Visiting Fort Constitution

Trixie can see Fort Constitution and Portsmouth Harbor Light from Great Island Common.

Trixie can see Fort Constitution and Portsmouth Harbor Light from Great Island Common.

There is a fork in the road after Great Island Common, and Pops always takes us to the right onto Wentworth Road, towards the U.S. Coast Guard Station, which is at the end of Sullivan Road.

That’s where old Fort Constitution is located. It was called Fort William and Mary before the American Revolution, and it was where Patriots decided to take the British gunpowder away before the British could. It was the first overt act of the Revolutionary War according to Pops.

Today the fort is free to visit and it is open to the public. Trixie likes to go sniffing into the history there, and since it is out on a point it offers great views for Pop when he is taking photos. Trixie is not so sure about the views though, because everywhere there are walls, and she is too short to look over them unless Pops picks her up. The old brick walls of the early 19th century fort on the landward side, and the partially finished granite walls that were put up during the Civil War on the seaward side. Work was stopped after the Civil War, and an Endicott era battery was later built near the parking area – but that is off limits to everyone!

What is left around Fort Constitution is worth a short walk, especially if you know a ship is coming in. Or you happen to be visiting during a day when the lighthouse is open.

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