We’d always noted the nearby signs for Castle Hill and knew it was a historic sight. But since small children and historic sights are things that don’t often go well together, we ignored the long road to the top of the drumlin that overlooked the beach.
Fast forward a whole lot of years to an October day warm enough to be mistaken for summer. Jim and I were ready for an outing and Crane Beach, topped off with a drive up the road to the top of the drumlin seemed long overdue.
It was worth the wait. The house, built by plumbing supply magnate Richard Crane Jr. in the 1920s as a summer home, is a 59 room Stuart-style mansion. The grounds are reminiscent of an earl’s park in England. Downton Abbey could have been filmed in a place like this. Castle Hill has, in fact, been used as a billionaire’s haunt, as the home of Jack Nicholson’s devilish character in the Witches of Eastwick. The lawn extends on for what seems to be forever, up and down long grassy hills until finally ending in an breathtaking view of the beach and ocean below.
If you’re ever in Ipswich, I’d highly recommend a visit. Bring a good book, a large garden hat, and a picnic lunch in a hamper with champagne.