Monday, December 15, 2014

More about Queen's Fort

From Charles M. Devine (for other posts on this topic, click here):
 First two photos date 1978.

 By 1979, SW bastion had been rebuilt and a spiral was added to it. In Manitou, Dix would only say it "might" have been rebuilt. No "might" about it.

As seen in second photo here, there is no spiral arm passing in front of the tree to the left in the photo. In the first photo, it would have been extending off the far right. Photo needed to cover that area better then it does, but I can attest that there was no spiral, or remnants thereof, that I ever saw prior to the rebuild. I do not know who was responsible. Neighborhood kids did like riding their dirt bikes there all the time in the 70's and 80's. Should you chose to use these photos and info, please send me a link at that time so I don't miss it. It is important that future researchers understand these changes, so the spiral extension on the SW bastion is not misinterpreted as original to the feature. I do not believe it is.


Unknown said...

The diagram of the stone works mid 19th century, the first illustration above, shows the SW bastion with no spiral arm, further evidence that this particular component of the feature does not predate the 1979 rebuild. The negative of the second 1978 photo above does show a bit more of the ground in the vicinity of the tree in foreground and indicates no spiral. That area was not covered completely in 1978, regrettably given the changes that were to come.
My earliest recollection of the SW bastion is as seen in the 78 photos, barely more then one layer high semicircle. Quite discernible, as is the NE "bastion", but not built up as it is now. Eventually, the trees were removed. Since a spiral can easily align with ideas tied to the heavens,time, etc, and Mavor and Dix did note a solar alignments involving this "bastion", it is important to note this spiral is most likely the product of a modern imagination. As far as I know, this has no effect on any alignment.

pwax said...

It is an unusual structure. I have been to a lot of hilltops without anything like it.

JimP said...

I think there is little question that the upper perimeter walls, including the bastions, have been heavily disturbed over time. However, there are curious structures at the complex, particularly off the eastern wall, that appear to be long undisturbed and demonstrating an infrastructure more complex than a crude wall around the hill.

JimP said...

Peter, I like to imagine that at one time Gungywamp, Mystery Hill, and Queen's Fort all served a similar purpose. There are local Narragansett legends of great pilgrimages made to Queen's Fort in prehistoric times -- a place of great spiritual importance. There are examples in the primary sources demonstrating that hilltop shrines with talus caves inhabited an important spirit associated with rattlesnakes.

Unknown said...

Jim, I used to hang out there a lot when I was in my 30's.
Sit for hours amidst the boulder field on the eastern flanks. Peaceful beyond measure. And yes, the features around the NE corner are unusual. It's always been at the top of my "special places in RI" list. Because the spiral can lead to speculation by it's very nature, I thought it important to clarify it's actual status. A nice touch, but not ancient I believe. We're blessed the site has survived as is.