Blockhouse at Fort Trumbull (1796)

December 3rd, 2009 Posted in Egyptian Revival, Military, New London


The oldest surviving structure at Fort Trumbull in New London is a granite blockhouse, built in 1796. It was built after Congress authorized funds for the fortification of American seaports in 1794. The fortifications in New England were under the direction of a French engineer, Stephen Rochefontaine. Designed with tapering walls to resist exploding shells, the blockhouse (also known as a citadel) housed a powder magazine and soldiers’ living quarters. It was also intended to become its own mini-fort, a final stronghold if the main fort fell to an enemy. Of all the buildings constructed in America as part of the 1794 program, the blockhouse at Fort Trumbull is the only one still standing today.

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