Flying Horse Carousel, Watch Hill

4.6
#3 of 6 in Historic Sites in South County
The Flying Horse Carousel is a historic carousel in Watch Hill, the principal summer resort area of the town of Westerly, Rhode Island, United States. It is one of two in the state designated as National Historic Landmarks, along with the Crescent Park Looff Carousel in East Providence. It is the oldest operating carousel in which the horses are suspended from chains.DescriptionThe carousel is believed to have been built around 1876 by the Charles W. Dare Company of New York. This is about the same time attributed to the construction of the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, although both dates are based on inferences and lack certainty. It consists of twenty horses in two sizes, which are suspended by chains from sweeps radiating out from the center of the carousel under its canopy. The bodies of the horses are believed to have been carved from single blocks of wood, with the legs carved separately and attached. The horses still have their original agate eyes; other trappings, including manes and reins, have been replaced. The chains holding the horses are attached to the rump, and to an iron bar (apparently a modification) added to the pommel. When the carousel rotates, centrifugal force drives the horses outward, giving rise to the name "flying horses". The horses in the Oak Bluffs carousel are fixed to columns between spreader panels above and a platform below.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
101 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    It was actually more beautiful than I had expected it to be. It is definitely worth it to take a look, even if you don't have children with you, the child in you can appreciate this carousel. The artw...  more »
  • August 10, 2017
    The carousel has vintage horses that are available to small children. There is a weight limit, so keep that in mind or call ahead if you are uncertain if your child will be able to ride. The cost was ...  more »
  • July 31, 2017
    old style flying horses going round with the music. Too bad there is an age and weight limit! I would have loved to ride.  more »

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