchards. 


  1. Yup, you are, or were, in New England in autumn, for sure.

  2. What a lovely day. The one time I was in New England in autumn I was amazed at the color of the pumpkins, so much brighter than the pumpkins we were seeing in Texas.

  3. You picked the right time to tour as there are very few people. Great photos of your travels.

  4. Thank you so very much for taking us along. Wow, is about all I can say.

  5. Everything looks beautiful. That is really quite an estate. And if you ever want more acorns, just let me know. My yard is full of them.

  6. It's gorgeous! Glad to see such beautiful blue skies, too! :-)

  7. What an amazing estate. Hard to imagine actually living there. The Italian garden I found delightful.

  8. You packed a lot into one amazing day! I wonder how many miles you must have walked.

    1. Oh this was just the first part of Monday. There will be two more posts to cover all that we did in that one day.

  9. Wow, beautiful beach and incredible mansion and grounds.


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