Trip Planner USA  /  Massachusetts  /  Marblehead  /  Parks  /  Fort Sewall

Fort Sewall, Marblehead

Categories: Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.7/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web
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.
For Fort Sewall and beyond, use our Marblehead trip itinerary maker to get the most from your Marblehead vacation.
Create a full itinerary - for free!
going to
read all reviews »
  • Be sure to visit this lovely little park. It offers perfect views of the main harbor, the lighthouse, the Neck, as well as Little Harbor. Go any time .. sunrise is special with the sun coming up betwe...  read more »
  • I have been here many times on everything from casual strolls, field trips with my kids, and even professional modeling shoots. This location provides stunning views and gorgeous scenery of the ocean,...  read more »
  • We didn't stay long as it was chilly and the entrance is a bit hidden but cool history to learn and it wasn't busy. It's free too 
  • Grew up in marblehead. This place has amazing views and history behind it.
  • Historic area with an incredible view. Great place to take children for a day trip
  • Great little interesting, quiet park. It has bathrooms. Theres lots of benches with a decent amount of trees for shade. Really nice view of the harbor, free mounted binoculars. Interesting fort, you can see the old, old furnishings through the barred windows. The USS Constitution was saved from capture by the British because of the actions of soldiers here.
  • Loved the fort and the view
  • Nice place for a walk.
Nearby Attractions
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 1​h
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 3​h
Visit for 1​h 30​m
Visit for 2​h 30​m