The Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park rests on a vantage point above the Thames River, containing the remains of a Revolutionary War fort and a 135-foot obelisk monument to pay tribute to those who died defending it. The park is the site of the 1781 Battle of Groton Heights where British troops, under the command of the infamous traitor Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, attacked the fort which resulted in a massacre of American soldiers.
Fort Griswold was named after then Deputy Governor Matthew Griswold. In tandem with Fort Trumbull on the opposite side of the harbor, Fort Griswold served to defend the port of New London, a supply center for the new Continental Army and a friendly port for Connecticut- sanctioned privateers who preyed on British ships.
The Groton Monument was built between 1826 and 1830, and is the oldest monument of its type in the country. Built of granite quarried locally, the Monument stands 135 feet tall with 166 steps. A marble plaque shows the names of those who died defending the fort.
The property also includes the Monument House Museum, which was built in 1830. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) began meeting there in 1894, and members began donating artifacts from the battle and other periods of Groton’s history. The Revolutionary War exhibit houses Colonel William Ledyard’s sword, a painting depicting the battle, and a model of the Fort as it looked on September 6, 1781. An observation platform and interpretive signs were added to the fort in 2018 to give visitors a better understanding of the fort’s features and to better protect the earthworks.
Address: Monument St. & Park Ave. Groton, CT 06340
Distance from Groton Water Taxi Landing: 0.5 Miles
Phone Number: (860) 445-1729
Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day