Fort Constitution was established in 1631 and is located on 3 acres of the NH seacoast. Fort Constitution includes the Portsmouth Lighthouse. The original name of the fort was the Fort William and Mary, named after the king and queen of England. This NH seacoast location is listed as an historic place by the National Register of Historic Places.
The Fort Constitution State Historic Site is located in New Castle, New Hampshire on the shores of New Castle Island and overlooks the Piscataqua River, the Atlantic Ocean, the Southern points of Maine and the lighthouses at the mouth of the Piscataqua River between NH and Maine.
Fort Constitution (Aka Fort William and Mary) is one of the more interesting historical state parks in New Hampshire. It is said that it is the site of the first victory of the American Revolution led by Captain John Langdon and Major John Sullivan.
There is a lot of old war history at Fort Constitution. You will also find underground tunnels which are still open to the public.
When you get to Fort Constitution, the first thing you’ll notice is that it is on gated property by the US Government Department of Homeland Security and there are “No Trespassing” signs. You will also notice that the Coast Guard boat dock is there. Be aware that there are some places on the property are restricted, so be sure to read the signs and follow the blue line within the park. The blue line begins at the gate of Fort Constitution and leads you right through the restricted parking lot of Homeland Security. But don’t let that scare you away! The staff there is very friendly and you are welcome to enter Fort Constitution. The park is open from 8:00am to 4:00pm.
When visiting Fort Constitution, remember that it is located in a quiet neighborhood. You will often see people walking and on bikes so go slow and use caution. There are also private homes right next to Fort Constitution.
Some of the features at Fort Constitution include:
- Coast Guard Boat Dock
- Department of Homeland Security
- UNH College has equipment there for the students
- Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse (open to the public at scheduled times)
- At first glance you won’t even see the historic areas as there is a lot of buildings and other things going on there.
Fort Constitution is free to the public. The gates are open from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Fort Stark Location, Directions and GPS Coordinates:
On NH Rt.1B (on a sharp 90 degree corner)
25 Wentworth Road
New Castle, NH 03854
Fort Constitution GPS Coordinates: N43° 04.270′ | W070° 42.767′
History of Fort Constitution Historic Site
Fort Constitution was established in 1631 and is one of seven Forts built to protect Portsmouth Harbor. The other forts in New Hampshire are: Fort Washington, Fort Stark, and Fort Dearborn (Ordiorne Point State Park), and in Maine: Fort Sullivan, Fort McClary and Fort Foster. These Forts were built to protect the colonists. As Portsmouth Harbor’s importance increased with its Revolutionary Warship building industry and the establishment of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in 1800, additional Fortification was needed to protect Portsmouth Harbor.
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