Experience the allure of our Ipswich, MA inn, a cherished destination where
the echoes of the past resonate and guests are enveloped in the legacy of the Crane family.

Exterior of Ipswich, MA bed and breakfast
Get to Know Us

Your Bucolic Coastal Retreat with a Rich Past

The Inn at Castle Hill is a coastal boutique inn nestled within the historic Crane Estate. The Inn features 10 beautifully decorated rooms all with ensuite baths and many views of the Atlantic Ocean and the “Great Marsh” and sand dunes. We are open April through December allowing guests to enjoy sweeping changes in season in this amazing part of the world. Guests may walk the spectacular four mile Crane Beach, wander miles of protected walking trails, inhale the scent of our formal gardens, experience a guided tour of the historic Great House. No matter what season, many possibilities await on these pristine 2,100 acres.

“The moment you step on the property you feel a sense of calm… Mornings spent
sipping coffee on the porch with the smell of jasmine and spectacular views.”

Allison K – Google Review


Our History

Historical photograph of The Inn at Castle Hill
Crane Family portrait circa 1910

Tracing the Legacy of Our Storied Past, from Farmhouse to Inn

The Early Years

The Inn was originally built as a farmhouse cottage in the mid-1800s. In 1899, businessman John Burnham Brown inherited the property, complete with the house and outbuildings. Brown, who was president of the Chicago and Indiana Railroad, expanded the farmhouse into a larger “Shingle-style” home. He hired Boston landscape architect Ernest Bowditch to develop a road system and garden plans. This was typical of the American Country Place Era, when many industrialists converted farms into grand summer estates.

The Crane Era

In 1910, Crane and his wife, Florence, purchased the property, which was advertised simply as “Ipswich Beach Farm.” That same year, the Cranes renovated the Brown Cottage, with their architects Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge, so they could live there while their main house was being built. They renovated it again in 1917. The cottage later served as a guesthouse. It was frequently occupied by visiting family members, especially Mrs. Crane’s father, Harlow Niles Higinbotham of Chicago.

Honoring the Legacy

After the death of Mrs. Crane in 1949, son Cornelius Crane lived in the cottage with his wife, Miné. They renovated the house in 1958 and added the Colonial-style tavern building in 1959 as an additional space for entertaining. In 2000, The Trustees of Reservations restored the cottage and opened it as “The Inn at Castle Hill.” Here, guests once again enjoy summerhouse living with glorious views across the ocean and marshes.

Trustees Meeting on the grounds of The Crane Estate

Commitment to Responsible Hospitality

We strive to combine our hospitality efforts with the core mission of The Trustees to preserve and protect properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value. We believe that nature and culture can soothe the soul and improve our quality of life and that our everyday actions affect not only our guests’ experience but our environment. We are committed to the environment that we are fortunate to invite guests to experience and bring sustainable methods and practices to our work everyday to reduce our environmental impact.

Book Your Sustainable Stay