Tor House is the historic Carmel home of the California poet Robinson Jeffers and his family, and was built in 1918 by the poet himself and a local builder. Hawk Tower was added two years later as a retreat for the poet’s wife, Una, and as a spectacular play space for their twin sons. The tower was built entirely by the poet with the skills he learned during his apprenticeship building his home. Both the house and the tower are on the National Register of Historic Places, as they were owned and built by a major American poet.
An important place in both California and Carmel history, Tor house is a simple, low, stone structure modeled after Tudor barns, but it and the land surrounding it became a place of inspiration for Jeffers’ poetry and was the site where all his most famous works were written, including the Broadway play, Medea. Many of those poems reference the wild and beautiful coastline of Carmel.
Tor House was the site of many visits by early twentieth century celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Langston Hughes, Sinclair Lewis, and Charles Lindbergh, who came to stay with Robinson Jeffers and his family. It has been maintained much as it was during the poet’s lifetime, and now houses a Spring Poetry Series, a poetry competition, Fall Festival, and an annual Spring Performance Series in May.
Tours are available of Tor House, Hawk Tower, and the English gardens that surround them both. The tours are conducted on the hour 10:00am-3:00pm, every Friday and Saturday and groups are limited to 6 people per tour. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students 12 and up. Tour reservations should be made at least a week in advance by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 831-624-1813. The home is located on Carmel Point, at 26304 Ocean View Avenue.
Note: Photography is not permitted on tours.
Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication, please check directly with the venue to ensure dates, times, and tour rules remain the same.