New Castle

Alphabet Name

With the new year, I thought I would try a self-imposed photography adventure. Each week, I want to spell out the name of the town with images. It is always good to find new ways to challenge yourself, I have photographed several architectural and environmental alphabets, but it wasn’t until an inspiring post by my friends, Terri and James over at Gallivance did I decide to try the names of the towns I visit. It might take a little bit of imagination to make out every letter, but I hope to be able to do this with every town and improve along the way.

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What makes New Castle so cool? LOTS of things, but one of them being it is the only town in New Hampshire made up completely of islands. Despite a lengthy search,  I could not find a definitive answer as to how many islands there are exactly. By zooming into the Google map of New Castle, I counted 15 islands. It is the smallest and easternmost town in New Hampshire. At one time it was known as Great Island and the town park is called Great Island Common. Two things immediately jumped out at me when Steve and I pulled into the parking lot. First was the fact you could see both Whaleback Lighthouse and Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse from the common and second was a very cool statue perfectly placed near the water…

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Choices – should I paint the lighthouse or the keeper’s cottage?

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This images was taken in 2012 while on an excursion to the Isle of Shoals.


A short walk to the jetty convinced me this is probably a good fishing spot…

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As I was walking back to Trouble, I saw the Keeper’s cottage framed by some wonderful trees and someone was kind enough to set out a bench, just for the view…

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From the common, Steve and I drove over to Fort Constitution. The fort and the lighthouse are located on the Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and the signs are quite clear as to where you can and cannot go. We decided to take our images from the parking lot. We knew we still had quite a bit of ground to cover…

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2011June Isles of Shoals-027

This image was also taken in 2012


Right next to the Coast Guard station is a UNH marine research laboratory. While we were walking around checking out the boats and sights, a huge cargo ship was being brought in by several tugboats. It was hard to take a picture which showed the true size of the ship…

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The building which houses the Selectmen’s office proudly boasts of New Castle’s history.

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As a general rule, I don’t photograph people’s homes. But if historic homes intrigue you, then a drive along Rt. 1B and its side streets is a must do. The oldest home we saw dated from around 1625, according to the plaque on the front, it was a wayfarer’s home. While I don’t often photograph homes, I have nothing against taking pictures of things in their yards…

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Of course not all of the houses are historic…

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One of my favorite shots of the day was taken along Cape Road. Across the Piscataqua River sits the now abandon Portsmouth Naval Prison. The prison was built between 1905-1908. By the time the prison closed in the early 1970’s, over 86,000 prisoners had done time there. It is a place of rumors, myths and campfire horror tales. It is the kind of place I would “give my eye teeth” to explore…

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Steve took my other favorite of the day, also on Cape Road. It is such an opposing view. While the prison image hints at a dark history, Steve’s image seems full of life and potential happiness to me…

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Not having had our fill of history yet, we next went to Fort Stark. It is probably the best place on the island to get a shot of Whaleback Lighthouse…

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A walk around the grounds had Steve and I talking about how hard life must have been. Ocean front winter blows made almost bearable by the warmth of the fireplace…

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This building now houses a museum.

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Despite the bars and fencing, vandals have certainly left their mark…

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Please note, if you do visit Fort Stark and the gate to the parking lot is closed, pay attention to the “No Parking” signs outside the gate. It is much better to park at Great Island Common and walk along the beach than to risk getting a parking ticket.

Our final stop of the day was at Wentworth by the Sea. Built in 1874, its history includes hosting the signers of the Portsmouth Peace Treaty, ending the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. An unending list of dignitaries have stayed at this amazing piece of history.

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On the grounds, I saw this tree and wondered who might have walked by it, back in the day…

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The final image of the day was taken from the bridge, looking back into New Castle…

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Thank you for coming along as we visited New Hampshire’s smallest town.

If you’d like hints about where I might be next week, “Like” TouringNH on Facebook.


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14 Comments on “New Castle”

  1. marthaschaefer January 6, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    The statue in the parking lot is amazing, especially the way you framed it with the choices to paint! Love the idea of spelling out the town’s name!!

    • Touring NH January 6, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

      Thank you Martha. I’ll bet in warmer months, I could have framed an artist taking advantage of the view.

  2. January 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    Laura, that is SO cool – your alphabet turned out great! What a keen eye you have. Thanks so much for the shoutout. James and I had so much fun trying to figure out an architectural alphabet over the holidays. New Castle looks like a fascinating place – I love the painter sculpture. And the Christmas bikes made me smile. 🙂 Happy New Year to you and Steve. ~Terri

    • Touring NH January 6, 2016 at 7:18 pm #

      A:hover { COLOR: red } A { TEXT-DECORATION: none; COLOR: #0088cc } A.primaryactionlink:link { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:visited { COLOR: #fff; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #2585b2 } A.primaryactionlink:hover { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e } A.primaryactionlink:active { COLOR: #fff !important; BACKGROUND-COLOR: #11729e }

      There is so much history in New Castle! You could spend an entire week and never see everything. High praise I think for New Hampshire’s smallest town. I was so inspired by your “SMILE” , I knew I had to incorporate it into what I do. Isn’t the sculpture wonderful!?! Glad I could bring you a smile. Happy New Year to you and James as well.

  3. Www.wiltonhomes-Realestate.Com January 6, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Thanks for finally talking about >New Castle | Touring NH <Loved it!

    • Touring NH January 6, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

      I’m glad I got there. So much to see. Wonderful town!!

  4. New Hampshire Garden Solutions January 6, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    I love the statue and I’d also love to explore that prison. I’ve never heard of it and I’m not even sure I’ve heard of the town. It looks like a great place to visit, especially with the views of the lighthouses.

    • Touring NH January 6, 2016 at 11:43 pm #

      New Castle really was a great place to visit. You’d enjoy walking along the beach there.

  5. Sue Slaght January 7, 2016 at 5:50 am #

    How creative you are with the image spelling! A photography puzzle. Fun!

    • Touring NH January 7, 2016 at 10:07 am #

      I hoping to do it with every town. It’s fun looking for the letters.

  6. Jeff | Planet Bell January 8, 2016 at 9:18 am #

    That looks like one of the more interesting places in NH. There is a lot of variety of things there. Very creative with spelling the name of the place.

    • Touring NH January 8, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

      There is so much history in New Castle to explore, it’s wonderful.

  7. Marie Keates January 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    I just loved that parking lot sculpture. Some great photos as always and I couldn’t help wondering what the bikes were all about

    • Touring NH January 13, 2016 at 11:12 am #

      I’m not sure why the bikes were turned into lawn ornaments, but they looked like they were well taken care of.

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