Mysterious Gungywamp

Posted By on September 23, 2015

Mysterious Gungywamp

1.25 miles; groton, ct

gungywamp is an archeological site in groton, the origins of which are in some dispute. the site itself is not open to the public, and you can only see it on guided hikes. i’ve been hearing about this spot for years, and thanks to a denison pequotsepos nature center-led hike today, i finally got to see it.

adams homestead

adams homestead

the first site we came to on our tour was the foundation of a colonial-era homestead once owned by a johanna adams, who was believed to have been a herbalist, based on the various non-native plants found in the area, such as indian poke and cannibis. or maybe she was a witch…

al brown of the dpnc in the stone circle

al brown of the dpnc in the stone circle

our guide was al brown, an employee of the dpnc. he was very interesting and knowledgeable. this structure he is standing here in is believed to be a bark mill for extracting tannin from oak bark. there was a post in the center that was attached to a round mill wheel, which went between the two lines of stone and crushed the oak bark. or maybe it’s a celtic mandala built by monks from 6th century ireland…

small chamber

small chamber

our next stop was this small corbeled stone chamber. there was a slab of quartz laying in front of the entrance that was once the door. this chamber was only recently (1950’s) discovered. it’s thought to have been an ice house. or perhaps it’s the entryway to a parallel universe…

the calendar chamber

the calendar chamber

this was the most interesting chamber. it was a fairly large corbeled stone room, large enough to hold 5 or so adults standing up. there was a small opening high on the side opposite the entrance, and it’s said that on a couple of days either side of the equinoxes, a beam of light from the setting sun shoots through the opening and illuminates a differently-colored stone on the opposite side, at the entrance to a small side-chamber.

the window from the other side

the window from the other side

no one really knows the purpose of this structure, or whether or not the astronomical features were purpose-built. at one point, the roof had collapsed and was rebuilt in the 1970s. or perhaps it is an ancient native american ceremonial site…

standing stones

standing stones

additionally, there are two rows of standing stones on the site, both oriented generally north. and there is also (if you really squint and use your imagination) an eagle petroglyph carved into one of the surfaces. again, no one really has a clue as to why these exist. unless they were built to guide ufos to the site…

for obvious reasons, i have not added gungywamp to the hikefinder, nor will i post the trailhead or a trail map. but for your further enjoyment, if you enjoy going down vast internet rabbitholes that is, i highly recommend you google “gungywamp.” the theories and explanations are awesome.

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