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“Abbadin Mare”, Abbey by The Sea


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My  eyes have alighted upon that of her intrigue several times as I meandered  through the harbor and out to sea. Majestic and curious with a mystery that beckons one.

She calls to head, look, feast your eyes upon that of me. Ageless, timelessness dwells it appears within the bounds of her antiquity of time.  The appearances of her can be grand at times and then at other times she appears as though a hodgepodge of elements of times of the past mixed together. The mind swirls with wonder of whom could have escalated to have built “Abbadin Mare”, Abbey by The Sea. She as well,  is here to stay, as the ages pass on by. What secretes  lie dormant and what does she hold within protection of her walls?

During a period of time from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century much of the world went through a period of time, in terms of architecture, called the Gothic Revival. This revival was a renewed interest in the architecture and styling of buildings during the Middle Ages. The focus was on the late period castles that were more of a manor home than a fortress.

This period of time also matched a period of very high prosperity in the United States and there were many wealthy individuals and organizations that built castles fashioned in this Gothic Revival style. Technically, very few of these buildings can be called true castles because they weren’t built with defense and armament in mind; They were more designed as manor houses but they still incorporated all of the wonderful and impressive architectural style that we come to associate with true castles. Many of them remain to this day and have found unique ways to continue to flourish.

New England, being the oldest part of the country, was also one of the richest during the gothic revival and there are many impressive castles throughout the New England states. In Massachusetts I had been observing “Abbadin Mare”, or commonly referred to by the locals as Hammond Castle, which is located in Gloucester, in the hamlet of Magnolia. The inventor, John Hammond  Jr. built  his castle in the early twentieth century and it is now a museum.

The Abbey by The Sea, was built as a wedding gift by John (Jack) Hammond Jr. for his bride.  They moved into the castle in 1929. The idea for the castle to be built came about as a way of  John Hammond one upping and proving himself to his parents over their non acceptance of his bride. He as well traveled  many times to Europe and was greatly intrigued by the grandness of ruins, architecture and antiquities that he came upon. There is much to be read of who of the “who’s ,who”, list of the famous that visited Hammond Castle. There are a lot of interesting and amazing things about this castle that are typically in the realm of castles that are in Europe

Names of those whom visited and where guests read such as ,”Who’s Who”, of the famous and well known of  from actresses to writers, musicians to political counter parts onward. Greta Garbo, loved the swimming pool area. George Gershwin played within of the bounds of the castle as well and also utilized the grand piano within of the great hall. There were many more notable names that traversed to this castle by the sea.

My next post shall be of the castle interior and more information. My intent of now is to allow a view of the exterior of the castle and grounds as well as my personal views and experience of what intrigued that of my viewing from a distance of the castle as well as up close walking the grounds. I spent two days on the grounds of the castle this month and enjoyed filling the mystery with factual information and filling that of the curious that has pervaded of me for many months.

Walking from the parking lot down the pathway towards the castle. Through the trees, my eyes are seeking the essence and feel of Abbadin Mare. There is beauty as well as the unexpected to greet one at each turn. I end up being surrounded by butterflies in the end of my journey.DSC_0620_343

My eyes alight upon the glimmering Atlantic Ocean, seeing through the trees, the arches appearing.

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