Hampton Beach Master Plan: Historic and Cultural Assets

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C. Historic and Cultural Assets

The Hampton Beach area has substantial historic and cultural assets. Since there is little, if any, documentation available that specifically reveals these assets, this assessment was based on personal communication with several local people and several source documents.

Most of the buildings in the project area were built between 1920 and 1960 (see Figure 8). There were periods and years (1920, 1930, 1940, 1950, 1973, 1982, 1984, and 1988) when a significant number of buildings were built. The average age of all the buildings is about 44 years. About 20 buildings were built before 1900, and some of these are identified in the following cultural and historic assets table.


Table 4. Cultural and Historic Assets in the Hampton Beach Area

Hampton Beach - Turn of the Century Architecture



The Casino

Built 1899

Ashworth Hotel

Largest hotel on the Hampton Beach waterfront

The Seashell Stage

Main boulevard and beach entertainment area

Sailors’ Marine Memorial

Memorial dedicated to all the men lost at sea during the wars

Catholic Church

Located on Church Street

Community Church

Located next to water slide, on the other side of Ashworth Avenue from the Hampton Beach Fire Station

Hampton Beach State Park

Important state beach recreational area

Beach Fire Station

Located on Ashworth Avenue, built 1923

Sergeant’s Island

Located in the marsh north of Hampton Harbor

Island Path/Glade Path

Location of old, early period beach houses

Bound Rock

Historic marker of Hampton town line

Bound House

Former house associated with Bound Rock

Reuben Lamprey Homestead

Built in 1760; located at 416 Winnacunnet Road; listed on National Register

Hampton Beach Dunes

Substantial heights of changing dune system


Boar’s Head – Turn of the Century Architecture

Greenman Estate

Located on the tip of Great Boar’s Head, and recognized as one of the nicest 19th Century homes in the Hampton area


North Beach - Turn of the Century Architecture

Stone Cottage

Beautiful beach, stone cottage located on the south side of North Beach

Bicentennial Park

Location of Fish House, north side of North Beach, was the site of the Coast Guard Station which no longer exists



Agricultural Sites

Hampton State Fish Pier

Important recreational boating ramp and parking area

Soft shell clam flats

Historically commercially-used clam flats, now recreational

Hampton River estuary and wetlands

Formerly used for grazing and collection of marsh hay, now considered ecologically important to improve the wetland ecology and water quality

Meadow Pond Farm

One of the few remaining farm areas along the NH seacoast


Figure 8. Number of Structures Built in the Hampton Beach Project Area by Year

Number of Structures Built in the Hampton Beach Project Area by Year

Source: Town of Hampton Assessor’s Records, 1999


Many historic structures no longer exist. The fires of 1915 and 1921 burned many of the original buildings. The original "mile long" wooden bridge was replaced by the current steel and concrete bridge in 1949. Nor do the trolley tracks remain. Although these structures no longer exist, they remain a part of the history that led to the area’s current conditions and development pattern. Recognition and preservation of the cultural past can shape how the community views its future.

Scenic Areas

The area around Hampton and North Beaches offer many viewing locations and vantage points. The State has designated an 18.5 mile Coastal Byway, which runs along the coast of Hampton from Portsmouth to Seabrook.

Aside from the designated viewing areas such as at the Seashell Stage and the Marine Memorial, many other locations provide not only panoramic views, but also "snapshot" views such as one looking east through the path of the State Park dunes, or through the narrow corridor of Tuttle Avenue to the marsh.

One of the most spectacular views in Hampton Beach is not from the Boulevard, but from the top of the waterslide next to the Community Church on E Street. This vantage point provides a 360° view of Hampton Beach and the tidelands behind it.

The following is a list of viewing and scenic areas:

Designated Viewing and Scenic Areas

Non-Designated Public and Private Viewing Locations

  • Great Boar’s Head
  • Top of the water slide on E Street
  • State marina
  • Boardwalk
  • Tower at Seashell Stage
  • Bicentennial Park

Another scenic area is along Winnacunnet Road, which is designated as a Scenic Byway. There are many historic homes along this road, which leads into the southern portion of North Beach.

There are some streets, however, that have restrictive or unsightly views due to the development or particular use of the property. For example, Duston Avenue is blocked by a high wooden fence, and Ashworth Avenue has several, large parking lots. To improve the views, these and other areas should be landscaped or have the barriers removed.

In essence, one can enjoy the views from many locations around the Hampton Beach area. The character of the street patterns, the land use, and the open areas make that possible.


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