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65 votes

Bannerman Castle

Pollepel Island, Fishkill, New York 12508 USA

  • Independent
  • Not Wheelchair
  • Public
  • Outdoor
  • No Wifi
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Private Property

This location is on private property and is presented for information purposes only.

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“a place of mystery, legacy & lore”

On a tiny island in the middle of the Hudson River sits the bombed-out remains of a once-grand castle. The island itself has a storied history that begins long before Bannerman Castle came to be. Some Native American tribes reportedly thought it was haunted, so anyone on the run from these tribes would hide out there. The Dutch were the next to encounter the island, and it too captured their imagination. They called it "Pollepel", which is Dutch for "wooden ladle", although there are legends that the name comes from a young girl named Polly Pell who, after falling through the ice on the Hudson River, was rescued and whisked off to the island, where she married her sweetheart. Awww. Later it was purchased by Francis Bannerman, who built the infamous castle which now sits in ruins on the island. Bannerman ran a military surplus business near the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and he bought the island in 1900 to use as storage for his thriving company. He had acquired so many arms that he couldn't legally keep them all within the city limits-- hence the need for the island. You can book a hard hat tour through the Bannerman's Castle Trust.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 7 Helpful
March 14, 2014

I'm not sure where this map is supposed to lead you, but the castle is literally on an island in the middle of river. Unless your car can drive through the Hudson, you have to kayak.

7 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 31 Reviews
  • 7 Helpful
November 17, 2018
Rated 5.0

If you want to go to the island, you need yo go with a tour. The boat ride is about 30 minutes down the Hudson. The island is beautiful. Along with the large castle ruins there is a small castle near the top of the island where the Banermans lived when they visited the island. It is partially restored and the lower floor turned into a museum.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
May 28, 2015

We went there and found out that this castle is on an island that you can't get to unless you got a boat.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
May 18, 2014

This is now open to the public, with tours.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
January 13, 2014

I wonder whether the name "pollepel" stems from the name of a girl. "Pollepel" is an old Dutch word, (pictured in many famous paintings by old masters, such as Jan Steen), still in use and refers to a spoon, ladle or pot ladle. Pim Gillissen, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 5 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
October 08, 2019
Rated 4.0

Beautiful place to visit, be sure to get tickets well in advance

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 20, 2016

This island is also in one of the transformer movies!

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Reviewed by
Brandon Hite

  • Expert
  • 154 Reviews
  • 117 Helpful
September 30, 2014

This place looks straight out of a Ye Old England book. I imagine on my visit I'd be doing a lot of terrible impersonations of Monty Python jokes.

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Bannerman Castle

Pollepel Island
Fishkill, New York
12508 USA
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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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