Fort Griswold State Park Master Plan

Groton, Connecticut










Master Plan Drawing by Moriece & Gary, Inc.

Fort Griswold State Park is the site of the Revolutionary War era Fort Griswold and the location of the Battle of Groton Heights. Built high above the east side of the Thames River on Groton Heights, the original Fort commanded views of the harbor at New London and the surrounding countryside.  The Fort, as originally built, was somewhat square with protecting fortifications on two corners. The lower walls were faced with stone and topped with a barrier of cedar pickets projecting outward and an earthen wall with openings for cannon.  A tunnel-like sally port led to a covered ditch ending in a battery for cannon southwest of the Fort, and the gate at the north end was protected by a V-shaped earthen mound.  A barracks for 300 men and a magazine were located in the fort.  The fort was in good condition and the magazine was full in 1781.  Considered an important northern supply center for the "rebels", the British, under the command of Benedict Arnold, attacked the town and harbor of New London by surprise and burned most of the town. The British also attacked Fort Griswold with a force of 800 men. The ensuing Battle of Groton Heights ended in defeat for the Americans.  The British attempted to destroy Fort Griswold after the battle, but were not totally successful. In 1830 a granite monument was erected on the site dedicated to the men had who had defended Fort Griswold, and in 1881 the monument's height was increased to 134 feet.  The monument and a small museum are located within the existing Park area, along with remnants of the old Fort.


The Connecticut Bureau of Parks and Forests wished to develop the Fort Griswold State Park property into a "living history" park, where visitors could experience the importance of this colonial military defense and the Battle of Groton Heights.  They also wished to tell the story of the site and surrounding land from the prehistoric times throughout the years and wars, and of the brave people who molded this free country.


Thomas Mayo Associates/ Architects & Urban Designers acted as the architectural consultant to the Project Team, led by Moriece & Gary, Inc., for the preparation of the Master Plan for the Fort Griswold Historic State Park.  TMA con­ducted an existing conditions survey of the buildings located at the Fort Griswold site in order to gain a general assessment of the condition, size and existing uses of the buildings adequate for developing alternative master planning approaches for the Park. Thomas Mayo Associates also prepared conceptual level designs and cost estimates for the Park’s Visitor Orientation Center/ Interpretive Museum.


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