Jamestown Historical Society

Battery
Photo by Real_Bostonian at Flickr. The Conanicut Battery looking west with Narragansett's Bay West Passage and Saunderstown in the background.

Open: Year round during daylight hours.  Every two years the JHS sponsors a Battery Day ceremony commemorating the soldiers who fought here.

Location. Off of Battery Lane in the southern section of the island.

History. The Conanicut Battery. Built by order of the R. I. General Assembly in 1776, the original fort was probably a simple, crescent-shaped earthwork designed to house and protect six to eight heavy cannon and their men. During their four-year occupation of Newport, the British rebuilt the earthworks in the shape seen today. Surrounded by a ditch and with bastions extended at each end, it was designed both to repel land attack and to house heavy cannon in defense of West Passage.

 

Photo by Dick Allphin.

After the Revolution, the grounds reverted to private use as farmland until 1916, when the US Government purchased 16 acres as part of a new fortification of Narragansett Bay. The six underground observation posts built remained in use by the military through World War II.

In 1963 the property was deeded to the town. In 1972 Conanicut Battery was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.