Smith's Castle, North Kingstown

4.1
#7 of 12 in Museums in South County
Smith's Castle, built in 1678, is a house museum at 55 Richard Smith Drive, near Wickford, a village in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, United States. Smith's Castle is one of the oldest houses in the state. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1993 as Cocumscussoc Archeological Site, due to the artifacts and information digs in the vicinity have yielded. It is located just off U.S. 1.
Smith's Castle was built in 1678 as a replacement for an earlier structure which was destroyed by the Narragansett Tribe during King Philip's War. The land on which the house was built was known as Cocumscussoc (or Cocumscossoc) and was the original site of Roger Williams' trading post. Williams was the founder of Rhode Island and a prominent Baptist theologian. He built the trading post on the site in 1637 to trade with the Narragansetts after receiving the land from the tribe. Eventually, Williams sold the trading post to Richard Smith to finance his trip to Great Britain to secure a charter for Rhode Island.
Smith bought the trading post and surrounding lands from Williams and constructed a large house which was fortified, giving the house its nickname as a castle. His son Richard Smith Jr. inherited the plantation in 1666 and invited militias from Massachusetts and Connecticut to use the property during King Philip's War. The house was burned in retaliation for the Great Swamp Fight, and the present structure was built in its place, originally as a saltbox house, and later modified into its current form. Approximately 40 soldiers were buried on the property during King Philip's War. Additionally, the only incident of an individual being hanged, drawn, and quartered for treason on American soil took place at Smith's Castle in 1676. Joshua Tefft was an English colonist found guilty of having fought on the side of the Narragansetts during the Great Swamp Fight; he was executed by this method.
It couldn't be easier to arrange your visit to Smith's Castle and many more North Kingstown attractions: make an itinerary online using Inspirock's North Kingstown driving holiday website .
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Smith's Castle Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
21 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • The docents are super friendly and knowledgeable.The hiking trails are great for everyone to enjoy, The setting is stunning. The gardens are heavenly. We walked the trails and gardens, had a picnic lu...  more »
  • I have lived in Rhode Island for most of my life as well as being a descendent of Roger Williams, founder of RI. I thought I knew most of RI's history as well as Roger Williams, but I never knew of Sm...  more »
Google
  • I visited the castle on einter. It was closed. Amazing grounds. Perfect place to take beautiful pics.
  • Highly recommend attending when the interpretive center is open. Otherwise, there is not a ton of richness to experience when you visit. There is a wonderful history that is explained well by staff and the accompanying photos and documents within the house.

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