Photo: Alexandra Charitan

New York’s Bannerman Castle.

Xplorers Club Abandoned
If you have ever boarded Metro North Railroad Hudson line, there is a slightly high possibility that you’ve noticed some kind of building on an island.

Located 50 miles north of New York City, Bannerman’s Castle sits abandoned on Pollopel Island. The island, which has frequently been called Bannerman’s Island, is located in about 1000 feet away from Hudson River’s eastern bank. The castle’s origin dates back to 1901, a year later after Francis Bannerman VI bought the island. 

©Bannerman Castle Trust Facebook
 Source: / Taken by ©Dmitriy DiAngelo

Having started off in 1958 as a simple store in New York, Francis Bannerman’s military surplus business started to grow rapidly. The growing business had its peak in 1900, when Bannerman’s storeroom of supplies in New York City was not large enough to store all of the military surplus. Having to find a larger and safer place to store the supply, Francis Bannerman bought the Pollopel Island. 1 year later he began the construction of the Bannerman’s Castle. Bannerman designated the arsenal himself and let the constructors interpret the designs on their own. But construction stopped 17 years later, in 1918, when Francis Bannerman died. Almost 2 years later, 200 pounds of gunpowder and shells exploded, leaving the building in a miserable condition. The business also started failing during the early 20th century due to federal legislation. In 1967 the island was bought by New York State which after removing the military supplies started organizing tours to the island. Unfortunately, in 1968 a fire engulfed the castle leaving most of the Arsenal destroyed. 


Today, the castle offers tours thanks to the Bannerman Castle Trust, which has raised almost 1 million dollars to regulate the island. Tours vary from types and fees, starting at 35 dollars. There are also kayak tours which cost 100 dollars. There are also many events held in the island, such as horror movie nights, weddings etc. If you’re in New York or ever visiting New York, Bannerman’s Castle is a must-see.