Jump to content

Castle Hill Light

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Castle Hill Light
LocationOff Ocean Ave. on Castle Hill at W end of Newport Neck, Newport, Rhode Island
Coordinates41°27′43″N 71°21′47″W / 41.462°N 71.363°W / 41.462; -71.363
Constructed1890 Edit this on Wikidata
Constructiongranite Edit this on Wikidata
Automated1957 Edit this on Wikidata
Height10 m (33 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
Shapeconical Edit this on Wikidata
HeritageNational Register of Historic Places listed place Edit this on Wikidata
Fog signalHorn, 1 every 10 sec.
First lit1890 Edit this on Wikidata
Focal height12 m (39 ft) Edit this on Wikidata
LensFifth order Fresnel lens (original), 12 inches (300 mm) (current)
Range12 nmi (22 km; 14 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
CharacteristicIso R 6s Edit this on Wikidata
Castle Hill Light
ArchitectH.H. Richardson
Architectural styleRomanesque
Part ofOcean Drive Historic District (ID76000048)
MPSLighthouses of Rhode Island TR
NRHP reference No.88000277 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 30, 1988
Designated NHLDCPMay 11, 1976

Castle Hill Lighthouse is located on Narragansett Bay in Newport, Rhode Island, at the end of the historic Ocean Drive.[2][3][4] It is an active navigation aid for vessels entering the East Passage, between Conanicut Island and Aquidneck Island. The lighthouse has become a symbol of Newport, and a frequent site for wedding photos, proposals, and tourist photos.[5] Although the property is owned by the nearby Castle Hill Inn, the lighthouse is owned by the United States Coast Guard.[5]


Henry Hobson Richardson drew a sketch for a lighthouse at this location which may or may not have been the basis for the actual design. The structure does not include the residence which was featured in Richardson's sketch. The keeper's house was built, and still stands, near Castle Hill Cove, a few hundred feet away.[4]

The lighthouse was completed in 1890 on property formerly belonging to the naturalist, oceanographer, and zoologist Alexander Agassiz of Harvard University. Agassiz sold the land to the United States Government for the lighthouse for $1. His mansion on the property, commissioned in 1874, is now an inn. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 as Castle Hill Lighthouse.

Although the lighthouse building is not open to the public, the shoreline and cliff face where the lighthouse sits are accessible by several footpaths from the Castle Hill Inn and the Castle Hill Cove Marina. The lighthouse is a popular site for tourist photos and wedding shoots, and widely recognizable as a symbol of Newport.[5] While the property is owned by the nearby Castle Hill Inn, the lighthouse itself is owned by the United States Coast Guard.[5]

2021 repainting[edit]

By 2020, the iconic lighthouse had become streaked with unsightly brown rust, and the Coast Guard indicated that it had no plans to perform any exterior maintenance.[5]

In March 2021, the Castle Hill Inn signed a five-year agreement with the Coast Guard to refresh the lighthouse's exterior appearance.[5] A local contractor was hired to perform a full power wash, paint, and beautification at a cost of $17,000, just in time for the 2021 summer wedding season.[5]

List of keepers[edit]

  1. Frank W. Parmele (1890 – 1911)
  2. George L. Hoxsie (1911 – at least 1944)
  3. Manuel Soares Macedo (at least 1945).
  4. Ernest H. Stacey (Coast Guard BM1, May 22, 1947 – September 30, 1948)

After the 1938 hurricane, operation of the lighthouse was taken over by Coast Guard personnel. In 1957, the light was automated.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Rhode Island". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. Archived from the original on 2017-05-01.
  3. ^ Light List, Volume I, Atlantic Coast, St. Croix River, Maine to Shrewsbury River, New Jersey (PDF). Light List. United States Coast Guard. 2013. p. 165.
  4. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (2013-03-20). "Lighthouses of Rhode Island". The Lighthouse Directory. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Albert, Fred (28 August 2021). "Newport's Iconic Castle Hill Lighthouse got an overdue makeover this summer". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 29 August 2021. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  6. ^ D'Entremont, Jeremy. "History of Castle Hill Lighthouse, Newport, Rhode Island". New England Lighthouses: A Virtual Guide. Retrieved 24 November 2023.

External links[edit]