“Pivot Rock” at Crane Castle

After living here for almost 10 years, two people told me separately yesterday about a huge rock that acts as a pivoting gate on a trail that runs between the old Rose Garden and the former Casino at the Crane Estate. Mr. Richard Crane liked to surprise his guests by turning the stone to let them through. I took a hike there today and discovered that it still operates! Based on its size I estimate the rock weighs over two tons.

I parked my car at Crane Beach and headed along Argilla Road toward the Castle entrance. If you walk up the old closed driveway closest to Crane Beach you will have a wonderful view of the ocean and Cape Ann on your right. Annisquam is in the far distance. Shown below are photos from today’s walk, including the stone in closed and open positions!

farm view from Crane Castle in Ipswich

Just past the second closed gate house turn left on the one-way loop around Crane Castle. This view of the farm will be on your left.

View of Fox Creek from Crane Castle

Continuing up the hill there is a great view of Fox Creek and the Great Salt Marsh

Gates to the Rose Garden at Crane Castle

You’ll come to a set of steel gates on the right. Take a short trail on the left toward the abandoned Rose Garden.

Trail head to Pivot Rock

The trailhead has an interpretive sign describing the various gardens that once graced the Crane Estate.

Pivot Rock at Crane Castle in closed position.

The Pivot Rock is the large stone in a rock wall across the other end of the short trail. The old Crane casino is just beyond this point along the road on the right.

Pivot Rock at Crane Castle in open position.

I was able to open and close the Pivot Rock with a little leverage from a stick lying on the ground. Beware–local kids called this “The Devil’s Rock” and by opening it, I may have let him loose! I hope I closed it back in time.

Categories: Places, Trails

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1 reply »

  1. This whole area is just wonderful! We were given a guided tour from a former head lifeguard at Crane Beach. I felt like the Crane Castle grounds were familiar to me. But I had never been there before. The atmosphere filled my soul.


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