Herreshoff Castle – Marblehead, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Herreshoff Castle

This Gothic castle was inspired by Erik the Red's Viking residence at Brattahlid in Greenland.  


Located in beautiful Marblehead, Herreshoff Castle is a hidden Gothic structure embellishing the town. Inspired by Erik the Red’s Viking property located in Greenland, Waldo Ballard and his wife, Joanna McCoy, built the castle in 1920. It was later sold to Francis Herreshoff in 1945.

The castle’s external facades are made of stone walls covered by climbing plants. It also features Gothic arched windows, wooden doors, and several turrets. The structure was formerly known as Brattahlid Castle, but was later renamed to honor its owner’s last name.

Herreshoff, a Connecticut native, grew up in the castle and was destined to run the family’s estate. However, he chose instead to devote himself to the boatyard industry. He is still most notably associated with this unique castle. 

In 1990, the castle was sold to Michael Rubino, who made a few renovations and converted the two-story castle carriage house into a bed and breakfast. It included amenities such as a medieval garden, a coat of arms, a set of armor, a chimney, carousel horses, and medieval type furniture.

Legends say there is a secret stairway and dungeon underneath the property, but there hasn’t been any concrete evidence of proving either. It’s said that Ballard financed the castle’s construction with treasure hidden in the basement by merchants from the previous century.

It’s not known why Ballard undertook such a project, but it’s a delightful, hidden medieval gem for those visiting the region. 

Know Before You Go

The Bed & Breakfast is open from May 1st to November 1st. Cost is $200 per night. 

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December 25, 2020

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