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Fort Sewall, Marblehead

4.7
#1 of 9 in Things to do in Marblehead
Fort Sewall is a historic coastal fortification in Marblehead, Massachusetts. It is located at Gale's Head, the northeastern point of the main Marblehead peninsula, on a promontory that overlooks the entrance to Marblehead Harbor. Established in 1644, it is one of the oldest English coastal fortifications in the United States. After the American Revolution, the federal government took over the property. During the War of 1812, on April 3, 1814, the USS Constitution, perhaps the most famous American ship of war ever to sail, took shelter under the guns of Fort Sewall from a pursuing pair of British frigates, the Tenedos and the Endymion. Despite lacking the ammunition and powder needed to sink or drive off the two frigates, the fort's garrison was able to bluff the British by running out all of their guns and acting as though they were preparing to attack. Faced with a 36-gun frigate and the defensive batteries of a fort, the British elected to retreat, none the wiser.During the Civil War, Massachusetts troops were garrisoned at Fort Sewall, 12 pieces of artillery were mounted to defend Marblehead Harbor, and a few Confederate prisoners of war were held here.The fort was turned over to the town in 1922, and is now open as a public park. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
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Fort Sewall Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
202 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Took a stroll through Fort Sewall during our trip to Marblehead. It's located right off a cute residential area. The excellent views of the harbor can be enjoyed sitting down on one of the many benche...  more »
  • Whenever we visit Marblehead, we always take a walk to Fort Sewall. Some of the old fort remains, but it's really the views that make this a must-see place. In good weather, watching sailboats and mot...  more »
  • There isn't much left of the fort but the location is fantastic. You get great views of the water around you. Bring a picnic and sit on a bench!  more »
Google
  • Truly the best spot in New England. Picnic. Bring your dog.
  • Very nice. Especially for fourth of July fireworks!
  • Nice walk with incredible views of the Atlantic. A historic fort to discover.
  • Such a lovely and truly beautiful place to see at sunrise! This area offers a breathtaking view over the Atlantic that is well worth bundling up for and taking your hot tea or coffee to go just to catch an early winter's glimpse of this historic fort as the morning seems to stir the ever-so-friendly locals from their amazing and beautiful 18th and 19th century homes that surround it... we may return someday in the spring or summer. I can only imagine how beautiful Marblehead and its attractions must be at those times of year!
  • Great spot to explore some history and enjoy the view.

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