Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt

Newport, Rhode Island
The Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt is an abandoned and historic structure within Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.
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About This Location

The Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt is a unique abandoned location at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt was built during the Third System of Coastal Forts. The Third System began following the War of 1812 when the US sought to increase its coastal defenses. Fort Adams was the only new fort that was developed during the Third System. The redoubt was built to aid the primary fort.

The Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt was constructed in the 1840s and it was built about a quarter-mile from Fort Adams. Its purpose was to serve as the first level of defense against any enemies attempting to attack the fort from land.

It featured a super sophisticated design in order to provide complete security to the land entryway of the fort. There is a large outer ditch that totally encircles the redoubt and this served as the first level of defense. Galleries were built along the outer ditch to allow soldiers to fire at any enemies that were able to get into the ditch. The next layer of defense was the inner ditch that featured a horseshoe design. Additionally, the central core of the redoubt was very focused on security.

There was only one entrance to the central core of the redoubt and it could only be accessed via a drawbridge. The drawbridge could easily be raised to make it nearly impossible for anyone to get inside the central core. There were many casemates around the central core which provided soldiers protection while having the ability to fire howitzers at outside enemies. Additionally, loopholes allowed soldiers with muskets to fire at enemies while being protected. Multiple loopholes in a row made a rifle gallery. Another extremely unique aspect of the redoubt and its central core was the double spiral staircase. The double spiral allowed for double the traffic to move at the same time. It was the only double spiral at a fort in the United States.

Usage After Being A Redoubt

Over the decades, the Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt became outdated as did Fort Adams. Starting in the early 1900s, the redboubt began being used for alternative uses. In 1905, a station was set up for the Battery Commanders of the adjacent Battery Greene-Edgerton which was built in 1898. On October 29, 1921, the military sought to increase the Harbor Defenses of Newport and they mounted two 3-inch M1917 anti-aircraft guns on the south side of the redoubt. On July 6, 1923, plotting rooms for the neighboring Battery Greene-Edgerton were constructed in the southwest corner of the redoubt near the battery.  On January 10, 1928, a fire control switchboard was installed in the southeast corner of the Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt. Lastly, in July of 1938, an additional anti-aircraft gun was added next to the two that were mounted in 1921.

Abandoning The Redoubt

During World War 2, there were over 3,000 soldiers assigned to the Harbor Defenses of Newport. Not many were stationed at Fort Adams due to the outdated structures that were built during the Third System and the Endicott Period. That said, the anti-aircraft guns remained at the redoubt during the war. Following World War 2, Fort Adams and the Fort Adams Advanced Redoubt were decommissioned and abandoned.  

What Remains Today?

For decades, the Advanced Redoubt at Fort Adams was completely abandoned. During the early 2000s, it was completely overgrown and some of its walls were crumbling. In recent years, the Fort Adams Trust, which managed Fort Adams State Park, has been focusing time on restoring the structure. By 2020, much of the overgrowing nature had been removed. The Trust is now focusing on restoring some of the interiors to potentially open it up to the public. As of April 2023, no visitors can enter the redoubt due to a large fence around the entirety of the structure.  

The redoubt was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 as part of Fort Adams State Park.


Address: Lincoln Drive, Newport, Rhode Island
Place GPS Coordinates: 41.472611, -71.341028
Parking GPS Coordinates: 41.472611, -71.341028
Parking Notes: Visitors can park in the lot located across Lincoln Drive from the redoubt. Parking is free here.

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