Queen’s Fort

Posted By on November 22, 2014

Queen's Fort

exeter, ri

this doesn’t really qualify as a hike, per se. it’s just an interesting little property near fisherville brook (see below) that i decided to visit while i was in the area. i got this description from a geocaching website:

In 1675, a friendly indian reported to English colonists that Wampanoag sachem Metacom (also known as King Philip) was planning to exterminate the colonists. Metacom had the informer killed, and the colonists tried and executed his killers. These incidents soon blossomed into the short but brutal conflict known as King Philip’s War.

On Sunday December 19, 1675, a large body of English colonists, aided by a few hundred friendly Indians, attacked an island fortress village in Rhode Island’s Great Swamp. In this village were several hundred Wampanoag women and children, who were under the protection of the neutral Narragansett tribe. The battle that took place, known as the Great Swamp Fight, marked the defeat of the Narragansetts.

A few survivors joined other tribes in CT and western RI. Others apparently retreated to a stronghold on the borderline between the modern towns of North Kingstown and Exeter. Here they rallied around their queen, Quaiapen. Although only a few miles from an English fort, Quaiapen’s band held out for the rest of the war in this natural hilltop fortress formed by an ancient glacial moraine. The site was not discovered by the English until after the war, when Quaiapen’s band had moved to Connecticut, where they met their final fate.

Early histories of the area claim that Quaipen lived in an underground cavern that was very well hidden. Perhaps, as you search for this cache, you will discover it.

Drive west on Stony Lane to just west of the intersection with Narrow Lane. Look for a dirt road leading into the woods at N41 35.564 W71 31.273. You can park on Stony Lane, or if you have 4WD, venture into the woods on the dirt road. This is state property. There are at least two paths that lead up the hill from the dirt road to the remarkable hilltop redoubt. Be sure to take some time to explore this fascinating area.

um, i didn’t really find a dirt road, exactly, but i did find a barely-discernible track that might have been a dirt road, once. again, as in the post below, this entire site was covered to ankle depth in leaves, so paths and dirt roads were really hard to guess at.

lots of rocks

lots of rocks

there sure were lots of boulders all through here, and had it not been for the leaves, i might have stayed to explore more, and maybe look for the mysterious cavern mentioned above. but the footing was tricky, so i poked around for maybe 10 minutes and called it a day.

rock wall

rock wall

one of the other bits of lore about this site that i found on the intertubes mentioned that the queen had with her a man who was renowned as a mason, so i looked for some rock work and this is what i found. it’s not anything special, but it is on the top of a hill and overlooks the small valley, so maybe this is the spot?

tree carvings

tree carvings

there were a lot of beech trees on this property, and i’m guessing this has been a popular site for a lot of years, as the poor trees bore witness to hundreds of carvings. i was able to make this one out, “1923,” and saw another one that was dated 1954.

i have not added queen’s fort to the hikefinder, as it’s not really a hike. you can copy the coordinates above and paste them into google maps if you want to visit here.


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