Ban-THE-WEED-croft Tower

As it turns out, no, the Bancroft Tower was not a 500-year-old forgotten remnant of a beautiful, enchanted castle, but rather the Bancroft Tower was erected in 1900 in memory of the “worcestonian” George Bancroft. As my foot slid over the oh so sophisticated plaque made for good old George, I could just feel the history, can’t you?

As the four of us spilled out of the car, we joked and chatted (as rowdy college freshman) do until we stood a mere 10 feet away from the structure. The all too familiar gust of hilltop wind poured over us as we raised our chins to the sky and observed the gothic, 56 foot tower hovering above us. Wow. No really, wow. I pushed through the bullying air until I could reach my arm out and touch it. I cupped my hand around the dry stone and felt the cracks and bumps sandpaper my hand, like a piece of Dad’s old wood. The weathered stone left small bits of sand about my palm and I brushed it off against my pant leg. As the wind gusted again, the surrounding trees giggled at us. I looked up again. Goose-bumps sprinted up my back and down my arms and legs. It was hard to tell if the goose bumps came from the wind, or the intimidation of a relatively creepy looking 56-foot tower standing over me. It was like I was thrown into some gothic novel; I was Jane Eyre standing outside Mr. Rochester’s mansion.

Under the arch of the tower, you could just barely sneak a look through the shadowed windows. The windows and doors of the tower were adorned with locks, doors, bars, rocks…. name a barricade, Worcester put it there. While leaning forward on my tiptoes over the windows sill, all of a sudden the faint scent of marijuana and beer crept up my nose. I was no longer standing outside the mansion of sir Mr. Rochester… I was standing by the keg at 138 College Street, the Holy Cross baseball house. The smell of college houses left the taste of cheap beer in my mouth. The taste triggered a memory of my high school visits to the Bancroft Tower. . As a high school student of Worcester, when you get your license the “cool” thing to do was to drive up to the Bancroft Tower at night. Bring a beer, bring you friends, bring pot, bring your crush. It was the spot where newly licensed 16 year olds had their first sip of beer, it was the party spot, the smoking spot, the make out spot, the spot teenagers lose their virginities, the drug dealing spot, the gay-sex meet up spot, the break up spot. By day, however, the tower was a place to walk your dog, to take a run, ride your bike, look over the city, have a picnic.  As I continued all the way through the arch and saw the inevitable beer cans scattered across the grass.

The Bancroft Tower, once built as a folly in the Salisbury Park for George Bancroft, is now owned by the locals of Worcester. It lies there waiting for the next biker, or pothead, or gay teenager in the closet.

Before we drove out, we decided to take a few funny shots.

Johnny climbed the tower!

I followed him, and we made it too the top!

Only kidding, there was another shorter seating area, which looked suspiciously identical to the top structure on the tower.

Gotcha didn’t I?

  1. No comments yet.

Comments are closed.